Wednesday, 31 July 2013

NP Šumava #3 - Geocaching day

On the third day we decided to hunt for a geocache dedicated to Svatý Vintíř, local hermit from 11th century. I've never heard of him before but in Šumava we encountered his name many times every day.
This geocache is located near a village called Dobrá voda (in English "Good water") which was quite far and there were more geocaches on our way, so we started our trip as soon as we ate our breakfast. In total we walked about 20 km that day and found 5 geocaches.

The first stop was a forgotten Jewish cemetary in woods. If there wasn't a cache dedicated to it I wouldn't know about its existence. I believe not many people know, the cemetery has already almost disappeared. There is just a wooden memorial and a sheet of paper with text in Czech and Hebrew left.

The hiding place was classic.

The cemetery was near a village called Hartmanice in which we stopped to refresh ourselves. Aussie tried Kozel, local beer.

Another geocache lead us to the small synagogue in Hartmanice.

A piece of Aussie's culture- didgeridoo concert! Bad we missed it.

The synagogue.

Aussie resting at the fountain.

Then we walked long time throught the forest where was also hidden a geocache.

And a hayrack Aussie quite enjoyed :D

We also saw a female Urocerus giga laying her eggs into a log.

Dobrá voda welcomed us with a memorable tree. It's a village with just a few houses and a church, technically abandoned because not long ago it was a military area. My dad did his military service there and he said in the church they had the storeroom of targets. Good it's over.

Dobrá voda is connected with Vintíř. The dominant building is probably this small chaple with Vintíř's spring after which is the village named.

Only me and Aussie tasted it and we both think the water wasn't so good.

The House of St. Vintíř- a hotel.

There was a cache near Dobrá voda's cemetery (why are most of the caches in Šumava at cemeteries? :D)

The Vintíř's cache- our actual goal- was just a few kilometers from Dobrá voda. It was a mystery cache and we didn't know what to expect from the coordinates we were given. After a few minutes of wandering in the forest Aussie found this innocent looking polypore...

...which wasn't polypore at all! There was a wooden chest with a puzzle hidden in it. We solved out the coordinates quite quickly and, enthusiastic, continued on our way in Vintíř's footsteps :)

After another 2 kilometers it lead us to a chalpe of Vintíř near the cave he used to live in.

This container was the hardest one that day. It was simply under a rock- but there were milions of rocks!

Our way home lead again through Hartmanice where we stopped in a pub and had a late lunch (4 PM) with refreshing Kofola.

Fried cheese- not a very elegant food but typical for trippers- and after many kilometers very satisfying :)

We came home about at 6 PM and spent the rest of day reading and relaxing- what a good day :)

Monday, 22 July 2013

NP Šumava #2 - Český Krumlov

Český Krumlov is, in my opinion, the most bautiful city in whole Bohemia. Prague is more popular among tourists but I prefer Krumlov- it's much smaller, there are no modern buildings spoiling the walk in the medieval town and there are not so many people.
While we were in southern Bohemia we made use of the opportunity and visited Krumlov too. But first we stopped in Prachatice.
The gate to Prachatice:

There are many renaissance buildings with sgraffitos.

The square


The National house- note the two paintings, they are done in Mucha's style and they symbolize Strenght (left) and Will (right).

We stopped in a junk shop.

And found there Winnie the Pooh :)

Don't worry, he's just pretending it.

Whenever I go to a café I haven't visited before I try latté macchiato. Aussie had a loads of them when traveling with me :)

Later we arrived to Český Krumlov. We parked next to the castle gardens because we had tickets for an evening theater in them, so our walk in Krumlov started in the gardens too, specifically in the green labyrinth.

View at the famous castle of Krumlov.

Relaxing in the castle quadrangle.

The castle of Krumlov is famous also because it is guarded by bears who live in the moat. The ones who live there nowadays are very popular because when they were babies they played in a TV series about bears for children. Their names are Honza, Kuba and Matěj.

There is a market in front of the castle. You can buy them some products of traditional crafts. Here is a woodcarver.

Bohemian garnets are very popular souvenirs and in cities like Český Krumlov and Prague there are many many jeweller's that focuse on them.

Amber is popular too although it is not typically Czech.

In creperies you can buy trdelník- traditional pastry usually spiced with cinnamon. Thanks to them the streets smell so good, especially during winter!

The square with the plague column.

Aussie's first Kofola. It looks like Coca Cola but tastes totally different. You can buy it only in the Czech republic and Slovakia, the both countries say it is their invention (it was invented in Czechoslovakia so it is hard to decide :D). It is superpopular especially in summer. In this period of year you can have it almost in any pub or restaurant where it is draught the same way as beer. It is also sold in bottles but for some reason it never tastes so good as draught Kofola. This is just the perfect drink for summer travels :)

 We had it in a restaurant at river Vltava under the castle.

Aussie also tried black beer.

My brother's dinner- svíčková again.

Me and Aussie had a salad with grilled meat, Parmesan and honey dressing- yum!

After the dinner we went back to the gardens.

The open-air theater in the castle gardens is the only one in Europe that has a revolving auditorium. You are just sitting, there are various needed scenes around the auditorium and it moves as needed. It was a great experience, very fun. We saw the musical Finian's Rainbow. It was the very first musical ever played in Czech and the Czech version was created by our famous writer and actor Jan Werich. However he didn't only translate it, he modified it and added some Czech context, so now you can see in this musical also a vodník- one of the good ones- who travels to America. I'm not a fan of big modification but this was so much fun! :)

It was forbidden to take photos during the performance so here is at least Aussie with one of the scenes.