Prague to Cesky Krumlov
Accommodation: Krumlov House - Quiet, but OK.
It was with a heavy heart and an even heavier backpack that I left Prague this morning. I'd love to take the entire hostel with me for the rest of my trip, if only I could. Beer Tasting Night didn't turn out too well, due to a couple of young drunk guys with very short attention spans. I still managed to drink more than I meant to, and it was sad to say goodbye to Helena when I finally managed to drag myself away from the bar at midnight.
This morning I caught the tram to the bus station, half an hour from where I was staying. Once again I had to ask someone for help to know when to get off the tram, and once again I was kindly helped by a nice young Czech guy. I have found Czech men, my age and younger, to be really kind and helpful. Not so much the older ones, probably because of the language barrier, and the women have been extremely reserved. Twice, women serving me didn't even bother to stop texting or look at me when they took my money. But it's all good, and I am really impressed with the Czech Republic.
The scenery on my bus ride south was interesting. I imagine not a lot has changed in centuries, as it's just acres of fields of barley and other crops, separated by the occasional belt of trees, small lake, or forest. Because it's spring, everything is bright green and the three hour trip went quickly, just watching the scenery roll by.
After hopping off the bus in Cesky Krumlov, I had a very short walk up a hill and was greeted by this view.
Then it was just a very short walk to my hostel where I checked in, and then headed out to explore the town. It's gorgeous! I went to a place for lunch that my hostel recommended and ordered the Bohemian Feast (I went with chicken, rather than rabbit or pheasant). Getting totally carried away, I ordered a hot bohemian summer mead to wash it down with. The meal was fabulous, the mead not so much. I'm not sure what everything on the plate was, but there was definitely smoked chicken, ham, millet, potato salad, among other things. Lunch was served on a sewing machine table with a rickety old stool, in a hidden little courtyard over looking the river.
After that experience, I headed over the bridge and up to the castle. Two bears live in the moat surrounding the castle and they looked in a much happier state than the other ones I saw dead, skinned, and splayed on the castle floors. The castle is huge, and I walked all the way up the back until I reached the gardens which were absolutely stunning. I kept going and came across the lake, very square with an island in the middle and covered in lily pads. I imagined how beautiful it must have been when they were rowing about on it in the 17th century, and later I saw a picture of it as an iceskating rink. In the garden is a fully revolving theatre. It was out of bounds today as the theatre company were rehearsing, but as luck would have it I happened to be watching when they turned it around. It works like a lazy Susan.
The revolving theatre...
After checking out the gardens and the courtyards, I joined a tour inside the castle as I was keen to find out more about the history and who had lived there. It was really interesting seeing all the art and furniture, and hearing about how the beds have roofs on them to stop the bugs from the wooden ceilings falling on the women in their beds. Now I'm sitting on my roofless bed in my 16th century hostel looking at the wooden ceiling, thinking about the bugs.
Krumlov Castle in the background