I swear I expected to see Minnie and Mickey pop out from around the corner all day today! The town of Cezky Krumlov proves that when Walt Disney set out to recreate Europe in the Middle Ages at Epcot, he and the imagineers did their homework.
This town in the bend of a river was left largely undisturbed during the years of the iron curtain because the communists’ financial focus was not on historic rehabilitation. In the last twenty five years that has changed and the town, starting with its hilltop castle, have been returned to their former glory and a tourist Mecca created.
We began our day with the standard Viking breakfast, though after gorging myself yesterday I tried some restraint and only had a small bowl of musli, a slice of dark bread (with the ship made strawberry balsamic marmalade which unfortunately just tasted like strawberry jelly) and a banana. Unfortunately as when we arrived last night, it was raining but Viking provides HUGE umbrellas on your way out the door.
We had a 1.5 hour bus ride (not completely full so several of us had seats to ourselves). We stopped just before the border for a comfort stop which was also where the highway ended. Apparently the Czech government hasn’t started the continuation of the freeway on their side so Austria hasn’t quite finished theirs. Upon arrival, we started our visit at the uppermost point which was the gardens of the Castle and then made our way down towards the village via the Castle’s five courtyards. We then walked through town while our guide Stephan pointed out some of the highlights. Around noon, we were on our own for until 3pm.
S&Y, Mike & I and Su ( a great lady from Chicago traveling with her mother who stayed aboard today) had lunch in a little pub. We hoped to have the traditional roasted pigs knuckle but unfortunately they were out so we had other traditional dishes. Mike and I shared a bowl of split pea soup, some roasted ribs with delicious mustard and raw shredded horseradish, a bowl of fresh made potato chips (served with Thai chili sauce???) and a spread for the delicious rye bread which the menu said was made of pork cracklings but in reality we think it was just lard. It was served with onions and was very tasty especially with the local beer.
After lunch we wandered the town and had their traditional version of fair food. It was dough wrapped around a cylinder, put on a chain driven machine which rotated the cylinder over heat. Once done it was rolled in cinnamon sugar…so so good!
We returned uneventfully to the ship and after dinner we went into Linz but as in Salzburg, the bar scene was pretty dead so we returned to the ship well ahead of our departure.
The four of us sat on the Terrace to watch as the captain turned the ship 180 degrees to head down river. The river at that point was relatively narrow and all of us were sure he was going to bash the dock on the opposite bank but thankfully he did not.
After that excitement, we retired for the evening.
As a ps, a year from today those of us aboard and a number of you following the blog will be embarking on Norwegian Gem!