Photo Interlude of a Fairytale Medieval Town

We enter through one of the more spectacular gates into any town I have ever seen.

We cross over a wooden bridge.

As we look down into the Vltava river Mirek says: “Last time I was here, I took a canoe on the river with a friend. Man, it was fun, we went under on those rapids over there.”

That was about 50 years ago. He has never taken me to Česky Krumlov. Why would we have not visited this picture postcard perfect, romantic, medieval fairytale town, when we have explored pretty much any castle ruin and half decent village the breadth and width of the country?

Because yearly 2 million selfie stick yielding tourists cram into the tiny town and about 16,000 tourist buses fight for parking. It is a postcard perfect case of over tourism. Or let me say, it was.

Because today there is nobody there. Not a soul.

Actually, I exaggerate. But indeed, when all is said and done, we meet less than a dozen people in the whole afternoon.

The streets are abandoned. It is eerily quiet. The town looks like a movie set after the end of a film shoot.

Everything is shut down.

All shops,

restaurants

coffee shops,

B&Bs

and hotels

are closed until further notice.

With the bizarre exception of

The one place we are really sorry to see closed is the Austrian painter Egon Schiele’s museum.

He lived in the town as a young man for a little bit, scandalizing the conservative society with his art and relationships.

On the riverbank in the only open coffee-to-go place we order two cappuccinos and chat with the proprietor. “Even in the dead of winter, it has never been like this,” he says.

It is a gorgeous spring day in April. Some of the early trees are in full bloom.

It is a photographer’s paradise.

No one to jostle with at the panorama points,

on the narrow cobbled streets,

or staircases

Anywhere you look something colorful and charming is vying for your attention:

Doors
Windows

Reflections in

Water
Glass

Water fountains

Pigeon feathers

Sewer covers

Abstract patterns

Why not?

For once I am not interested in the history of the nobility or clergy or the burghers. I am perfectly content to just wander around.

We are surprised to find the door to the church open

Gothic ceiling
Detailed wood cravings in church

As we climb higher and higher we are even more surprised that the gates to the four successive courtyards of the enormous castle sitting above the town, are wide open as well.

There might be no exposition but we don’t mind one bit. And yes, we do have our face masks!

We will just take some more pictures, thank you very much.

Peek through a few windows

Wow, what a spectacular, expansive view!

And then for contrast a sweet little courtyard.

Above the castle are vast renaissance gardens to stroll through.

If your feet are not hurting yet.

Ours are… so:

Goodbye beautiful, little fairytale town! May the sun shine over you.

We couldn’t have been happier to have visited, face masks and all!

30 thoughts on “Photo Interlude of a Fairytale Medieval Town

  1. Actually we are in the Czech Republic (formerly western part of Czechoslovakia). We ended up here after leaving Argentina in the middle of the Coronavirus havoc a month ago. With very limited options to chose from (no direct flights between Argentina and the US and EU) we escaped on one of the last overseas flights from Buenos Aires to Istanbul and on to Prague. The story was covered in one of our previous blogs called “I Cry for You Argentina, I Had to Leave You” posted on March 22. We have been in Prague ever since with the Czech borders closed and country under the State of Emergency.
    Mirek

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  2. Wow – so crazy to see it so empty! A great place to keep perfecting all of your photography skills. Love all of the detail shots from the church ceiling to the sewer coverings.

    Love,

    Lani

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    1. Thanks Karin, for sharing the link. It is mind blowing how creative people are and are flooding every portal and website with stay home activities and suggestions. I can’t follow even all the traveling site emails that are flooding in with virtual travel.

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  3. PS no “quarantine shaming” in CZ?! Here (in Austria) one is poopoo-ed for leaving the county (not a typo with no “r”), so much so, that our teenagers dismiss our offers for a ride to town – even they are worried of being involved in a non-essential escapade!

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    1. The shaming here is reserved for those who don’t wear face coverings. Even when they legitimately don’t have to while exercising for example. A friend of mine had a bucket of water dropped on her head by a neighbor while running on an empty street by her house. Restrictions here are being slowly lifted and compared to Austria or Slovenia we never had prohibitions from leaving your home county.

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    2. Glad you both could enjoy the city, even with it being “closed”! I love the architecture .., and your photography. You bring everything to life with your photos!

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  4. Beautiful photos. They remind us of our visit to Prague…..there were many more people when we were there. Even the sky was perfect. We’re so happy you can enjoy an extended visit.
    Tom and Maryellen

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  5. AWESOME! What an almost surreal experience in your “fairytale town”…fantastic fotoz!!! This was a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to B AWAY from that maddening crowd of tourists in such a magical place …out of the history books. U took us on a journey through time…I was waiting for that “knight in shining armor” to come prancing around the corner…lance in hand, on his mighty steed! Thanks for sharing this unforgettable experience…
    K.

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  6. Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures!! I love it. being sheltered in place we NEED this out-burst of JOY & Beauty …. Thank you & be safe

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  7. How wonderful to see such a pristine city even if just in the moment of time. Life here is very quiet. The biggest event this week was a brief garage visit in four corners but it was nice to just be in the presence of others. My garden is going to be in the best shape ever as there is no outside activity and lots of time to work on those things.

    Stay safe and enjoy. Laura

    Laura Wittenberg, MFT 7 Mariposa Lane Orinda, CA 94563

    AAUW-OML Liaison Saint Mary’s College of Moraga laura.wittenberg.mft@gmail.com 925-788-0901

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    On Mon, Apr 20, 2020 at 2:54 PM Crazy Parents Travel wrote:

    > ksenija+mirek olmer posted: ” We enter through one of the more spectacular > gates into any town I have ever seen. We cross over a wooden bridge. As we > look down into the Vltava river Mirek says: “Last time I was here, I took a > canoe on the river with a friend. Man, it w” >

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  8. We loved the town when we visited about 5 years ago, fortunately for us we went in the mid season and stayed in a lovely BnB run by a local doctor/dentist couple. I couldn’t get enough of the painted brick wall facades, my first comprehensive look at the stunning Gothic Architecture.

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  9. So amazing! I’m very jealous that you got to see this town so blissfully tourist-free.

    On Mon, Apr 20, 2020 at 2:53 PM Crazy Parents Travel wrote:

    > ksenija+mirek olmer posted: ” We enter through one of the more spectacular > gates into any town I have ever seen. We cross over a wooden bridge. As we > look down into the Vltava river Mirek says: “Last time I was here, I took a > canoe on the river with a friend. Man, it w” >

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  10. Hi Ksenija and Mirek, We met you once back in Clayton, CA at our mutual friend’s(Lenka and Larry) house. We are here happily in Vienna during the coronavirus and are glad to be here rather than the US. We have visited Prague but can’t wait to go see more of Czechia as soon as the borders open again. We have been living here for over a year now and LOVE it!!!
    Kris and John Porcella

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    1. Yes, I remember. I actually asked Lenka about you the other day. I am glad you enjoy Vienna. I know your restrictions are much stricter than ours in Czech Republic. We have been doing lots of exploring. Another post coming up soon with cute villages. Keep well!

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