Just over a week into our roadtrip and we’re due for some rest, some interwebs and an update.
After our truck stop sleep somewhere in Czech, we headed for Prague where we spent the rest of that day and the next morning. Prague was gorgeous, with opulent palaces and castles I wasn’t actually expecting, and was even cheaper than Poland so we were pleasantly surprised on all fronts. We even took in a symphony in the Spanish synagogue – “the most beautiful synagogue in Europe” – and accidentally caught some impromptu fireworks over Charles’ Bridge after a confusing but slightly emotional interaction with a Slovak homeless man who had lost everything after being robbed by gypsies but was heading to the Canadian embassy the next day and flying off to where he was a millionaire in Windsor, Ontario. So that was…interesting.
The next afternoon we headed towards the Veneto (sleeping in another truck stop somewhere outside of Villach, Austria), and saw some of charlie’s family before heading to the secret music festival he was taking me to which was to be held in Castello Scaligero in Villafranca di Verona.
[Fun fact: there are about three Castello Scaligeros within kilometers of each other. We found this out the hard way after hanging around one in Valeggio only to find out that we’re in the wrong town. Sigh.] The secret music concert ended up being the Perfect Day Festival with the Killers headlining the Friday and Franz Ferdinand (the only band I listened to last summer) headlining on the Saturday. Amazing. And basically a blissful slew of 2004 nostalgia on a mudsoaked grass field inside a castle.
Verona the next night for the Aida opera in the arena with the lovely Jade, who I had met earlier in Florence, and then off to see more of Charlie’s family in the Treviso area. We were originally going to blast through Slovenia on the way to slightly sunnier Hrvatska, but the fantastic couple we met camping on Lake Garda insisted we must see Bled, so we should be there later today after taking in some of the gorgeous scenery and sights around Bovec, where we slept at an Aire.
So…a symphony, a concert and an opera within the first five countries and a week and a half ain’t bad, especially when punctuated with such good people. I’m hoping for slightly better weather as we head south but I think we’re off to a good start.