A blog raveled in randomness
May 10, 2013
Assigned as UNESCO World Heritage Site, Český Krumlov is a small city near Prague and it took about three hours to get there by bus (I recommend Student Agency bus–it felt like I was in an airplane due to their kind service). Once I stepped out of the bus station and walked on a small slope, I saw a view of Český Krumlov from a distance and I could not help myself but to stop my tracks and take a photo. It had a similar vibe of Prague with its beautiful red roofed house and a conpicuous cathedral or castle site in the middle of the petit city. Due to its small size, the city view is complemented by swirling Vltava River that protects the city with the water’s depth and wideness. It was, without a doubt, another beautiful city in Europe and I had to remember this moment with a long lasting photo.
Unlike the other day trip to Kutna Hora from Prague, Český Krumlov was about a ten minute walk (including the photo time) from the bus station. It was a short distance and not as tiring as you walk down the pebbled roads with slight rain falling from the musty clouds. My mom was a bit dissapointed that it rained when we arrived at the city, but as a person who likes a little drizzle, I enjoyed listening to the water softly tapping on my umbrella and the roofs of the buildings. If it was pouring rain, then… I would have had different kind of emotion right now.
1. Český Krumlov Castle
I was surprised to see how big the castle was compared to the small city. I did not join the guided tours inside the castle, but I did walk to the Castle Gardens and walked back down to inside the museum and up the Tower. But before I get ahead of myself, I want to walk with you from the entrance, the caslte, the gardens and then the tower.
i) There’s a bear at the entrance!
The history of bear keeping at the castle dates back in the 16th century, and later in the 20th century, the bear moats (on each side of the bridge) was reconstructed. As you enter through the gates, one side of the bridge will be more populated than the other side. That means the bear is in sight. The saftey metal bars will prevent you from looking at the bear closely with your cellphone camera, but it still gives a good view of the bear eating away its food and roaming around the humid atomosphere in the rain. I felt bad that the bear was in the bear moat where people would constantly stop by to take pictures, but I guess the people are taking good care of the historical site as well as the living bear.
ii) We are now walking through the courtyards…
The open space of the second courtyard greets you with warmth and the pebbled roads that leads you through the castle glistens in the drizzling rain. The Tower of the castle stands tall on your left as you enter through the gates, and the buildings that surround the courtyard have bold colors, supporting the calm stature of teh castle’s atmosphere. You decided that the Tower should be saved for last, so you walk along the pebbled road towards the castle gardens.
As you go through building by building, you notice the drawn designs on the walls of the buildings. At first you thought they were yellow bricks stacked up like a wall, but as you stop and look cloasely at walls, they are not actual bricks but drawn! The walls are delicately drawn with shadowed and lighter ares, and the statues between windows are intricately painted with details that complement the patterns. Though the dimness of the rainy weather dampens the vivid colors of the walls, the designs still amazed me. The structure of the castle was unique not by its architectural structure but more by its drawn illusory designs.
iii) Look at the greenery of the garden!
The garden was bigger than we thought! There is a fountain in the middle, which opens up towards a pathway lined up with flowers and colorful trees. The garden seems symetrical at first, but as you explore through the maze-like garden, nature is never what you expect. The grandness of the trees with differently colored leaves adds liveliness to the large patches of green ground. The small Christmas trees are firm on the brown soil as if they are soldiers lined up to greet us visitors. The stairs are slippery as it rained a little it harder, but luckily I wore the right shoes for the day. The air is different from the castle and the buildings you have passed by. It is as if you have entered another dimension, far away from the castle…
iv) I see everything from the Tower!
Similar to the buildings inside the castle gates, the design of the tower is drawn on the smooth surface of the bottom half of the building. The top half becomes more elaborate with architectural texture and the classic finishing touch of the flag on the top draws me into one of the fairytale stories I had always read about in children’s books. The stairs going up were steeper than I thought, so we had to take a break in the middle to catch my breath. We continued, and when we reached the top, I took out my camera to take the aerial view of the city.
What a beautiful city like Prague…