We stayed in the following hotel - Pension in the Tower, which used to be the part of the old town wall. It was really nice, spacious, roomy and although it was a 'shared bathroom' no one else was staying on our floor, so we had it to ourselves. If anyone stays at cesky, I recommend this hotel. It's right next to the Eggenberg Brewery, so those interested can do a tour, and within walking distance to everything you want in the town.
We checked out, packed the car up, then walked into the township towards the square where we were going to buy our tickets for the walking tour. Over the bridge - this is the township on the river - the same river Prague is on - the Vltava.
Oldriska was a fantastic guide very knowledgeable having lived in Cesky all her life, apart from when she went to university in the USA. If you are in Cesky Krumlov and want a guide, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The town experienced its greatest prosperity during the rule of Lords of Rožmberk (1302 - 1602), who chose Český Krumlov to become the seat of their kingdom. At this time, Krumlov lay on the crossroads between the Czech, Austrian, Bavarian and Northern Italian lands. You can see the influence of these different cultures that have left their mark on the town and Castle with brush strokes of the Italian Renaissance. At the end of 17th century, during the reign of House of Eggenberg, the Castle Baroque Theatre was built and the Castle Gardens were renovated. Under the rule of House of Schwarzenberg, Český Krumlov gained its Baroque appearance. Český Krumlov's Old Town hasn't experienced major changes since the 19th century, other than the demolition of the town's fortification walls and guard towers, and has maintained itshistoric character.
The town is now a Unesco world heritage site with 300 protected buildings in the centre, and the 2nd largest castle in the Czech Republic.
Oldriska explained to us that the 'bricks' are actually stone, covered in plaster, then the top layer of plaster cut to produce the lovely patterns on the buildings. I'm sure it has a name, but I can't for the life of me remember...
The bear pit in front of the entrance to the castle. Unfortunately the bears didn't show for us that day - they were under the bridge.
And a lake at the end. We saw very skinny squirrels that were almost black as well but they were too fast for the camera.
We had to pass through a town called Frymburk. I stopped to take a photo at the top of the dam. Its obviously a resort town on the lake, lots of cyclists, hikers, tracks through bush along the lakeside. Beautiful hotels etc... We wouldn't have seen this had the bridge not been out...
I took a photo as we went over the border to Austria. We came out through the Alps. I was struck immediately at the differences between the Czech Republic and Austria. the landscape was 'normal', a bit like New Zealand, then all of a sudden in Austria, everything was very neat, very tidy. Everything 'just so'. The grass so green in comparison too.
We stayed in the Villa Von Trapp - the original house of the Von Trapp family of Sound of Music fame. We had Agathe's room. Anne sat in the window seat and asked me if I was going to make her some clothes out of the curtains....
Back to the villa where we used the internet, which was insanely difficult to log into. It was a 'hidden' one, and most difficult to find, set up, and use. Our room was very comfortable but sleep was difficult for me for some reason.