27 May,2016 By Jagabond
So, I decided a few months back to plan a road trip through Czech Republic. I’d been to Prague a couple times, but I’ve heard much about the rest of the country – e.g. cheap, great beer, beer spas, etc. – that made me want to explore more. Czech road trips aren’t that common, and I was having trouble during my research online to pinpoint the exact cities to visit. That’s when I had an idea! There was a Czech festival in San Diego…what a great opportunity to pick the brains of those who have been there and done that! I decided on an intelligence gathering mission at the La Mesa Community Center.
I arrived at the ticket desk and paid the 15 dollar entry fee…equivalent to a Gaudi exhibit in Barcelona. They asked if I’d be interested in a food ticket for an additional 10 dollars…I reluctantly agreed, trying to blend in. The food line was long, and the service was slow. I was okay with this, maybe everything was made to order and cooked to perfection. After thirty minutes in line, I received my vegetarian dumplings, which looked an awful lot like Polish pierogies…I guess this was more ‘Central Europe’ food than ‘Czech’ food. I saw an opening to speak, and asked the chef where in Czech he was from…I don’t think he heard me.
I started combing through the multiple booths of Czech items for sale. I met a friendly woman who showed me a world map that included Czech, and she pointed out the map didn’t include North America. I guess I wasn’t all that impressed when I realized it was a replica of a map prior to the discovery of North America…so yeah, what did you expect? She was from Czech, and I tried to talk with her about her hometown. She muttered how it was near the German border, but nothing else. I asked if she knew of any nice spots outside Prague, and she just smiled and walked away. That gave me the chance to peruse a booth selling authentic Czech headgear…interesting.
I was distracted momentarily by the music. There was a ‘spoonman’ jumping around rattling his spoons off his legs…not impressed, I’ve seen the Soundgarden video many times. I must admit the dancing was top notch, not dissimilar to what I’ve seen while traveling Central Europe. I tried to strike up some conversations, hoping to get information on Czech Republic, but was rebuffed and moved aside as people angled for better pictures.
As I left the fest, I realized there was a elementary school baseball game going on at the adjacent field. There was lots of commotion, as if it was an exciting game – late innings, close, people on base, etc. I thought of all the information I didn’t get about my Czech trip, and wondered if I picked the wrong Saturday evening event.
So my intel mission was a failure, and I left with as much information as I had before. Therefore I’m throwing it out to the travel community, particularly those who’ve visited Czech, other than Prague. I based my theoretical itinerary on driving time, trying not to do more than two hours between destinations. So far, in order, I have – Prague, Kutna Hora, Olomouc, Znojmo, Telc, Trebon, Ceske Budejovice, Ceske Krumlov, Pilsen, Cheb, Karlovy Vary, then back to Prague. Any advice on these cities would be welcome, thanks in advance for your help!