Cesky Krumlov was a great mix of relaxing with pockets of lots of activity. Our hostel, Krumlov house, was excellent although the heating could have been much warmer (particularly considering the cold front that came through).
The town is built around a winding river with sloping hills all around. It seems like it should be a setting for a fairy tale.
It also looks beautiful at night if you can hack the weather.
Earlier that week a nearby pond had frozen over and the hostel had a trunk full of skates so we took a few turns on the ice. I think Lucy let go of the rail for a minute or two.
Our visit to the castle gave us a basic idea of the history of the area as well as a basic geography as we looked out from the tower.
So far my favourite moment on the whole trip has been our horse ride. We booked to go horse riding at our hostel and it costs us roughly $15 Australian dollars for 1 hr. In the afternoon we walked for about half an hour to a nearby town and found the horse place where we communicated with a lady (she didnt speak english) and she gave us helmets and helped us onto the horses. We rode with the lady and her daughter through these gorgeous fields and up a hill through all these pine trees where the ground was blanketed with snow. The amount of clothing we were wearing was ridiculous. I had on a pair of stockings, a pair of thin leggings, a pair of thick sports leggings and a pair of jeans, three pairs of socks, boots, a shirt, three different thermal tops (thick ones), a kathmandu jacket a scarf and two pairs of gloves. And I was still cold. Toward the end I wandered if I might have frostbite because I hadn´t been able to feel my hands for a while. It was minus 15. My horse also had this tendancy to try and run me into things so I copped a nice bruise on my left knee. Lucy also really enjoyed the ride but I could pretty much smell fear in the air she was so nervous the horse would throw her. The best moment was when we came over the lip of a hill and you could see all of Cesky below.
So if you ever go to Cesky Krumlov horse riding is a must.
I was expecting to be a bit dissapointed by Salzburg because I didn´t really know what was here and didn´t think it would be that special culturally but It´s been really different and I´ve loved my time here.
Above is a picky that I took from the cable car that takes you up to the Hohensalzburg fortress. It was really interesting learning about the history of Salzburg but outside on the viewing platform was very cold. It has been around minus 16 most days but today felt much warmer than all the other days.
We spent an afternoon looking at the Residence which has gorgeous baroque furnishings and the gallerie.
Here is Alexander cutting the Gordian Knot and all I could think of was James delivering that line in his year 12 group performance monologue. I had Mr Sandman stuck in my head for the rest of the day.
Everywhere we´ve been going we´ve made sure we have been eating and drinking tradition goods. Here I am with my Schapps and here is our tasty Souffle.
On our second day we combined two different tours; the Saltmine tour and the Sound of Music Tour. I had never seen the Sound of Music before so I watched it the evening before as the hostel plays it every night at 7pm. I become a fast fan.
In the morning we went to Bavaria in Germany and did the Saltmines. It was a toasty 12 degrees down there. 27 degrees warmer than outside!
The landscape was very pretty. The history of the area is fascinating as it was where Hitlers headquarters were so we got to see the Eagle Nest and where the barracks and such used to be.
Salzburg literally means ´salt castle´so being able to go undergroud and learn the history of the industry was interesting. Salt used to be heaps expensive which is how the city made all its money. Underneath we got to go on a few miner slides and took a ride on a boat across a salt lake. If you go to Salzburg it´s worth going to the mines. If you have to choose between it and the Sound of Music tour I would choose Salt mines but thats just me. I think Lucy prefered the Sound of Music Tour.
There we are looking a treat in our mining suits.
The Sound of Music tour was convient more than interesting as it was freezing so it meant we didnt have to travel large distances on foot. Having the sound track played in the car was also nice.
And here is a girl I think will probably never be a nun.
Today we did everything we hadnt got around to doing already including Mozarts birthplace, the Mozart cafe and the museum of natural history.
Lucy and I are still travelling very well together and I think we´re both a bit suprised that we havn´t blown up over anything yet. The closest we´ve come to arguing was last night when booking a hostel for Bled because we were both tired. I guess nothing has really gone wrong that we can argue over. She has made a very good travelling companion.
Tomorrow morning our train for Bled goes at about 10 and hopefully before then we can figure out how to get to our hostel. I´m optimistic that we can just walk around and find it. Bled is pretty small.