Wednesday, October 29, 2008
110km North of Austria
As I was looking at the map of Austria, I noticed how close my cousin lives to the border of the Czech Republic. Being of Czechoslovakian decent(on my mother's side) , I've also wanted for years to see where my foremothers and father's came from. If you recall in my earlier post I had chosen Eastern Europe as my ill-fated Peace Corps destination, although Bulgaria would have more likely been where they would have sent me. It might sound crazy but I've always wondered if I would look like anyone that lived in Czechoslovakia, since I look so much like my mother, and a little more ethnic than your average white girl in America.
On 8/18/2004 (I used the receipt as a bookmark) I purchased the book "1,000 Places To See Before You Die" - one of many books I've purchased over the years regarding travel. When I met Craig, he told me about a place in Czech that he'd visited with his sister that sounded very familiar. Sure enough it was listed in this book. That place is Cesky Krumlov, and according to Google Maps, it happens to be 110 km or roughly an hour and 45 minutes drive from my cousin's house.
My book refers to Cesky Krumlov as a "pristine, fairy-tale river town" with medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo buildings, and the Schwarzenberg Castle. I'm not so interested in fairy-tales (especially these days), but I am interested in a historic bohemian village and the sort of buildings you won't find anywhere in America. This castle is especially interesting because they say that it is haunted, it contains a theater, and has a Bear Moat. (As a side note, while looking at the castle and then the cellar photos, I'm reminded of a dream I had that involved going into a cellar of a large, old European, stone building with my mother and step-father and drinking either beer or wine - I don't recall exactly).
I'll see if my cousin is interested in a day trip to Czech. It would be a wonderful opportunity since it is so close. Leaving me, I'm sure, with beautiful memories, photographs and perhaps sketches, as well as a fifth stamp on my passport.