Day 5 for me, day 13 for PB.

Graz, Austria to Plzen, Czech Republic.

I wake up to this view from the apartment window…

The place we’re staying in Graz was once again great. Between the four of us we have a big sofa, one double mattress and a sofa bed so we slept pretty well.

As soon as I woke up I remembered my purse with all my cards in was non-existent so I went down to the van and luckily found it straight away. It didn’t really matter but I was relieved to not have to buy a new drivers license and cancel all my cards.

Today’s breakfast was definitely the best yet. Robert and Caitlin made us scrambled tofu, and the coffee was great.

We have about 6 hours of driving today, but no show at the end of it. It’s the first day off for PB in 13 days without a show. We’re driving to Plzen in the Czech Republic to watch Laura Stevenson and her band play. It breaks the drive up to Berlin and we have a cheap hotel booked.

The drive once again is pretty spectacular. I made a 90 song playlist out of everything I have on my phone, mostly Julien Baker and Camp Cope. The van time felt long today as I was upfront the whole time just singing a long to whatever came on shuffle, hopefully not annoying Huss too much.

We arrive in Plzen at about 7pm and it just looks like one big giant industrial estate. We arrive at the Morisson Hotel which is all locked up with a sign on the door asking to check in at another hotel a few minutes walk away. Isn’t Hostel 2 the movie set in the Czech Republic? I’m not sure, but I hope we don’t die here, it’s pretty creepy. Huss goes to grab the key and doesn’t return for a while. We were only the tiniest bit worried before he came back, promise. The hotel rooms were slightly strange, but they were rooms and clean so all good.

Next on the agenda after checking in is vegan food. None of us speak Czech. We wander around for a bit and pass a Mexican place. This seems like the only thing open in the whole town and surely Vegan Mexican is easy? Maybe not. No one in here speaks English. We manage to get 3 beers ordered (Kate stayed back at the hotel) but looking at the menu there was meat on everything. The waitress came over and we didn’t have a clue. She didn’t speak English but the guy on the table next to us did and managed to point out the vegetarian section on the menu and order us one veggie and 2 vegan burritos. We bought him a beer in return and he seemed pretty happy.

Food arrived and it was incredible. Czech do Mexican just great. The bill comes to something like 600 Koruna which is £19. For 3 main meals and 7 beers that’s pretty cheap right? Next problem… We have no Koruna and the restaurant doesn’t take card. Jay uses the wifi to translate “cash machine” and then the chef pops up (the very gigantic quite scary looking chef) and offers to drive Jay to a cash point. In our minds this is how bad stuff happens, but the staff are all lovely so Jay hops In his Land Rover and returns with 1000 Koruna. If you’ve ever met Huss he’s quite a small guy. He attempted to tip the giant Chef who drove Jay to get cash. He refused and ended up just awkwardly holding his hand saying “no no no!” Looking across the room at this it made for a pretty comical sight.

We head to the venue and Laura Stevenson and her band are setting up. They’re from Upstate New York and we’ll be playing a few shows with them. The venue its self is great. A big hall with a high ceiling, but there’s no one here really. Jay gets a round in which costs £3.50 for 2 pints and a gin and tonic. Crazy cheap.

The band play and there’s about 10–15 people plus us. The sound was great, and after the set the small crowd cheer for more songs so they do an encore and Kate randomly appears after having some downtime at the hotel. After the show we keep drinking, have some interesting chat and hang backstage with Laura and her band. When we finally get turfed out we sit outside talking and soon realise we’re staying in the same hotel. Is that the only one in Plzen? It would not surprise me.

We hop in their van and head back to the hotel. Huss and Jay head out for another drink. By this time I’m pretty drunk and can’t do much more so Kate and me head back to our room. We were singing “first of the gang to die” by Morrissey and I attempt to put it on Spotify but in my drunken state end up playing the cover version by a Mexican tribute called Mexissey, very appropriate (definitely check that out!). After finding the right Morrissey we crash out with him on in the background and have some quite lengthy conversation and put the world to rights before passing out.

I don’t think Hostel 2 is going to happen and I’m pretty sure we’ll live to see tomorrow. I’ll let you know.

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