Budweis

We woke up on Sunday to find a beautiful morning waiting for us. We had decided the day before to climb the tower of Krumlov castle in the morning and then make our way to Budweis.

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After the breakfast we packed the car and off we went on foot. We were curious to see the whole bend of the river from the top. Which turned out to be not possible, but it was beautiful nonetheless.

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After the picture session on top of the tower, we made our way back to the car not without taking a last look at the castle and the village.

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With a gorgeous day looming ahead we started our return trip. But not right away, we had planned a little detour via Budweis. Budweis is known for its beer in Europe and in the States although the beer sold in the US has not a lot to do with the beer from this city. They share the name, and that’s about it. The Budweis from the US is brewed and sold there and privately owned, while the beer from Budweis is brewed here and sold in Europe and state owned. All of this and a bit more I learned while touring the brewery. But before we took the tour we visited the city.

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Budweis turned out to be empty. We arrived there around noon, it was super hot and the streets were deserted.

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So after refreshing for bit and then taking a drink we drove to the brewery.

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Following the GPS we found our way easily to the brewery. Before starting the tour we had a good look around.

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It was kind of fun seeing everything, but since it was Sunday the bottling line stood still which was not ideal. Also the English guide didn’t care so much about beer or the brewery so the tour was rather boring. The pictures turned out fine though.

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And now tanks in all forms and sizes, the ones for water being the biggest. Who knew?

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Touring makes hungry, so after an hour of listing on how to make really good beer (and tasting it fresh from the tank), we went for a late lunch/early dinner. The food was a bit better than the night before, at least mine, but overall Czech food disappointed.

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Have you noticed how all the dishes looked the same? Maybe we were unimaginative while ordering or maybe there is not much more than meat dishes with sauce. Best of all was again the desert, pancakes with blueberries. The blueberries tasted heavenly, being the small kind not the cultivated ones. While driving back to Vienna we got lucky and bought a 3,5 l glass with hand-picked blueberries fresh from the woods for less than 10 Euros. We divided the bounty by three and ended the trip on a high note! Yours, Pollybert

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The doors of Cesky Krumlov

While walking through the village I noticed all kinds of different doors and frames and after a while I just started to take some pictures. They look beautiful. Please enjoy!
Yours, Pollybert

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Walking through Cesky Krumlov

Saturday it was cold and windy. When I looked out of the window I saw grey skies and lots of terraced houses.

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The plan was to enjoy a lazy breakfast and then make our way into the center to join the Free Walking Tour. The meeting point was right at the main square.

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Our guide’s name was Ondrej and he did an excellent job. We walked through the village and the castle while he told us little tidbits about its history and showed us his favorite places.

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While walking the weather turned sunny and finally hot, which did wonders for the pictures.

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20140709-235328-86008877.jpg We were back on the way to the castle, this time we went all the way up to the gardens. Not without stopping at the last bridge again to enjoy the view in the village.

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20140710-000836-516070.jpg Meanwhile we were hot and sweaty and ready to take a break. We had about an hour to kill before our first guided tour of the castle. So we walked to the nearest beer garden within the castle complex and had a small lunch. Mini pancakes which were delicious and a trout that tasted like a carp. After this description I gladly declined to taste it.

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Sylvia and I had decided to buy tickets for two of the four available tours. I probably won’t be coming back here, so it us better to see as much as possible (a lesson learned, Cat!).

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20140710-135130-49890262.jpg We went altogether for coffee after the first tour, Sylvia needed some cake to invigorate herself for the second tour where we saw this long indoor gallery. On the picture above you can see that the castle actually had three galleries which connected the different buildings and the one on top was going directly to the gardens. Maximum decadence!

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After the castle tours we had one more museum to visit, the Schiele museum. Egon Schiele was an Austrian painter whose mother was born in Krumlov. He liked the village and lived here for a while. Hence the museum. He painted a couple of pictures here as well from the village, but these were not exhibited here.

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After the museum we really needed a break and sat down near the river, reveling in all the impressions we enjoyed that day.

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Leaving the scenic place behind us we walked again to the dingy hostel to watch some football, this time the second half of Argentina vs Belgium. Our patience was rewarded with a goal in the extra time. For the wrong team again, I bet on Belgium. At least I didn’t get my heart broken this time, it didn’t feel as bad as the loss of Columbia or Mexico before.

For dinner we went to a real Czech place, no hint of any Italian influence. Which turned out not to be such a great choice. The food was heavy and tasteless, and all in all a waste of good calories. At least the beer was good.

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It was worse than it looked except maybe for Sylvia’s potato pancake. But I have never heard her complain about any food, she is definitely not a foodie.

We started to watch the last quarter final Netherlands vs Costa Rica in a bar, but left after the first half due to the mute transmission. 80’s music doesn’t make up for lack of tv reporting. I have noticed that football without all the background noise of the fans actually turns into a snooze fest.
We agreed on watching the game in the B&B, all four of us in one double bed with Evi and I actually watching and Sylvia and Karin slumbering next to this exciting game with a Czech pass by pass description. Only when the penalty shoot-out started could we wake them, with no joy from Sylvia’s side though. She would have preferred to be long asleep in her own bed. I think though I contributed enormously to her general education and maybe in later years she will thank me for it.
Yours, Pollybert

Bohemian Rhapsody

Friday afternoon I started early into my weekend although there was still a lot to do in the office. We had a trip planned to Cesky Krumlov, a well known Unesco World Heritage Site. While it is only about 200km from Vienna, there is no autoroute going this way. Basically the whole drive is going through more or less idyllic villages.

After a three hour drive with no bathroom break, because our driver Sylvia was first not willing and later there was just nothing to stop at, we arrived at our B&B Pension Krumlov. A place I can only recommend since its location on a small hill makes for an excellent reason to imbibe only two Beton per evening.

Shortly after we made our way to the village center and got a first impression of its beauty.

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But basically our main goal that evening was to find a place where to watch the first quarter final. In the end we watched the second half of the game in a small dingy hostel, a place we grew to love because we came back the next day. We started with some local snack (Kielbasa) and a boring second half of Germany vs France.
We did more walking around after the game to get a better look at the heritage site and to find a place to eat later.

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Great business idea to put the bar directly in the way of tourists, no need to search for one.
We finally made our way to the castle and were completely awed.

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Right on top of the castle complex where one had the best view, some Americans naturally held a 4th of July party.

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It was already time to eat so we walked back through the castle to search for a restaurant and eventually decided on Papa’s Living Restaurant.

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20140709-213209-77529886.jpg The food was ok, not great but in hindsight quite lovely. After dinner we stopped at the Hotel Ruze for the second half of the Brazil vs. Columbia game. I was super sad to see Columbia and James Rodriguez go home. What a shame! We left right after the game to walk uphill to our B&B. It was good to try only one Beton that evening, clever girl! One last look that night unto the castle and it was time for bed!
Yours, Pollybert

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