Today was another long day of travel.
We began at 8:30 and had everyone loaded in the bus and their luggage stored underneath. But did we really? Collin and Grant were nowhere to be found. No one had seen them that morning at breakfast and they were roommates so that was no help either. They didn’t pick up their room phone and didn’t respond to any texts from Dr. Norris, our last hope was Karlene Tyler going to drag them out of their beds. Fortunately, they were dressed and out the door when she got to their room, so we were finally on the road again to Cêsky Krumlov: a quaint little village with the second largest castle in Czech Republic.
We learned that this medieval town was not hit by a single bomb in World War II and had not been damaged in any way other than the natural deterioration of the building facades since their construction between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. After our tour we had about an hour to get lunch and explore the village and protective castle, we all thought that would give us plenty of time to get back to the bus for 1:30. After exploring a couple of music shops with Kyle Hopkins, we began looking for a cafe that would accept credit cards as we had run out of Czech currency. 20 minutes later I settled on a sugar bread that is cooked on a large metal spit over a heat source, paid with it with my euros and started on my way back to the bus. Only four people arrived on time and we waited about another half-hour for everyone else who had sat down to eat and received their food only ten minutes before we were due back at the bus. When we finally got on the road again not too far from 2:30, many of us were already tired from the short tour of the village and nodded off for cat naps for the remaining ride to Salzburg.
When I awoke, something wasn’t right, the bus was stopped in the middle of the highway! The indicator light for the diesel gauge malfunctioned and we were only half a mile away from the gas station. Our bus driver, Markus, informed us of the situation and ran off to the gas station to fetch a bit of diesel that would get the bus to the station. To pass the time we munched on shared snacks and drank our limited water, until a police officer entered the bus to see what was wrong. The officer very kindly drove to the gas station to drive Marcus back to the bus with the diesel, and then back again to make sure we had plenty to clear the fuel lines of air and then drive up the road to fill the tank. While we waited for the bus to be started, a group near the back of the bus began to play charades with an app on somebody`s phone. About two hours after breaking down we were on the road and pressed for time to make it to the planned dinner and performance at seven o`clock, which we were expected at by 6:30 and had to walk about 20 minutes to.
Our dinner was at the oldest continually-functioning restaurant in the world (Stiftskeller St. Peter- founded in 808) with performers dressed in Mozart- era costumes and performing his music between three courses of food prepared as in the days of the composer. The woman vocalist began flirting with Skyler when they began the music from “Don Giovanni” and continued during the next set from “The Marriage of Figaro,” even stroking his hair and offering him his drink. She simply sent a wink his way during the set from “The Magic Flute” but it was enough to make him flush and send the rest of us laughing, which was a fantastic way to end a very frustrating day.