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July 27, 2002

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This morning we visited another quaint town, Ceske Krumlov, built as if it had tourists in mind. This town continues our impression that the entire country has received a new paint job, and that may not be far from the truth. We can see the evidence of a lot of reconstruction and renovation since Communism made its exit 13 years ago. The Czech Republic feels more like Western Europe than old Communist Bloc. Prices are higher too, even though the average wage here is about 6000 Koruna per month ($200 US). We learned that figure by sharing a train cabin with a young Czech teacher who was convinced we must be rich since we're from America. Just because all of the Czech towns are looking the same to our eyes, we decide to take an overnight train to Krakow, Poland. If the scenery doesn't change, at least the money, language, and national flag will be different.
Lonely Planet claims Ceske Krumlov is one of the most picturesque towns in Europe, although no one named a beer after it.
The Gothic border castle at Krumlov is second only to Prague as a fortified palace.
Bored security: a bear guards the entrance to the old castle.