STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a quilter, stitcher, traveler, photographer, gardener and lover of books, cats and fine chocolate....

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Day Trip to Český Krumlov

I have never been one for totally pre-planning a trip. I like to "go with the flow", depending on weather, mood of the day, etc. So I was hesitant to pre-book too much for this trip, other than my Photography Tour... and I am SO glad I did it that way. I did do lots of reading and research beforehand, so I had  a very good idea of what I wanted to do and see. I had several day trips I wanted to do for sure, and several others on a "possibilities list"...
Overlooking Český Krumlov



Unfortunately the heat played a major role and we did not do one day trip we had both really wanted to do. We had to cancel our visit to Terezin Concentration Camp as the heat was just too intense. We knew the bus connections would not be good and we would have to wait for several hours for a bus back. Being a small town with not much else there, we knew finding water and shelter from the heat would be an issue and after our extremely hot and exhausting trip on Saturday, we gave up the Terezin trip which was planned for Sunday. (My Mum always said you should never do everything there is to do in a new place because then you have no reason to return... maybe that's good advice.) So we'll leave Terezin for our next Prague visit....
Plague Column in Town Square






I did go to Český Krumlov on Friday and then Laura and I both went to Kutná Hora and Sedlec on Saturday. Český Krumlov (Chess-kee Kroom-lov) is a charming little Czech town in the southern Bohemian region, about 3+ hours from Prague by bus. The "milk run" bus ride gave me the opportunity to see a little of the countryside; it was what I expected- gently rolling hills, and farmland - fields of corn and wheat mostly. I thought a few of the fields might be tobacco but not sure on that. I was curious to see if I might spy some different wildflowers along the roadside but all I saw were very familiar - goldenrod, Queen Anne's Lace, daisies, chicory, buttercups... just exactly what we would be seeing here at this time of year. (I was a little disappointed - I was hoping to see something different!) I also took note of backyards and gardens as we passed through small towns and villages.
More of Town Square
I deduced that gardening is not a "big thing" in the Czech Republic. I did see a few that were nicely tended, but many looked neglected and overgrown. Rose bushes seemed to be the most common choice, although I did see a few marigolds, petunias and the odd hosta. Window boxes seem to be the "garden of choice" with geraniums the usual planting.
The Vltava River surrounds the town.
Dating from the Middle Ages, Český Krumlov is described as "an outstanding example of a small central European medieval town". It was built around a 13th century castle with Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque elements, and like Prague is situated on the banks of the Vltava River. Český Krumlov roughly means "Czech bend in the river" and the river actually surrounds the town with an almost circular path, providing a wonderful opportunity to jump into a canoe or raft to go for a 30 minute "float around town"...
(I resisted this cooling temptation as I worried about getting my camera wet.) Instead I just enjoyed strolling the narrow, winding cobblestone streets. Had there not been any tourists visible, you could almost imagine that you were back in the 15th or 16th century. The streets almost had a fairy-tale like quality. The Adventures of Pinocchio was filmed here in 1995, and I could just imagine him trotting down any one of  these streets... Any of the shops could have belonged to Gepetto.... Charming is the word that keeps coming to mind.... Old Český Krumlov is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


I did not tour the castle as English tours were infrequent and I did not want to miss the last bus back to Prague - I was keeping a close watch on the time. The Round Tower marks the location of the first castle. It's 16th-century paint job has been colorfully restored and it looks exotic with its fancy astrological decor and symbols of the zodiac. Church steeples and towers seem to make excellent reference points and you can always get your bearings by

just looking around to find a tower or steeple. There are two bridges in town and they too were good reference points. You really can't get lost... I find when I travel I become more acutely aware of my surroundings.. I notice things I would not normally "see" at home...I take note of things along the way so I can find my way back... I guess that must be a survival strategy of sorts? Like an animal in a new territory and he's being extra careful and vigilant..
Anyway, it was a great day. At this point the heat was starting to really "get to me"... This was the beginning of the last weekend  - the "heat wave" with temps of 38C and 40C - just too darn hot!! At the end of a long, hot, tiring day, one tends to flake out on one's bed in as few clothes as possible  and just try to soak in the cooler air... No Friday night "Night Life" in the big city for this chickie....
Tomorrow would be higher temps and another Day Trip... I had to cool my footies...




Next- our visit to Kutná Hora and the creepy Bone Church...


Peace,
Linda

"Not all those who wander are lost." ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

3 comments:

Dolores said...

Great photos. I too just like to wing it when I'm someplace new.

Lorette Cole said...

Thanks for the beautiful photos of a lovely little town from where we started our bike tour in May. I hope they too survived the floods of June! You can see my photos of the castle on my FlickR page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lec-pics/sets/72157633945065704/

Gwen Buchanan said...

Linda, I am still thrilled by the picturesque architecture.

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