Back in time

Trip Start Oct 18, 2006
Trip End Nov 13, 2006

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Flag of Czech Republic  ,
Thursday, October 26, 2006

So where were we, beer that's right. The Czechs drink more of it per head than anyone else. The have it morning, noon and night. They say it has more minerals than water. It's their excuse anyway. I can report it does't give you much of a hangover so I guess they put a lot less chemicals in it than normal. I'm about to do a brewery tour so I'll let you know.

Back to Prague which I still haven't covered yet. We met our Intrepid tour group at the appointed time. They were all except one STA Travel staff getting a freebe or partners of, getting half price. We met our tour leader, Katz, a soft spoken Aussie who said se used to be a banker in London but got sick of it. She is now doing her dream job. This is her last tour of the season.
We had dinner at a trational Czech place which actually had some vege options and got to know each other a bit over plenty of beers and wine.

Next day we had a walking tour with a proud local, George, who had an exceptional knowledge of history. We started at the Astronomical clock which is the most complex in the world. Nobody can even read it properly he said. At 9am it did it merry dance with the windows at the top opening and various old religious figures cast in stone a bit like a stange cuckoo clock poped out peerign down at us bleary eyed tourists. I'm sure they were disapointed with what the saw and promptly went back to bed.

George stayed with us all morning and didn't stop talking about history until about midday. I loved his humour and love of his homeland. There is much to be proud of here. They lived is relative peace of hundreds of years until the horrible Hazsburgs came in and executing all the peace, and the town leaders, then demolished much of the city in the the 1500's. Most the the architecture is Renaisance or Baroque, but luckily the old Gothic churches remain untouched, as they loom over the city spiking toward the heavens.
The last hald of the day was ours to wander about at will. The Intrepid tours and 1/2 and 1/2 free and organised time. me and Clare had a lovely walk along the riverbank in the setting sun.

7.10am start yesterday to catch the metro and public bus. This was were the paradise of the surrounding landscape revealed itself in all it's firey Autumn colours. If anythng the tree's have it as the stars of this trip. They paint the city and country with dazzling effects. I lived in the middle of a forest on the Dutch/German border through high Summer, then Autumn then Winter and remember Autumn clearly as my favourite, but this is far more impressive. It's the variety of colour that does it. Mostly Silver Birch, Black Poplar, some Oak against a tall green background of Spruce just to add depth to the canvas (I've been reading up on botany lately). During the bike ride yesderday we were up 1000 meters above sea level and as far as the eye could see over the rolling hills was this sea of colours.

Chesky Krumlov, I'm not sure how to describe it. You wouldn't need to ad props to shoot a peroid film here. There's no need to mask any modern steet signs as there arn't any. What was the movie where the character went inside the painting. Gullivers travels? It's just like that. The walls are are artwork as the frescoes are on everysurface. The entire town is a work of art, literally. It is more so now than 20 years ago, as they resore the old building layers of fresh artwork is revealed underneath. The main Catherdal town was a muddy brown in te 90's but now pink. The town is fairly tiny, but has an absolutley massive Castle complex. One of the biggest anywhere. It makes up more than half the town which is split on two sides of a meanderign river. Teh castle looms way overhead domiating everything.

We arrived and were shown to out rooms which are in keeping with everything being as they were. It's like going to an old homestead which has been made into a museum showing you what people used to sleep like. The beds are small and my feet have been hanging wildly over the side. Thankfully they aren't the original mattresses! They are keeping with the European style of having two single mattresses rather than one double. I'm having to get used to bending down to get through doors. This morning I didn't remember and got a painfull wakeup. There are also obstinate heavy beams all around the room hanging low which I heard a thump from this morning as Clare also got the treatment.
We love the room though!

Last night we had a town tour with a local ecentric Clare likened to Bjork. I'd have to agree, as he was wild but cool in her own distinct way. She was a pulse of sharp energy all the time as facts of past and present fired out of her from all directions as we passed building of note. There were also ghost stories a plenty as the night dragged on and we entered the Castle complex. The lady in white, and old Queen from ages past didn't appear to any of us, but they may be a good thing as the last nime she appear to a group was 1938 and many said it was to fortell the doom of the 2nd world war.

We ate last night at a reserant build into the old town walls from the 1500's We choose the veterian meal for two, but dspite being both half starved we hadly made a dent in it. The plate was gianormous. Hot mead for starters then Buckweat and millet fritters, potaotos, raw salad, then mulled wine. On the menu was Medievil Buckweat Gruel. It was desert! I decided against it.

Which brings us up to date. Today looks like another stunner, and the brewiery toure starts in 15 mintues.
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