12 April 2012

CRF: Czech Republic

"CRF" is not a crime show you've never heard of, it stands for "Cutting Room Floor." Below are some of our favorite pics that never made the blog. We figured we'd reminisce a little while we vacation "off map." (Back on the trail April 14th).
The Czech Republic is one of the more impossibly romanticized countries we’ve been to – everyone thinks they know something about it, but very few tourists visit the countryside outside of Prague. It’s alternately rough and glossy, with vast green spaces and prettily painted towns. We camped by this lake, called Lipno, for a while. Most of the campground was empty, but a small cluster of permanent residents lived together in much-extended mobile homes. They played music at night and the men went out fishing in the mornings and evenings. It was very peaceful. Our license plate got stolen.
This was in the vast museum-church complex in Olomoac – a few cupids hanging on a golden chain.
Something we don’t often show on the blog – normally, whenever we eat a strange or local candy or sweet, we take a picture of it. Who knows, now, what this Fidorka tasted like? It was probably mint, but that recollection may be influenced by the green background. We do remember that the blue Fidorka was the best, filled with coconut.
Prague is certainly beautiful, but was also awash in the full rush of tourism that taints the early summer months. The brooding, bohemian city of reputation is hardly visible anymore. There were more American tourists per local than anywhere else, it seemed.
This little icon was affixed to the wall of an old wooden church, preserved in a skansen in the town of Rožnov pod Radhoštĕm.
The second city of the Czech Republic is Olomoac, capital of Moravia, far off in the east of the country. The Czech student population makes it somewhat more interesting than Prague, and one can carouse more easily and cheaply (if that’s the point).
This was a market square, sans produce.
We stumbled upon a country fair in the town of Štramberk. This woman was selling spices. There were monkeys doing tricks and lots of frying foods. It was a confusing, crowded mix of carnival barkers and wide-eyed Czech farmers – a cascade of noise down the main street.
The pretty, carp-pond and lily pad town of Telč, where we explored a terrific old pile of a manor house. Unfortunately, they didn’t allow pictures – so we couldn’t include it on the blog.
Schoolchildren running back to their lessons.
An old stove and wooden paneling in Olomoac.
We spent a few nights at a very bizarre, much neglected campground near Rožnov pod Radhoštĕm. Our tent was nearby to the fence around the place, and not so far away from a little bar/café. In the summer evening air, a group of men used to sit and play the guitar, singing American songs translated (we think) into Czech. One night, a group of young school children were staying there – this was part of the remains of their dinner, cooked in the faded grandeur of an old canteen.

Read all Czech posts, including a few about castles, one about the original Budweiser (and a beer named "Merlin"), greasy food, greasy fish and "the prettiest town in central Europe."

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