Thursday, September 2, 2010

The lure of Cesky Krumlov....something in the water?

For many people who visit here, it is apparently very difficult to leave and for us this was no exception. We learned from a few locals that this is how a lot of people wind up staying and making Cesky Krumlov their home. It is equally as magical as Prague, but the much smaller, riverside town, made us feel as if we were experiencing a piece of heaven from the moment we arrived. The sun was shining, which casted shadows through the cobblestone alleyways and the river reflected the beauty of the surroundings. Although we didn’t ‘do’ a whole lot while we were there, this incredible place made space for our minds to slow down and have a much-needed rest. The 2 days that we had planned to stay turned into 6, simply because of the indescribable, seemingly gravitational pull of Cesky Krumlov. Something in the water? Possibly. The water from the tap did taste exceptionally good!

Or maybe it’s the hospitality and friendliness of the people who live here. We stayed in a hostel, which is by far the best we have experienced. It’s a cosy, small house, that really feels like a home. It oozes character, with wooden beams, creatively built furniture and rustic features. We hung out with the Kiwi Managers – Sarah & Kate as well as a couple of other Aussies who had almost made Cesky Krumlov their home as well. These girls made us feel so welcome and treated us practically like family, including giving us a hard time when we finally had to leave. We do have to give them credit for their persuasion skills to make us stay longer than planned…even though not a lot of persuasion was actually needed! They invited us to a couple of local activities – a ‘potluck’ dinner, where a few people gathered, bringing food to share. We also went along to a weekly launch of ‘The Stolen Gallery’, a ‘non-legal’ public space that a group of artists have taken over to display local works. Each week, the display is changed at midnight, where people gather to celebrate with wine and music. We felt privileged to be involved in these activities with local people and for a little while, it felt like we had morphed into a local too!

One of our best days, when it was 10 degrees outside and pouring with rain, we spent the day in our trackies and it couldn’t have been a better time for pancakes. We cooked pancakes for everyone staying in the hostel and a whole bag of flour, litre of milk and carton of eggs later we decided to give it the title of ‘pancake marathon’. Needless to say, we became pretty popular after that! It felt so good to be ‘at home’, cooking in my trackies….especially on a cold wintery day, seeing the raindrops hit the window and feeling cosy all at the same time.

Another special series of moments was when we hired a scooter for a few hours and rode around town. I can honestly say that I have not seen Tim this excited in such a long time....I don't think he could have smiled any harder. It was such a joy to see him so happy and I realised for a moment that maybe I could actually consider being ok with him owning another motor bike as he's always dreamed.

After extending our stay by several days, we finally made a decision to leave Cesky Krumlov, but we had no idea how difficult it would be. We had not felt so at home and at ease in a very long time. It somehow seemed like we were saying goodbye to a long lost friend, brother or sister. We had planned to leave first thing in the morning, but it actually took us longer than anticipated to bid our farewell. We made a solid effort to delay the inevitable by browsing the gorgeous, quirky gift shops and spending our last lunch at our favourite vegetarian restaurant – Laibon. We had such connection with the owner – David (who makes the best Chai latte ever!!) and we had our last of many, deep, philosophical discussions. It wasn’t until 4pm in the afternoon that we managed to haul ourselves out of there. With tears in my eyes and Tim’s arms wrapped around me, we got into the car and headed for Salzburg.

Unfortunately the beauty of this place can never be truly captured through a lens


Anonymous said...

Krumlov House is still missing you two! I hope wherever you guys are now you're loving it though :) xxx - Sarah

Anonymous said...

wow - lens or not - that place looks amazing still!! - Israel

so envious of you both!! wish I could meet up with u!

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