My First Trip in the CR, to Cesky Krumlov

Trip Start Jan 21, 2010
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Trip End Apr 30, 2010


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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Friday, January 29, 2010

For our first field trip, we took the train from Prague to Cesky Krumlov. Everyone from the Institute went on the trip with Art Rice as our fearless leader. I feel as if I have ridden a train before, but the memory is really vague and buried. I think I was really young if and when it happened. So, for my first memory of riding a train, the first leg was in a 6 passenger cabin. The second leg was in a smaller train which was more of a bus type situation where it was very open with bench seats facing each other. We were all shocked at some of the culture differences. For instance, a woman opened a small window and another gentleman must have wanted it closed because he got up from his seat and went over a closed it. No one spoke to each other about the matter, they just took care of it. 

Upon arriving in Cesky Krumlov, we walked into town. It was very steep in places and the snow on the sidewalks was not cleared very well. I was very glad for the cobblestone walk because it offered some traction. If it had been smooth cement, we would have had to just sit and ride down! Art took us off of the sidewalks and down by the river to enter into town as to experience a real medieval experience. After a short trek through the snow, we entered into town after passing through the castle. Words can not describe what it was like to enter into Cesky Krumlov. Becky Toms said it was like being at Bush Gardens. Sadly, it was. However, it was real! In the beginning of the trip, it reminded me of Park City, UT, but the more I got to know it, I felt as though I was someplace amazing and in another time. 

We stayed at the Krumlov House, http://www.krumlovhostel.com. This was my first hostel experience, and I definitely enjoyed it. I was excited that it is green. They have solar panels, recycling, composting, air drying for the laundry, and the list goes on. Unfortunately I didn't get pictures of it. The website does, so take a quick visit to see how awesome it is. I would like to go back in the spring when the weather is warmer. The tourist season is when the place gets packed. When the weather is warm, you can ride down the river in a raft, stop and have a drink in town, and then take a bus back to the top of the river and ride down again!

On Friday night, after eating dinner, we went to a bar with a gypsy band. I loved it. The place was not very big and there was not a stage or any designated performance space, so the band played beside the bar. Locals danced in any space possible. Aside from the band being awesome, I was intrigued by the youngest band member; he was around 7 or 8. We finished the evening at the Traveler's Bar. When we got there, it was a typical mix of locals and tourist. It was pretty exciting and had a band as well. The later it got, the better the scene was consisting of just locals. The dancing continued. Something that is very different here from the US is how people take their dogs with them everywhere. So, some dogs came and went as well. 

Saturday morning we visited the castle. It is closed for the winter, but Art was able to get us a private tour. The theater is only one of three remaining baroque theaters. A small bit of information on the theater from Wikipedia: Completed in 1766. Still has original stage machinery, scenery and props. It is only used three times a year because of its age, with only two performances open to the public. The castle's last private owner was Adolph Schwarzenberg. It was here that he received President Edvard Benes and gave him a large contribution for the defence of Czechoslovakia against the growing threat of Nazi Germany. His property was seized by the Gestapo in 1940 and then confiscated by the Czechoslovak government in 1945. Visit this website for a virtual tour and more information: http://www.castle.ckrumlov.cz/docs/en/zamek_5nadvori_bd.xml. We had to see the theater by electric candle light, so it was pretty dark. So, the website shows more than my pictures can show. When we were standing on the balcony, we were told not to stand next to each other to even out the weight load. I opted to not view the theater from the balcony! 


Overall, the trip was great. I highly recommend a visit to Cesky Krumlov, especially if you have Art Rice as your tour guide! :)
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