Monday, October 29, 2007

Cesky Krumlov

Breakfast was served in a little coach house across the courtyard from our room. They had a fire going in the old stove making it cozy. On three of the tables, there were platters of ham, cheeses, and salami. On the counter, three types of cereal, coffee, hot water for tea, juice, and three types of rolls. Definitely not Austrian type rolls, but plain unadorned rolls that could easily have been overlooked.

We walked down to the brewery to find the
hours of the tours. The one and only would be in an hour, so we walked to the castle and decided to forgo the tour. As you cross over the moat to the castle, there were people gawking at something. It was the castle bear, though the signs asking not to feed the bears implied there were others not visible. The bear was having a grand time playing in the water, obviously enjoying the show he or she was providing for the tourists. Then s(he) climbed out for a good back scratch on the tree putting an orgasmic look on his or her face.
We toured all around the castle and the grounds, but did not take the tour. If you are interested in the castle's specs, here you are. The gardens were lovely, but void of flowers due to the change of seasons is my guess. The shrubbery is expertly maintained. The various views from the hike up and around are breathtaking.

How does one change this clock for daylight savings time, I wonder?
I must say that as lovely and picture perfect as this village is, I don't understand how people manage or managed to walk on these cobblestone streets. I wore my most comfortable shoes, my Crocs, and my feet were killing me. Some of the young women residents, they had to be residents, were running around in high heels. On these stones, it is like being a stilt walker maintaining your balance. The stones are not flat, but full of surprise bumps, hills, valleys, and stumbling blocks along the way. In winter time or even in the rain, it must be treacherous.

For as many restaurants and hotels as there are, what is painfully absent are bakeries. We found a couple of cafes that had meager offerings and went to one by the river for an apple strudel and coffee, but compared to Austria, this is where they are deficient. This was the only moment, I wished I could transport back to Linz, but hurry back with pastry in hand.

We were favored with the weather, having clear skies and sunny days. We spent the whole day walking around and around, and around again. We covered the same streets, alleys, and coves multiple times in our day and a half. We found a lovely park and sat watching the teens sneaking their cigarettes and booze, like the world over, teens are the same. The street surface was making the village painfully beautiful and I was ready to return to the room to read. After finishing "The Memory Keeper's Daughter" by Kim Edwards, I started the other book I took along "The Last Testament" by Sam Bourne.

The Czech Republic is still using their old currency the Koruna and not the Euro. We were running short on Koruna and did not want to exchange more Euros than needed, so we strategically planned where we would dine, the cost and exchanged that amount. We chose a restaurant associated with a youth hostel based on the menu. When we returned later this evening, a fire was blazing in the fireplace and the one room held three tables similar to our last night's dining experience. The room was a converted stable with horse artifacts, collars, and such decorating the walls. The food was excellent and the place was definitely atmospheric.

For a last hurrah, we went to the somewhat tacky Horror Bar for a drink. As can be expected, the downstairs bar was decorated like a permanent Halloween exhibit with skeletons, cobwebs, mummies, and bats complementing the decor. We were amongst the oldest patrons with a few young Goth enthusiasts rounding out the crowd. There was one older woman also who was either the owner or some weird groupie, not sure which, but she acted like a regular.

Tomorrow, back to Linz and then home again, home again, lickety split or not so.

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