České Budĕjovice

Trip Start Aug 28, 2011
1
5
26
Trip End Sep 19, 2011


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Flag of Czech Republic  , Jihočeský Kraj,
Wednesday, August 31, 2011

This morning we resumed our exploration of Český Krumlov, entering the chateau, admiring the view of the town below and then making the short drive to České Budĕjovice.  It would be very easy to spend more time in Český Krumlov, it's so beautiful, but we have other places we want to see, too so in the afternoon we were back on the road.

The primary reason for visiting České Budĕjovice was just outside town, about 8 kilometers away - a 13th century 141 room castle modeled after England's Windsor Castle but first we stopped at the town itself.. 

České Budĕjovice was built in 1265 and is famous primarily as the hometown of Budweiser Beer.  (Budweiser.... Budĕjovice... it's kinda close...)  The primary architectural symbol of the town is the Black Tower.  A 236 foot (70 meter) tower built as the belfry for the church next to it.  Bruxi and I climbed all 360 steps to the top of the tower.  On the way up we admired the five bells each of which has its own name and tone.  The Bumerin cast in 1723 weighs 3,429 kg (7,560 lbs) and is tuned to an A.  The Marta, also cast in 1723 weighs 1,742 kg (3799 lbs) plays a C#.  The Budvar cast in 1995 weighs 1,100 kg (2,425 lbs) plays an F.  The Oktáva cast in 1723 weighs 434 kg (957 lbs) plays an A.  And the baby, the Maria cast in 1684 weighs only 163 kg (359 lbs) and plays an E.  There's your useless trivia for the day.

After visiting the town we drove out to Hluboká nad Vltavou to see the castle.  Unfortunately my digital camera's battery ran out of juice so I have no digital photos of the castle which was impressive.  All those photos are on slide film which isn't developed so I can't share those photos.  You'll just have to take my word for it that it was impressive.

We then started looking for a place to spend the night.  Every pension we tried was full except one that was charging more than we wanted to pay so we kept looking.  At the last pension we tried the owner asked if we spoke German (and he asked in German) because he didn't speak English.  (Up to this point our English had gotten us by quite nicely since neither Bruxi nor I speak any Czech.)  I started exercising my poor German with him and it turned out that his pension was full, too, but he had a friend in the area who had a room he rented out.  He called his friend for us who came to lead us to his house.  In spite of the poor quality of my German we were able to use it to accomplish what we needed.

While we were waiting the owner of the pension tried to interest us in various items he had for sale in his antique store next door to the pension but we weren't buying.  Eventually his friend arrived and led us to his home where he showed us an entirely adequate room at a reasonable price that even included a small kitchen.  The only drawback was that they did not include breakfast.  Under the circumstances it was not a big deal.  We went back into town fo find a restaurant for dinner and stopped at a grocery store where we bought some food that would serve as breakfast for us in the morning.
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