Monday, November 17, 2008

cesky krumlov (or 'i'm stumped for things to write about')

How many great blog topics can I forget in a day? A lot, if today was anything to go by. And now that the moment(s) have passed I am realising they were hardly worth writing about anyway. Consider yourself lucky you have been spared!

Inspired by Deanna, I have decided to reminisce on our recent European travels. This is a totally random dip into Cesky Krumlov, a gorgeous medieval town in the south of the Czech Republic. (Thanks to my Czech friend for suggesting we visit this gem)

Fresh from five nights in Prague we travelled south on a rather crowded, rusting hulk of a train, with a young boy opposite keeping us entertained with his antics and a kindly old man next to us pointing out a few local attractions in rather limited, broken German.

Our initial destination was Cesky Budejovice, from where we planned to catch a bus to Cesky Krumlov. As we stepped from the train dark rain clouds were threatening, and after wandering the quaint but deserted streets of old Cesky Budejovice (it was a Sunday) in search of our accommodation we almost tiredly decided to skip Cesky Krumlov altogether. Thankfully our hostess was less than impressed to see us so early in the afternoon. She kindly allowed us to dump our heavy pack before sending us post haste to the bus station and Cesky Krumlov. As it turns out, the bus station was not so easy to find and with the clock ticking ever closer to the next bus' departure time we started desperately approaching people on the street to ask directions. After drawing a few blank looks (don't tell me they've really never heard English or German before?) a kindly old lady who didn't look like an angel but certainly acted like one, walked us to the top floor of the shopping centre and directed us to the correct gate, chattering all the while in perfectly accented English.

Gasping for breath we fell into the bus seats just as it pulled out of the station and sat back and enjoyed the green, gentle countryside that is South Bohemia. Of course Cecily, who knows better than the guide book, led us to stay on the bus one stop too long (which ended up being a good thing as we would never have found the bus station on our return), so our walk into the town was rather prosaic and drab. In the end it didn't really matter which way we entered the town - it's situation, nestled down into an S bend of the Vltava River and overlooked by an enormous castle atop a ridge was not something we could miss from any direction.

The place literally oozed charm, whether it was the Castle Gardens,

narrow winding streets that seemed to always end up taking us to one church

or another (OK, so they're the same church, but very different streets! And their were several churches scattered around the place),

views of the township from high on the castle walls,

or the way we kept stumbling upon incredible vantage points

we were more than glad we made the effort to visit.

(And this one is just because I love what you can do with a photo on the computer!)

We loved Cesky Krumlov and we also loved our accommodation in Cesky Budejovice. We did not however love the food we ate there... it was quite possibly the worst meal I have ever eaten in my life, but that's a whole 'nother post! For now I'm just remembering how beautiful this place is and feeling rather pleased and thankful we were able to visit!

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At 8:53 am, November 18, 2008, Anonymous Deevar said...

Great photos. I'll read the commentary later!

At 9:30 am, November 18, 2008, Blogger Cherie said...

Oh, Cecily, your photos are outstanding!!

At 8:58 am, November 21, 2008, Blogger deanna said...

Wonderful! Somehow I totally missed this post until just now. (I was going back to your slug post and found this.) I'm happy you could appreciate things non-linearly that day; sorry about the food.


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