Revelry and merrymaking

Imagine a little hamlet in the south of the Czech Republic where orange, ceramic shingles dot the roof-line and a river meanders through the tiny town towards a baroque period castle that lies at the center of the town. And then add some brilliant sunshine, clear blue skies, and 50 degree weather. This describes my time in Český Krumlov this past weekend. It was gorgeous to say the least. But if you really want to make the weekend perfect, top it off with the Packer Superbowl win and you hit absolute euphoria.

Look at that blue sky!

On Sunday, my whole academic program (there are about 80 of us in all) were bused three hours south to Český Krumlov where we stayed for one night for, as our academic advisers described in our itinerary, “revelry and merrymaking.” It was considered our “bonding” trip so other than a private tour of the castle and dinner with a gypsy band that were organized by our program, we had plenty of time to do our own adventuring around the winding cobblestoned alleys to check out all of the quaint cafes and shops.

I don’t usually like using the word “cute” to describe things, but Český Krumlov is the epitome of cute.  I don’t think any sort of verbal description can due it justice, so here are a few pics:

Despite their beauty, cobblestones are a serious hazard for those of us who have trouble walking on flat ground. I have the bruises to prove it.
I had more chocolate bon-bons while in Český than Willy Wonka could have ever dreamed of...
Resembles Grantsburg, WI a little bit, wouldn't you say?
The initials of the three Anderson sisters were chalked on every other door in Český it seemed. I was seriously perplexed until my kind neighbor, Mike Strub, informed me that it is a traditional Epiphany blessing and the initials are in fact of the three kings, not the three Anderson sisters. Same thing, right?
Jumping for joy in Český Krumlov

Usually closed during the winter time due to slow tourism, we got a special tour of the Český Krumlov castle. Apparently the curator of the castle has a soft spot for students so he kindly opened the castle for us and we were taken to see the Masquerade Hall and the oldest original castle theater.

The Masquerade Hall. The hall was covered with what was supposed to look like real life masquerade goers, but really it just looked like the walls were covered with clowns...
Due to irresponsible use of candles and pyrotechnics, most castle theaters during the time were either burnt down or no longer in their original state due to fire damage. Luckily someone at the Český Krumlov castle went through fire safety. Smokey the Bear would be proud.

I couldn’t help but plan my second wedding at the Český castle (however I will save you the details). If this wedding will be to the same lucky guy as the one I marry at Prague Castle or if I move on to husband #2, I haven’t quite decided yet, but like I said earlier, that is really a minor detail at this point….

Plenty of space for all of my guests.
And what makes this castle better than the one in Prague? They kept/still keep bears in the moat. After my initial reaction of surprise I realized that in northern Wisconsin, we all sort of have a bear moat surrounding our "castles"....No one else on the program could quite understood that.

That night we went to a brewery for dinner where Roma children entertained us with their gypsy dancing. These kids could move their bodies like Shakira. Seriously.

This little boy couldn't have been more than five but he is most definitely Shakira's protégé.
Moose! Revelry and merrymaking at the the brewery with one of our Czech buddies, Pepa.

Following dinner we danced to a gypsy band and partook in the “revelry and merrymaking” as was directed and then moved onto a pub to catch the 00:30 kick-off of the Superbowl. Those who organize the Superbowl obviously don’t keep in mind any of the international fans. Not only did I stay up until 5am to watch the game to the end, but there were also no Superbowl commercials. NONE. Do you understand that? Instead of commercials, they cut to an aerial shot of the field. That’s it.  Darn those international trade laws! BUT despite the lack of sleep and commercials, it was so worth it! GO PACK GO! How many people can say they watched their team win the Superbowl in Český Krumlov, Czech Republic? This girl can.

Go Pack Go!

Český Krumlov was a sight to see and I highly recommend anyone who ever travels to Prague to make the trek down to Český to get a little small town-Czech in. I’m sure it helped that we hit amazing weather in the usual horrible month of February, but I’m seriously thinking of taking another trip down to the Český during the warmer months. There are many outdoor cafes on the river that we weren’t able to enjoy because of the winter season, and when it’s warmer, visitors kayak and canoe down the river. My friend also informed me that there is a 15-mile path along the river for nothing other than rollerblading. Ummmmm, hellllllooooooooo! Done and done.

On another note, I had my first harsh slap of reality this past week while in Prague: classes started. How can they expect me to study when I have all of Prague and Europe at my adventuring fingertips! Studying sort of cramps my style. But no worries parents, I am studying. My classes all relate directly to the Czech Republic so I’m enjoying learning all about the history and politics of Central and Eastern Europe. One of my classes is called Resistance and Dissent: Punk and Alternative Culture from Nazism to Communism in the Czech lands. Pretty legitimate, right? However, my professor assigned two essays on the first day of class which were due today. I wanted to stick it the man and “resist” those essays, but once again parents, not to worry, I turned both in on time. But now on to the next one…..

Friday I leave for Copenhagen for my first weekend adventure and I can’t wait to visit an 1/8th of my homeland! But that means it is time to hit the books…

Čau!

Maarja

1 thought on “Revelry and merrymaking”

  1. What a wonderful travelogue. I’m really sad the castle won’t be open when we visit. Can’t wait!

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