Thursday, October 23, 2008

Trains, Trains, Trains

Day 227
The plan for the day was to wake up early and go to Brno in the Czech Republic. The problem was that there weren’t any hostels, the cheap hotels were full as were all the couch surfers I contacted. I think this is why I kept hitting snooze, my roommates were at class at this point, and just ignored the problem for a few hours.

When I did wake up I grabbed my guide book and the hostel computer. I tried all sorts of things in Hostelworld and the train website. I even looked at going back to Dresden for a few days, it was only four hours away. There wasn’t any hostel availability though. In the end I went with three nights in a little Czech town called Olomouc that I had never heard of.

I had some time to kill and went to the post office to send a package home as well as send off my absentee ballot. When this was done I felt like I had done my job as an American. There was still some more time so I went to the mall and picked up some food for the journey and used up that last of my zlotys on a book.

There was some confusion in buying my ticket. I couldn’t find the international office for the life of me. Once I did it was ok though. I spent pretty much the entire ride reading a fabulous book called Dreamland about 1910 New York. It was a great way to kill the eight hours it took me to get to Olomouc.

Once in Olomouc I was greeted by Francis, part of the Australian couple that runs the fabulous Poets Corner Hostel. In minutes it became one of my favorite places ever. Everyone had gone out for someone’s birthday and she made a few calls trying to figure out where they were. In the end she figured that they were in an underground bar and didn’t have any service. She gave me a great map though and I set off to the places looking for a large group of English speakers.

I never found them. At the first bar I went, a rock climbers bar with a free rock wall, I ran into two Americans who were also at my hostel and had gotten separated from the group. We ended up meeting a few locals and heading to a different bar. After some nice Czech beers we were ready to call it a night. One of the Czech guys was a bit crazy and gave us an impromptu tour that included where all the wastebaskets were. Luckily he also told us where to get the best kababs.

The American guys had to get some stuff out of their rented car and I headed up to sleep.

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