October 23rd, 2007

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Today I wandered around the old city center, wandering in and out of shops and cafés, got a sausage on a bun from one of the vendors in the market, and walked up and down the winding narrow streets. It was so cold here today and I even saw that my cheeks had goosebumps at one point. It was grey and drizzling, and I wrapped my head up in my scarf like an old lady to keep warm. 

I found some treasure in an antique shop, a little pair of antlers on a dark wooden plaque, just like they hang on the walls in all the beer halls. The shop keeper and his wife were very nice and explained that it was the horns from a little Austrian deer, and that it was over one hundred years old. I admit this probably wouldn't be treasure to most people, but it struck me as particularly wonderful, so I bought it. I stayed and talked to them for a little bit, and upon learning that I was from Chicago they asked how it was that I didn't have an American accent (??). I just laughed and said "it's probably better that way". Maybe they were thinking of a Southern accent, or Texan like George Bush.

I also purchased some children's books at a bookstore, as that is the reading level that I am at. Actually, these books are more for 7 or 8 year olds becase I still need to look up every fourth word. They have really cool illustrations to keep me engaged in the story, and are cute little hardbound things. The one is called "Der Kleine König Dezember", and the other is "Gregor oder Wohin die Träume tragen".

Had dinner at the Hackerhaus. That's right! I had dinner where Hacker-Pschor lives! It was awesome. Much bigger and more populated than last night's beer hall, but the food was just as good, and the beer too, of course. Had beef in a dark beer sauce and potatoes fried up with bits of bacon. All the waitresses wore long colorful dresses just like you see in the pictures, and had cool leather belts to hang their change purses on.

Arriving back at the hostel I noticed the newspaper. Of course, it is all in German, but I am good enough with the language to read that there is a train strike scheduled for the day that I am supposed to leave for Prague! UUuuuug. So tomorrow I will have to head over to the train station to figure out what I will do. Hopefully everything will turn out alright. Ok, now I will have a tall beer and go to bed. Tomorrow I intend to visit that famous castle that's in all the photographs (the name escapes me, but you know the one I mean. It's the one that Disney based their fairytale castle off of).
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