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07:00 pm: Czech Out: to Bratislava
After the Sheer Hell that was my birthday, it was a relief to escape to Bratislava. We will plan all future trips with a break mid-way (when my in-laws came to the U.S., they went to NYC half-way through... an excellent plan).

We paid for first class on the train; it cost 50% more, for a total of 1080 Kč for two, round-trip ($46). Although we ended up not using 1st class for the return trip, it was absolutely worth the price.

Our train from Ždár nad Sázavou (the district city) to Brno was on old train, but we had the compartment to ourselves, which was nice. We gave Teddy his Gund "computer", which he seemed to enjoy, though he quickly returned to his much-beloved ABC book.

We had cake that Miloš' mother made for breakfast, with grapes for Teddy. Peter brought a lemon drink that was very, very sour... it turned out to be a mixer that required added water -- in 8:1 proportion. PUCKER. Obviously cake involves insufficient salt for a Czech meal, so we had a kielbasa in Brno that was more like a hot dog, but with a crusty outside. Tasty.

The first-class compartment on the train from Brno to Bratislava was slick and comfy, but had no compartments. Teddy was tired, but wouldn’t sleep. Instead, he nursed a lot, to the intense curiosity of the man sitting across from us. I don't think Czechs are used to seeing women nursing in public... not that that stopped me. Teddy finally fell asleep about 15 minutes from Bratislava, dammit.

Our hotel was pretty nice –- clean & comfy, with free web access in the lobby (when you could get to it). One odd thing about Eastern European hotels: the pay channels on the TV are intermingled with the free channels (leading to quick channel surfing!). Maybe my accidental encounter with porn is what inspired Teddy to nurse so much. Or maybe it was the men’s synchronized diving. Or maybe he was tired out from sorting through the bathroom trashcan, playing with the toilet brush (both our hotels had toilet brushes in the bathrooms), and endlessly flipping the light switches on and off (thank you Ibis hotels for putting those within a toddler's reach).

We had a lovely walk in Staré Mĕsto with Paul. There's lots of construction going on, with half of our walk either over ramps or cobblestones. Kinda like a pedestrian-level Big Dig -- with total disregard for pedestrians. Fortunately, Teddy loves cobblestones. He laughed his wee butt off as his brains jiggled all around.

It was so sunny and warm that we ate al fresco (where I got spinach-stuffed chicken -- veggies at last!). There were lots of smokers and lots of dogs, including a pug that ran under our dinner table. Teddy was highly amused.

Peter and Paul went out later, where Peter had his first-ever absinthe (and 3 Slovakian beers). Peter is usually very quiet; I've always joked that it takes 6 beers to get him to talk... apparently it's actually either 6 beers or 1 absinthe and 3 beers. I don't remember quite what we talked about, but it was one of those rare occasions where Peter did more talking than I did.

Current Location: Bratislava
Current Mood: happyhappy
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