When Pip first came to Ireland and was staying in a B & B, she met up with some people from the Czech Republic who said that if she ever went to Prague, she should make sure that she saw Cesky Krumlov as well.
So we did. It takes a full day, being a drive of about 2 hours in each direction from Prague plus about 4 hours to explore on foot. We were able to hire a car and driver for little more than 2 seats on a tourist bus so we took off with Charles early on the Sunday morning. His car was superb (a Skoda Superb, in fact) but his driving took a little bit of adjusting to. Most of the trip was on good roads or motorways where the speed limit was 130 kph but he tended to stay at 140 or so, just one hand on the steering wheel and at one stage when answering a question from Pip in the back seat he turned almost 180 degrees to face her (still at 140k)! When he started nudging 150, Pip asked him to slow down so from then on it was a sedate 130 all the way. But I didn’t totally relax… (My children still today remind me about their being scared when I used to drive down the steepest hill road in Napier (called Breakneck Hill by the locals) with both hands off the steering wheel but that was just a piece of sadistic parental theatre – quite a different thing, really.)
Cesky Krumlov is the epitome of what you might expect a European medieval town to look like. It is built mainly on a hill with a very large castle and tower at the top and all the cobblestoned streets curving in different directions to get there. Just an absolutely delightful place and as I am so fascinated by the architecture, you will rejoice to know that I took a lot of photos. So mostly buildings this time, but what buildings! And what a location! And what history! But you get the picture (or you will in a minute…)
You may know the Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel who has painted, among other things, a famous medieval scene of a town square entitled “Children’s Games”. As we came to the square of the Cesky Krumlov castle, both Pip and I immediately thought of this style of painting – what do you think? Are we being too fanciful?
So on to the slides. Included are a few from Pip on her iPhone – she is taking some good shots. Phone cameras have come a long way and in good weather or good light the iPhone is pretty much equal to my more expensive Sony NEX 6 camera. Are single purpose cameras going to be the next obsolete technology? Very probably.
The shots from on high are taken from the balcony, just under the clock, of the circular tower that you can see in some of the photos, accessed by a very narrow stone circular staircase, the step edges worn to a slope by countless centuries of climbing and with only a rope to hold on to. I don’t think the Health and Safety inspectors had visited recently (ie, in the last 400 years or so)!
And if you view the slideshow below with its 17 photos and still crave more, go to our Flickr page and see twice as many with better resolution! It really was that hard to pare them back. Amazing.