Today was a free day and we did not have our usual 6:30 am wake up call, giving us the license to sleep in. So what time did I wake up? 4:00 am. Hah!
When we arrived in Prague, I went to an ATM, and tried to choose the lowest amount possible since we will only be in this country for 3 days. The smallest was 5000 Czech koruna, but when I saw the conversion to dollars, discovered it would equal $217! I tried to cancel or go back, thinking I would just try to use my credit card instead of getting cash, but there was only one option, Accept!
So my mission today was to go shopping, so I did! I bought a beautiful art glass piece for which this area is famous, plus some T-shirts. Fortunately the weather has shifted—in fact I got caught in the rain—but it has definitely cooled down.
I also ate a nice lunch at a local Czech restaurant. We have had such heavy food lately so I was glad to eat this delicious salmon in a dill sauce, but also indulged in apple strudel for dessert.
At 3 pm, we boarded the bus and drove to Chateau Sychrov, some 50 miles away from Prague. It took us about an hour and 15 minutes to get to this 200 room estate which was built from 1690-93.
Under the ownership of the Rohan family, it flourished, but it was seized by the government in 1945 because the Rohans cooperated with the Nazis. 40 of the rooms have been restored and are open to the public.
What was remarkable about the rooms we visited was the intricate woodwork in every single room, all done by Petr Bušek and his staff of 50 who worked in the castle for 38 years.
We next heard an excellent violin and piano concert in a program of mostly Czech music by Antonin Dvorak and Bedford Smetana, after opening with Vivaldi’s “Spring.” This was a program presented just for our group, which tonight numbered 15. Dinner followed before returning to the hotel.