In search of bears

Trip Start May 01, 2006
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Czech Republic  ,
Sunday, October 8, 2006

From Prague we caught the train down to Cesky Krumlov, a place we'd heard so many great things about. It's a small wonderfully preserved mediaeval town. It took us a bit of work finding our hostel, but when we got there we were really happy. For only 15 dollars each we had a private room in a hostel about 15m from the town square.
That night we went exploring the cobbled streets and visited the town's greatest attraction, Cesky Krumlov castle. As you can see from some of the pics, the castle is perched high above the town on a hill. The castle runs along the spine of the hill and is made up of several long courtyards. One of the things we were most keen to see at the castle was the moat, which has housed bears for 500 years. That night we didn't see any bears, but were confidant they'd be out the next day. We had a super meal in a pub and JP was pretty happy with the local brew Eggenberger, which cost about 80 cents a half litre.
We got up super early the next morning to explore the town just after dawn. Although this sounds more like a JP idea, in this case it was Shaz who pushed for a 6.30am wake-up. She was soon regretting that brain wave because it was freezing outside! After one false start where we had to return to the hostel for a few more layers of warm clothes, we got out and had a fantastic time seeing the incredible little town as the morning mist gradually lifted and the sun took control. We checked out the moat again...no bears.
With the help of a cute little map we self-guided our way around all day and had a picnic lunch in a secluded part of the castle gardens. We twice more checked out the moat and still there were no bears. By this stage we had pretty much started to doubt the existence of the famous bears, which we started thinking might little more than a cunning ruse to get tourists in.
That night however JP convinced Shaz to go on one more mission up the steep road to the castle. And to our happy surprise when we got there we found one large bear lounging around below. Our night photo shows a pretty indistinct furry blob...that is the bear!
Anyway, enough of bears. The next morning we caught a bus out of Cesky Krumlov to Vienna. As the photos hopefully show, Cesky Krumlov was a beautiful spot and a really nice change of pace to the big cities we'd been in for the weeks previous.
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