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Getting around

Part 4: Ceský Krumlov, Holašovice, Hluboká nad Vltavou, Ceské Budejovice

2.6: Krakow -> Stramberk -> Roznov pod Radhostem -> Olomouc
3.6: Olomouc -> Kromeríz -> Olomouc
4.6: Olomouc -> Litomysl -> Bouzov -> Olomouc
5.6: Olomouc -> Lednice -> Valtice -> Mikulov -> Dolni Dunajovice
6.6: Dolni Dunajovice -> Znojmo -> Vranov nad Dyjí castle -> Telc
7.6: Telc -> Jindrichuv Hradec -> Ceský Krumlov
8.6: Ceský Krumlov -> Holasovice -> Hluboká nad Vltavou -> Ceské Budejovice -> Ceský Krumlov
9.6: Ceský Krumlov -> Munich

8.6: Český Krumlov -> Holašovice -> Hluboká nad Vltavou -> České Budějovice -> Český Krumlov
Pension Antik, Český Krumlov. This morning I realise that there are just two tiny towels in the bathroom (for four people), i.e. the pension is not providing adequate towels in the bathroom. In addition, there is just a bathtub, not a shower, which means that if you want to wash yourself either you take a bath or somehow sit down in the bathtub and hold the water pipe over your head. The WLAN Internet connection is so slow and unreliable (crashes all the time) that it is essentially unusable.
Weather: overcast in the morning until noon, starting from 1pm the sky opens up, sunny blue sky after that.

We leave the pension after 11am and have some kind of late breakfast at the cafe Piazza near the pension at 11:15am. We were not exactly in a rush to leave the room this morning due to the bad weather.

We then walk to the P3 parking where the car is and at 12:15pm start driving towards the Holašovice folk village. After a couple of stops (the kids get motion sickness on those narrow and winding roads and the small one vomits - not a good idea to drive on such roads after a full meal) we reach the Holašovice folk village shortly after 1pm.

It takes a while to realise that this is really the Holašovice folk village, the UNESCO world heritage site because the houses are all so immaculate, clean, not damaged and look as if they had been built yesterday. For a while I think that this is a copy of the real thing and that the old, original houses are somewhere else. But after walking around a bit and checking here and there it turns out that this is really the place. It even seems that these historic houses are inhabited. Probably the "new" look is a result of a recent restoration-

Anyway the Holašovice folk village is basically a circle of houses facing each other over a rectangular square surrounded by the fields. The square is a grass field with some trees. Beautiful setup, very picturesque. Easy to understand how this place was chosen to be a UNESCO world heritage site. Some of the house facades have a year written on them - perhaps the year in which they were built. The eldest year I see is from the 19th century.

It's 1:45pm when we leave this place for the next place, the Hluboká nad Vltavou castle. On the way we stop briefly at one of the countless lakes of the region. This one is a dammed lake, as is the case with many lakes in this region. I'm guessing that this must have been a swampy area in the past and building dams was a step to control the waters and make the land dry.

Shortly after 2:30pm we are in Hluboká nad Vltavou. It's not allowed to drive the last 700m to the castle with the car (perhaps only if you are a guest of the hotel near the castle), so we walk.

Hluboká nad Vltavou is an immaculately clean village, with top-spot modern infrastructure and shops. Amazing that a small place in Czechia like this looks like a suburb of Munich. There is a beautiful church overlooking the main square and some cafes near it. Quite nice and cosy setting.

The reason for this prosperity probably is the castle. The Hluboká castle is absolutely stunning and beautiful. It is Tudor style and is surrounded by beautiful gardens, with flower beds and carefully choreographed hedges. While there we see two wedding couples doing a photo shoot, one of these being Asians. This must be a famous place, if an Asian couple comes from far away for a photo shoot.

Enhancing the beauty of this place, now also the weather is at its best. Sunny blue sky with a few clouds. Absolutely perfect weather.

We spend well over an hour in this place and I shoot tons of photos. Then, at 4pm we walk down to the village and settle in a cafe for some food. At 4:15pm the couple of Australians who were staying yesterday in our pension join us. What a coincidence.

Chit-chat, where have you been travelling, where are you going next, what do you think of this place etc. Then it seems I pick the wrong topic. Turns out that these people are Jewish (daughter studying in Israel) and we get locked on a discussion about the Middle East conflict until after 5pm.

When we finally manage to stop discussing the Middle East and split, I drive with Shirley and the kids to the last place of today, České Budějovice. On the way we stop in a KFC restaurant for another snack. The kids are really hungry (they haven't had lunch today). Then we continue to České Budějovice.

We arrive there on the main square of the old town a bit before 6pm, right in time for the rain to start. Heavy, heavy rainfall and strong wind. We wait for 10 minutes for the rain to stop. No way, so we decide to drive to the Globus mall we noticed while driving to České Budějovice (about 6km from the main square).

In the mall we shop around a bit, because outside it's raining. Big modern mall with many shops and a large Globus supermarket. It's 8:40pm when we get out of this mall.

I drive back to the main square in České Budějovice, just to take some pictures. The sky has opened up and I don't want to drive back here tomorrow only to take some photos. I "deposit" Shirley and the kids in a Chinese restaurant overlooking the square for some dinner and spend the next hour shooting some photos. The square gets really beautiful when it gets dark and the lights are switched on.

At 10pm we drive back to the pension. While driving back the Navigon navigation system sends us through some mud roads in a dark forest, up a hill. We are back in the pension at 10:25pm.

9.6: Český Krumlov -> Munich
Home, sweet home.
Overcast and rain the whole day. In the evening the sky opens up in Munich.

We leave the hotel after 11am and initially put all luggage into the car. Then we spend some more time in Cesky Krumlov, but quickly conclude that due to the bad weather it's pointless to spend more time here. Besides we have already visited all sights. In addition, due to the rain it makes no sense to visit the Sumava national park or spend time on lake Lipno.

By the way, despite the bad weather also this morning Cesky Krumlov is full of tourists. Lots of Asian tourists.

We change all remaining Czech crowns into Euro and get into the car. We'll drive to Passau and spend some time visiting the city and doing some shopping there.

The road until the border (we choose the route to the northwest of Český Krumlov, passing by Volary and joining the B12 road in Germany) is mostly narrow and in not such a good shape. Unsmooth surface, many curves and lots of gradients/slopes. Once in Germany, the road improves markedly.

We reach Passau around 2:30pm. The city lies on the border between Germany and Austria, at the confluence between two rivers. The skyline is quite photogenic. We leave the car in a parking near the pedestrian area in central Passau, then proceed to a mall. We'll spend the next 2-3 hours in Passau, having lunch and shopping a bit.

After 5pm we leave for Munich. I choose the shortest route, mainly on the B12 road with very little motorway usage. According to the navigation system it takes two hours to get home on this route. In practice we'll need a bit longer than that because of redirections due to roadworks which make us lose time. We are home shortly before 8pm, in time to watch the 2012 European championship football match Germany-Portugal.

Copyright 2012 Alfred Molon