Sunday, March 11, 2012

Fairy tale land..



One of the most romantic destinations that I have been to is Cesky Krumlov, a UNESCO heritage town in the Czech Republic which gets its name from an old German expression (thanks to its proximity to the Austrian border) for ‘crooked meadow’ because of its topography- the babbling Vltava river snakes around in curves between the wooded hills of Southern Bohemia.


Our Hotel Ruze, in Cesky Krumlov, was a former sixteenth century Jesuit monastery and today its atmospheric interiors decorated like a Renaissance palace, has knights of armour, coats of arms, and stag’s heads. The view from my room was a stunner...



The glittering centrepiece of the town is a gargantuan, photogenic castle on a rocky promontory, which has been owned by a succession of noble families over the ages. The exotic castle tower, reminiscent of a minaret, is awash in pinks, reds and yellows. There is an illusion of windows and alcoves- all painted on, like medieval wallpaper!


I trekked up to the castle through the town with cutesy shops selling souvenirs and sweets as well as cafes. I met a group of Taiwanese tourists in hired medieval costumes who obligingly posed for me!



 The castle has a lovely courtyard with frescoes and you can take a guided tour of its interiors. The ornate rooms were a feast for the eyes: stucco decorations, intricately worked wooden cabinets, ceramic heaters which sometimes doubled up as ‘medieval microwaves’, one of the largest collections of Belgian tapestries covering the walls and bear rugs on the wooden floors.

The castle also boasts of an intact Baroque theatre with ancient props, original costumes, more than fifty old special effects machines and backdrops where stunning performances are still staged.


The show-stopper is the magnificent mirrored Masquerade hall with bright Rococo style frescoes where aristocrats partied.There are eye-catching illusionist paintings covering every square inch of the walls.

What I really enjoyed was the stunning view of the town from the castle windows!



Rafting and canoeing on the Vltava River is very popular. We navigated our raft over five weirs for a dose of adrenalin.

We spent a lazy afternoon in a riverside cafe gorging on traditional Czech cuisine, consisting of a traditional millet casserole, potato soup with daisies, dumplings with crushed poppy seeds along with copious amounts of pilsners.

Come night, the town takes on an incredibly romantic look- the castle is all lit up, the lamplights glisten on the uneven cobblestones, strains of lilting music float in the air and there are groups of tourists on a spooky myths and legends tour.


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6 comments:

Always looking for new destinations.. this one comes just in time when we are booking our summer holidays. The pics are so wonderful.. love green and small towns. This destination seems perfect.

Glad to have found you at Indiblogger. your newest follower and a regular visitor now
cheers
Kajal

Beautiful pictures !! Inspiring me to plan a vacation !!

Thanks Kajal! I am happy to have chanced upon your blog too.. love your humour- infused writing! Yes, Cesky Krumlov is a great destination- small but beautiful!

Thanks Sangeetha for dropping by..Do put Cesky Krumlov on your wish list!

wow..it is definitely a travel back to fairy land....lovely images and words!!!

http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.in/

Thanks Sushmita for visiting and the kind words!

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