A couple of weeks ago, I ventured with a group of church friends to a pretty town to the south of Prague: České Budějovice. Here is my terrible pronunciation guide: Chesskeh Bood-yeh-o-vee-tseh. The vowel in ‘bood’ is like the one in ‘book’. The yeh-o is more like ye-yo but the second ‘y’ is barely there – more like a little shift of the tongue than two distinct syllables. End of Czech lesson number one! You still speak no Czech, like me!
The town felt distinctly different from Prague—slower, somehow a little Italian, and built around a large square with a huge fountain in the centre. At one point a number of cars drove around the square, honking their horns. This is standard wedding procedure apparently. We even saw a wedding Hummer.
The castle, Zámek Hluboká, outside town, was absolutely gorgeous—vintage gardens and lawns, and a beautifully maintained interior. It was quite odd to hear loud Australian voices in that context, but I met a lovely family from Sydney. Their son had become engaged to a Czech woman in Australia, and they’d come to České Budějovice for the wedding—a very extravagant affair. The groom had agreed to live in the Czech republic for nine months, with the warning that the bride wanted to raise her children in the Czech republic. International pairings are complicated, I guess!
I couldn’t take pics inside the castle, but here’s what I saw: