Yesterday we went out and explored the land surrounding Turnov, which is called the Bohemian Paradise, a beautiful, protected part of the Czech countryside. It used to be covered by water a really long time ago, so it has many amazing rock formations, which we looked at in the previous days. We went on a long hike through the forest, and saw even more shaped boulders. One had some lines carved into it, and a sign said that it was caused by inappropriately placed climbing ropes. But then we gave up on the hike when the path went along a railroad, and then just ended. So we walked back and then drove to a really cool castle called Trosky Castle. The castle was built on top of two tall columns of basalt in the 14th century. We had dinner at a restaurant that had a great view of it. There was a trampoline at the restaurant that Willem and I jumped on before the food came. There were these kite surfing things that had fans on the back that came and circled around the castle a few times. A glider also came. When we were coming back home, we stopped at a grocery store. When my dad was leaving the parking lot, he bumped into another car with our rental car, which got some scratches, along with the bumper of the other car. So then, we just drove away.
Yesterday, we went on a four hour biking tour around Krakow. We went through the Jewish Quarters, the Christian Quarters, and Old town. We saw Schindler’s factory and the guide told us about his life, and we also biked across the love bridge, where people lock padlocks on the fence and throw the key into the river. This is supposed to maintain their love, as long as the padlocks are locked.
There was an annoying man in the tour with us, who wore an orange shirt, and had big, long black socks. The first annoying thing he did was interrupt the guide, quite badly, to ask a question the guide was about to answer. The man kept int interrupting to add facts to what the guide was saying, say his opinion about stuff, and so on. He also knocked over an ash tray at the restaurant we stopped at then said, “It’s OK, I’m loud.”, he let his bike fall over in the middle of the guides talking, had to be asked to take his hat off in a church by the priest, and swerved in front of me on his bike.
We recently went to Poprad, Slovakia, where there is a really nice water park called Aqua City, that had a hotel that we stayed at for one night. It is rated one of the worlds greenest water parks, because all of the water is naturally heated. There is six slides, and six pools. Two of the slides are really fun, especially at night. At night, there isn’t any life guards, so you can go two at a time, and one is pitch black, and in the middle there’s a ton of really cool lights inside. The other goes super fast and there’s tons of drops and sharp turns, but it’s over in about ten seconds. They had a laser show in one of the indoor pools. The lasers made water that fell from the ceiling look colorful, and they had different clips from movies. Willem and I did all of the things at the water park in the short time we were there, and had a lot of fun.
Today, August 20, is the Hungarian national holiday, St. Stephen’s day. Today is the celebration of two things: The King of Hungary, Stephen, was removed from his original grave on August 20, 1038, and was declared a saint on the same day. When he was removed, people discovered that his had was in perfect condition. To this day, on August 20, a procession follows the hand in celebration on the streets of Budapest.
Today, we walked down the river that flows through Budapest and watched the Air show, where a bunch of different planes and helicopters flew up and down the river. There were two different planes that did tricks that were totally amazing. They would fly straight up and let their engines stall so they would free fall all of the way to the river, then curve way back up again and do a bunch of flips. Later tonight, we plan on seeing the fireworks they have all along the river. From what I hear, it’s going to be amazing!!!
I actually found this picture of Willem of I on Google Images while looking at pictures of todays celebrations. My dad posted it just this morning!
While here in Budapest, we decided to go to the zoo!
There we saw:
Penguins, polar bears, camels, alligators, crocodiles, snakes, lizards, tigers, hyenas, monkeys, sloths (which we got to pet), bats, and tons of colorful birds of all size. There were exhibits of all of the continents, minus Antarctica, that had many different animals from those places. This zoo had SO many animals; we only listed a small number, and we only saw part of the zoo. One thing that wasn’t so great was that the animals habitats were far less natural looking than Woodland Park Zoo, and other zoos that we’ve been to.