Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Cesky Krumlov part 2...

Castle tour #1 was a lot of fun. We went on the Czech language tour, because, as usual, it was cheaper. I felt bad for Val, though, because I had to fill her in on a lot of the details as we walked between rooms and during other breaks when the guide wasn't talking. The castle was founded sometime in the 1100's and it changed hands among four noble families until 1947 when the state took possession of it. Tour highlights included a gold (plated) carriage that was used to deliver some presents to a Pope during the 17th (?) century. It was pretty impressive. Val's and my favorite room was a large ballroom with amazingly detailed paintings on the walls. They depicted people looking out on the ballroom from balconies; some were stepping out of the balconies and one boy was even looking into a mirror on which was painted his face looking back. The master bedroom was really cool with a little oriental sitting room adjacent to it. There was fancy furniture and tapestries all over with several bearskin rugs made from the ancestors of the bears in our pictures. (see previous installment!) Part of the tour was hearing exciting and possibly true stories of these bears tragic deaths. One of them had a heart-attack, fell out of a tree into a pond, and drowned. Another became very angry while being tormented by some drunk soldiers and committed suicide in a frenzy. And the third... he died of natural causes at a ripe, old age.

After the castle tour, we walked through the castle gardens--very beautiful--checked out the large Catholic cathedral, and spent some more time walking through town. We were inspired by a swimming race in the river and decided to have our own competition. We did our best to stay on course in the direction we were walking and tried to see how many tourists we could force to seperate slightly from their tour groups. Tour groups have this annoying habit of being oblivious to the fact that there ARE other people walking through town. They are also extremely worried that they will somehow become hopelessly lost if their brightly-colored-umbrella-holding guide gets more than 3 meters away from them. We started referring to these tourist groupies as bowling pins that we were trying to "knock" off course. (If we sound rude and inconsiderate, imagine living in a tourist destination city for a few months.)
Perhaps, you're wondering about the third member of our family and what he was up to? Vinson did pretty well, while we were gone, with maybe a little more than his usual ups and downs. At least that is what the Crains told us; we have our suspicions. We are so grateful to Matt and Karey for watching Vince and we're even happier that they are still our friends.

1 comment:

Nat and Bob said...

Hey Val and Dan-

I just started a blog. Glad to see you are enjoying your life. It looks beautiful there. My friend from work wants to come with me to visit u. I will have to keep in touch so we can figure out a good time to visit.

Take care, Natalie