Here Comes The Planet 20b – Watch Monologue

A bonus episode. Upon leaving the bar after our big night of drinking in Český Krumlov (“F**k Vienna!” – they were trying to convince us to stay another few nights and go out drinking again), we head back towards Hostel 99 with Brennan, the hostel manager, who gives us an impromptu performance of Christopher Walken’s watch monologue from Pulp Fiction. We’ll leave you to judge the quality of the performance. 🙂

Also, this is obviously pretty rough since it was an off-the-cuff recording as we were walking home, so please forgive the shaky camerawork and drunken cameraman. 🙂 Enjoy!

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Day 2 in Cesky Krumlov.

We hauled ourselves out of our beds at 4:45am to walk up a hill outside town to watch the sunrise. Our tour guide from yesterday had said this was a good vantage from which to see the whole city.

No one else seemed aware of this though and we had the streets almost to ourselves on the way there and back, providing great opportunities for photography.

The chapel sits on top of a hill with no paved roads leading to it. The last few hundred metres were boggy mud and grass. Sadly the sunrise was clouded but the view was nice and the walk uphill was a good bit of exercise.

We came back to the hostel for some toasted cheese rolls and got talking to Ryan, one of the other guests and a fellow Australian. He told us about some amazing places he’s been and made us want to visit Lake Bled in Slovenia. Maybe we’ll make it in September after Italy.

We told Ryan about the Eggenberg Brewery Tour which we were doing this morning. It was 130 Kroner for one person with two half litre beers to taste at the end. That’s $6.50 – the tour without beer was 100 Kroner so the beer was effectively $1.50 per litre. Very cheap!

The tour was good – fairly short and the lady who showed us around had good English and was very enthusiastic. I think the most interesting thing was seeing the old equipment (that they still use) and the smells of the malt and the yeast. I grew up in pubs so it was very familiar. Eggenberg is a small brewery on a site of historical significance and they are constrained by many rules when it comes to the upkeep of their buildings etc. The whole town of Cesky is a UNESCO listed.

Also on the tour was Nancy, a Canadian, and Ivan, her tour guide from Intrepid. We all chatted over the beers after the tour and Luke and I decided to meet up with them at dinner at the brewery restaurant that evening.

Foolishly, I only thought to take a photo after all the beer had been drunk.

We took Ivan’s suggestion and went to the Barbican Restaurant for lunch. They serve an arctic fish that is a specialty.

I proceeded to then sleep most of the afternoon away and got up in time for dinner. We went back to the brewery and had a lovely evening of conversation with Nancy and Ivan and the two other people on the tour, Alex and Melissa.

Meeting people is always one of the highlights of travel and Cesky has been no exception. I think the fact that we’ve gotten on really well with Brennan, the American who manages our hostel, is part of the reason we’ve stayed on an extra night here. That and the lovely quiet pace here. On to bigger things soon though – Vienna and then Budapest!

Cesky Krumlov

The word ‘quaint’ barely does the town of Cesky Krumlov justice.

It is divided in two by the bends of a river and dates back to before the 12th century.

View from the castle.

Cesky is also home to the largest castle in the Czech Republic outside Prague. We spent the morning having what turned out to be a private guided tour, since no one else turned up. We met our guide, a young lady from Cesky, in the town square and walked around the centre of town. Her accent was a little hard to understand. If the difficulty of Czech words for native English speakers is anything to go by, I’m amazed we could understand her at all.

A lot of the buildings here have stonework or alcoves with statues painted on rather than actually there. It’s a really weird effect that makes it look like the whole place is a Hollywood set or made of cardboard.

The weather continues to be surprisingly warm and so we found a table at a cafe by the riverside and sat down in the sun, feeling quite content. This really is a postcard-perfect town. In fact I bought quite a pile of postcards to send home just to show people how lovely this place is.

Next stop was the castle. It had been owned by a succession of rich families over the centuries and each had added various parts with no apparent consideration as to the style that was already there. It drifts in sections from medieval to baroque to classical but is still attractive and very imposing, set on a hill overlooking the town.

The views from the castle are magnificent and each of the several thousand Japanese and American tourists who were there today would agree with me.

Ooh, can’t forget the gastronomic highlights of the day, firstly, pastries cooked on a metal tube and then rolled in sugar and cinnamon. What could go wrong?

For our dinner we had an early meal at ‘The Two Marias’, a place recommended by the manager of the hostel. We opted for a share platter that included chicken, ham, millet cakes, wheat confections, salad, cabbage and potatoes. The meal was supposed to represent a selection of traditional Czech food from the last few centuries.

It was extremely tasty, with the noticeable vinegary tang of preserved cabbage and paprika on the chicken. Czech cuisine is pretty unknown to me, outside of goulash, so it was nice to try some unknown things. We’re saving the goulash for tomorrow.