On our last night in Cesky Krumlov, we came back from hiking around the Blansky Forest to an empty old town. Having hiked more than 20 kilometers, we were in need of some food but found most of the establishments were already closed and few people were out walking along the lamppost-lit cobblestone streets.
We checked the time – barely 8 PM. What was wrong with people? Granted, it was a Sunday, but still, this was Cesky Krumlov! How can they be sleeping?
We finally found a restaurant near the Vltava river and filled up on kulajda, goulash, and sachertorte. In high spirits, we started chatting with the waiter and asked him what the deal was, where are all the people?
He explained that since the start of October, the weather has been really gloomy. This led to a drop in the number of tourists, which, in effect prompted most establishments to close earlier. He then added that this particular weekend had been an exception – we were lucky to have a weekend with clear, blue skies and a lot of sunshine.
I turned to my boyfriend with a wide grin, gloating with my “I told you so” expression. A week ago, when we started finalizing our plans and making bookings, he was a bit wary of carrying on with the trip, noting that it was going to be cold and rainy the whole week.
“Don’t worry about it, I’m Sun Girl!” I reassured him. I then proceeded to list down all instances when the weather changed to sunny just for me. He reluctantly agreed to push through with our plans, even though he was obviously skeptical.
Travel Superpowers – Do you have one?
My parents have this uncanny ability to draw hordes of people to wherever they go. Since we were young, whenever we traveled, we’d arrive in a near-empty place and in less than five minutes, it would be teeming with tourists. We’d enter an empty restaurant where waiters would lazily stop fanning themselves or playing games on their phones so they can serve us, and then in a matter of minutes, they would all be crazy busy attending to the dozens of people that follow us in.
One of my friends would almost always get an upgrade on her accommodations. She’d reserve a mid-range room and then on check-in, there would be a mix-up and she would be given a better one at no additional cost.
Another friend claims to have parking superpowers. As soon as he enters a full parking lot, someone starts to leave, opening up a spot for him.
As for me, I bring the sun wherever I go. When I traveled in Europe for the first time, I went through six cities over three weeks and every time I checked in, I would hear the same thing: “You’re so lucky we’re having a couple of sunny days ahead. It’s been raining for days before you got here.”
It’s all in the mind
Now it’s very likely this is all just confirmation bias – I only take credit for the weather when it’s sunny and nice and attribute the rainy days to, well, weather patterns. And I have traveled through rainy and gloomy days several times. In particular, while I remember my numerous travels in Japan as perfect and magical, when I look back on my photos, the scenes are always so gloomy and overcast.
Rather than a supernatural ability to control the weather, I think my real travel superpower is a sunny state of mind. Wherever I go, whatever the weather, I’m always excited and open to experiences. My optimism may not always clear the clouds, but I’m sure in some way it lets me and my companions have a brighter and breezier time.
The Sun Girl heads out
On our last morning in Cesky Krumlov, I woke up and made my way to the window. It opens to a view of the old town and since our first night, we’ve spent many moments just staring outside, marveling at the fairytale town. But this time, I was met only with a blanket of mist.
“Cesky Krumlov has disappeared!” I said repeatedly in escalating tones of panic, until my boyfriend poked his head out of the blanket.
“Ghosts from the Divci Kamen have come to take over the town,” he muttered, before falling back to sleep.
Later that morning, we took one last walk around the old town. As I pass by tourists taking pictures of the castle against a glum gray sky, I somehow felt like apologizing for leaving the town and bringing the good weather with me.
As we drove out of our pension, the first drops of rain began to fall. We drove the next 150 kilometers slowly through wet roads zigzagging around South Bohemia’s mountains, wisps of mists colliding with our windshield. Only when we started seeing the signs to Znojmo did the roads dry up and the mist disappeared.
My boyfriend, a South Moravian through and through, proudly said, “See, even the weather is better here. South Moravia is a paradise!”
I just smiled and said, “No. They heard that I’m on my way here so the clouds cleared up.”