(Photo by Deborah Bruce)
“Of all the places we’ve visited so far, this feels the most foreign.” Thus said my sister, as we sat in the cold outside the train station of Kaplice, Czech Republic. We had gotten off the train just moments before, expecting to find ourselves in a quaint little Czech town, probably with a bakery, and with the possibility of hiking to see some ancient castle ruins. What we found amid the stiff wind and rain was a sign pointing to the south, reading “Kaplice—6 km.” Even when we tried to get there on foot, we were stymied because the road was only made for motor traffic.
We weren’t lost, but we were alone, in a country with a strange language and strange currency, and this was enough to get our spirits down. But happily, that was not our last impression of the Czech Republic. The next train towards Czeske Budejovice finally arrived, and we went there to find a beautiful, good-sized city, with ATM machines and places to eat. We had a wonderful time there, and it made me think of the premature conclusions I sometimes make about people when I first meet them. They may not seem very pleasant at first, but upon getting to know them, I find their true character is much more delightful than it first seemed.