Eurotrip – Cesky Krumlov, 6 October 2013

Cesky Krumlov is a UNESCO heritage town a short bus ride from Ceske Budejovice. It’s a postcard town, where every single building is beautifully preserved and the streets are full of tourists.

The main attraction is the castle, we took a (required) guided tour which was quite informative about the history of the castle, the architecture and the various dynasties that had owned it before it was confiscated by the Communists (the democrats still haven’t given it back, something which annoyed our guide, who was strongly advocating the Presidential campaign of a descendant of the most recent owners!).

There were some impressively preserved rooms and furnishings as well as bear skin rugs – apparently the bears had died naturally, and there are bears in the moat of the castle, though we didn’t see any.

We also visited an interesting art exhibition in the castle grounds by a cantankerous and difficult Czech artist, who seemed to dislike most other artists, the post-communist art and cultural establishment, and everything basically.

We spent some time as well at the Egon Schiele art gallery, which unsurprisingly had a huge amount of his work. He had been based in Cesky Krumlov but had been run out of town and briefly jailed because the conservative town elders didn’t like his wild ways. Which, to be fair, included using youngish teen girls as nude models, so I can kind of see their point. Turns out I’m not a huge fan of his art anyway (though I like this), but there were some other interesting exhibitions (not convinced by the artist making portraits using human ashes as a medium, but some others were good).

Decent lunch at a vegetarian place almost literally on the river. From our seats outside we could see braver people than us going down the river on rafts and in canoes (mostly brave because it was cold and wet and miserable).

Wandered some more around this picture-perfect town and caught the bus home. Ate dinner at a restaurant owned by the Budvar brewary. Strange experience, the mains came while I was still halfway through my first course, which had itself arrived a few minutes after we ordered. I could have finished my entire meal in half an hour, but we stuck around to try the range of Budvars, which made the meal worthwhile.

About simonchamberlain

New Zealand librarian and music fan, living in London.
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