Day 15 – Vienna
Lots of catch up needed, so I am getting a few words down while Derek is cooking breakfast which is omelettes with Olomouc cheese and picked mushrooms. I have a mild headache from too much slovovitch last night or it could have been the ice cider, wine or beer. Also sore muscles as we had our first paddle day yesterday. So I guess I should pick up from the train.
We arrived in the town of České Budějovice (the real home of Budweiser) about 1/2 hour before Derek and Marketa. Mike went looking for a new memory card in the near by shopping area. No luck finding one. It was very strange that most of the shops were closed on a Saturday morning. The train station was not in the best neighborhood. Overall I must say I was not overly impressed with the city. We headed into the centre of town with Derek and Marketa (we were able to meet up very easily). The square was nice except for the obstruction of a temporary walkway and exhibition around the central fountain. We think it was there for a two day opera festival on Fri/Sat. We figured that we should find a place that served Budweiser which believe it or not was very hard to find. Since most places were closed the restaurant was very busy featuring waiters that were not the most friendly. We all had schnitzel in various forms. All were OK, (do to the fact that the oil used we think may have been older). And the true Budweiser is not as tasty as other Czech beers.
From there we headed to Vyssy Brod to make arrangements for our canoe trip. Despite our attempt to plan well, we ended up with their “standard” arrangement we expect. We cut the paddle a bit shorter so we started at Soumarsky Most (instead of Lenora) and we will exit at Nova Pec. The changes worked out well. You pay for the National Park and the canoe fee is based on water level. Over 60cm level is 300Kr/boat if it is under this level then it is 500Kr/boat. Likely this is because more boats can travel when the water level is higher. When Derek last checked online the water level was sitting at 52cm. On the day we paddled it was 71cm. So it looked like the recent rains had saved us some money. The boat choices were either a plastic canoe (tugboat) or an inflatable. Mike and Derek decided to go with the plastic canoes which ended up very difficult to steer do to the keel less bottom. After booking our boats we decided to head to a local grocer to get some food. We finally found a co-op open after numerous attempts (driving to various villages) to local something open on a Saturday. It ended up not being that cheap 400Kr for food which should cover dinner, lunch, breakfast for the four of us, (plus snacks and beer). Finally we got to our accommodation after 6pm, which luckily was still open. Very nice place in a resort complex outside of Lipno. Since it was the off season for the resort most restaurants were either closed or expensive. We decided to stay in and had a smaller dinner of sausage, pate, cheese, bread and apples. All very good. After dinner we checked out some youtube videos of others that had made a similar trek. We some beer and slovovitz we were well prepared for tomorrows paddle.