The inaugral international wok surfing exhibition

Trip Start Nov 15, 2005
Trip End Aug 15, 2008

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Flag of Czech Republic  ,
Saturday, January 21, 2006

A much loved stop on the backpacker trail, Cesky Krumlov has to be one of the most picturesque little towns I have ever come across. A tiny place, it is possible to walk across the town in ten minutes, but what a beautiful ten minutes! Mostly situated in an abrupt loop in the Vltava river (at last, a river that isn't the Danube!), the town is mostly 18th century buildings and winding cobblestone streets overlooked by a slightly overly-ornate castle. There was apparently some bad flooding a few years back, so many of the old pubs on the waterfront have been long since abandoned, yet somehow still manage to look attractive in a ramshackle way. Thankfully, there are plenty of bars still left untouched in town, so all was not lost!

Despite the town being so small, I was still able to spend three days here and not feel at a loss for anything to do. A day was spent exploring all the back alleys of the town, and hiking up to a monastery on the outskirts of town for some ceautiful views; another day was spent hiking up a mountain just to the north of town, although my enjoyment of this was perhaps marred slightly by the fact that I couldn't see a damn thing from the top. A grey and snowy day maybe wasn't the best choice for hiking! Even that wasn't so bad, as at least I got a bit of exercise, and getting to the top was worth it if only look on the faces of people still ascending as I ran down the mountain! My experience in the High Tatras has obviously given me a different perspective on mountain safety when a proper path actually exists.

The only time I felt was wasted was visiting the Egon Schiele art centre. After enjoying some of Schiele's work the Leopolds gallery in Vienna, and learning that he had spent some time living and working in Cesky Krumlov, and that many of his paintings were inspired by the town, I was quite expecting something special from the Schiele centre. I was disappointed. What the gallery actually consisted of was a lot of the modern art that I really don't like - seemingly random splashes of colour with very little appeal - and one room dedicated to Schiele. Even here, they had absolutely none of his paintings, and very few of his sketches. For this, I was charged significantly more than I would have expected given typical gallery entry prices over here. I wasn't too happy with it all, to say the least. I gave the curators a serious scowling on my way out! That showed them. Possibly.

Finally, on my last morning in snow covered Cesky Krumlov, the inaugral international wok sledging exhibition was held! By which I mean, Daniel, an Israeli, and I "borrowed" a wok from the hostel kitchen, greased it up and went sledging down some rediculously steep hills on it. It's amazing how versatile woks can be! I'll try to get the video up soon :)
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