Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sunny Summer Holiday Weekend Continued...

The boat ride really was just the thing for this day. It made it feel all the more summery, even though I couldn't tell you the last summer boat ride I went on. Well, maybe I can, it was in Alaska, but a very different place for sure. We managed to get a spot out in the sun, which was okay for one direction only. It was sweaty hot, but personally I rather love that. As you can see, Kelly and I were both quite pleased with our choice.
The views were super nice for the most part as well. I was so impressed with the castles and the natural scenery. It was strange to imagine how different it all must have looked when the water was 40 meters lower. But it's definitely spectacular as it is now.

So as you can see I started with Orlik and then ended with Zvikov which is the next castle we went to. Along with all these breathtaking views, we also saw a rather startling amount of nudity. You know, just so we would remember that we're in Europe and that things are just a bit different around here. Craziness.
Anyhow, Zvikov castle is more of a ruin, but it has undergone some repairs and was really incredibly beautiful. According to legend, this is where the Czech Crown Jewels originally resided before Karlstejn castle was built. So it has a rather important history. However, later on it was largely destroyed, especially when a large portion of the castle fell into the water. It was cool to wander around in the partial rooms that are not just openly outdoors and to imagine that these were once the royal chambers.
The castle was a self tour and they allowed photo taking inside so I have a lot of pictures. There was even a wedding photo shoot going on inside. Very magical sort of place to be certain.

As you can see, I was particularly taken with the arches. They were so beautiful. The last photo in this group is of the outdoor area that used to be inside the castle. It must have been incredible when it was complete and in use.
I was definitely a bit snap happy at this place :)

This next set of pictures are from the inside. They are trying to preserve the original artwork. A lot of it is just in fragments, but in some rooms they have done really amazing work.

Then we moved outside and checked out the towers and views. There are two towers that are still standing. One is a whopping 3 1/2 meters thick! That's a lot of rock. The other one was quite short and they aren't quite certain of the purpose because it's mostly just hidden amongst the trees.

We wandered around a bit more, both inside and out before heading to the boat for the return ride to Orlik where we planned to catch the bus to Pisek.

That last picture was taken by a very dirty slimy lake, but the trees were so pretty that I just couldn't resist the picture in the early evening light.
Well, I'm afraid that's all I have time for today, so I'm just going to have to wrap this up another day. And so the weekend continues almost a week after the fact :) It's a weekend that just keeps on giving, which is a good thing because the cooler temperatures and gray skies have thoroughly sunk in once again.

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