Thursday, March 26, 2009

Český Krumlov - in pictures

Too braindead to be writing screeds of anything of importance so instead, here's some photos of my day trip to Český Krumlov in Southern Bohemia...

This is the town itself - the castle is on the top right (left of the tower).

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The day of steps

Phew, today I walked for 8 hours with only a short stop for lunch (earlier post).

After lunch I wandered aimlessly again through lots of beautiful alleys and squares. After a few hours, I found myself at the beginning of the steps leading to the castle.

I never broke a sweat on the climb, simply because every 3 steps I had to stop and take a photo (or 7). The views are stunning!

The castle is not a castle in the Knights in Shining Armour kind of way. It is more of a series of buildings perched on top of a hill that are united and fortified by a surrounding wall.

Each entrance and exit is protected by two guards. I just happened to be hanging around photographing their untidy looking footwear when I heard the tell tale sound of more guards arriving.

The changing of the guards was over in a few seconds without much fuss and the 'old' two were marched off home. Hopefully for a well earned hot bath... although I suspect not. (They were in the path of a very cold wind.)

I didn't go into any buildings as it was getting late in the day, but I could wander through the complex unhindered taking many photos.

I was headed in a direction that I hoped very much had an exit so I wouldn't have to climb all the way back up to the top - I was lucky! I limped down the steps wondering how I was going to make it home with an aching back and very sore foot. At the bottom of the steps I discovered the No22 tram and it's route took me very close to my hotel - again I was very lucky!

John Lennon et al

Even John gets a mention here.

I have been to see the John Lennon wall which is directly opposite the French Embassy. Funny really as, being a New Zealander, I don't see the French as a 'peaceful' people...

It is a very colourful wall on which people can express themselves in a very colourful way should they wish. I didn't wish, but I did enjoy looking.

I walked over a bridge of no great importance this morning after finding my way to the 'Dancing Building' nearby. It's a very wonky and interesting piece of architecture. There were lots of photos to be taken from the bridge.

Once I realised I was off the planned track for the day, I decided to head for the John Lennon wall instead via the other side of the river from where I am staying.

I found my way to the Charles Bridge before the JL wall - which wasn't supposed to happen. So I retraced my steps and eventually came across it.

I now am having lunch at a nice little cafe next to the wall. Replenishing the energy supply before heading out again on the next adventure.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sleet, snow, hail and strong wind

That was the weather forecast and it has prooved to be smack on! Damn!!

I waited indoors this morning for a very heavy hail/sleet storm to pass by then ventured out. It was sunny, cloudy and windy for the first few hours of wandering then came a very heavy snow storm - no photos of this as I found a very nice cafe with good cake and coffee and felt no need to thrust me and my camera into a blizzard...

Then fine again until I was on my way home and started with very heavy hail then very heavy snow.Today I just wandered. No plans or intentions so, of course, I never got lost. I figure I couldn't be lost if I had no place I had to be - if I was supposed to be somewhere and couldn't find it then I would say I was lost... But I wasn't! So there!

The architecture is stunning - the new town dates back to 14th century and the old town, well... it's older. Lots of pretty buildings painted yellow, pink and pale blue - a bit like baby wear.

Will be posting photos later when I get them downloaded. In the mean time I'm off for some dinner.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Prague, here I come, maybe...

Well, the day started off so well, got up at a pleasant time, packed my bag (didn't manage it last night) and headed off to the airport about 11am.

I had intended leaving about 10.30, but that was the early estimate time so I wasn't worried to be a bit later. All was good, checked in online last night, the journey by tube was painless, got to the baggage check and it dawned on me that all was NOT well.....

THE BL@@DY PASSPORT!!!!! It was safely tucked away in my top drawer where it had sat since getting back from Chicago in December... It has to happen to everyone once so I have been told and I am guessing it is a hard lesson not to learn after doing it just that once!

OK, so can I rebook a later flight and take the tube home and back again? No - there is only one connecting flight from Zurich to Prague each day. I have 1 hour before the check in closes on my flight.

I decide to call Airport Cars (AKA Premier Cars) who have picked me up from the airport on many occasion, and request their fastest, most risk taking, racing driver to get me home and back within the hour. Anyone who has driven (or taken the bus) in London knows well that luck has a lot to do with traffic conditions. Cars are flowing nicely one minute and the next there can be a 2 mile tailback for no obvious reason.

The powers that be were on my side today and it took 25minutes to get home, 30seconds to get out of car, unlock main house door, run downstairs, unlock my door, locate top drawer and afore mentioned passport, run back upstairs locking doors behind me and back into car. (You should have seen the drivers face!)

Then 30 mins to get back to airport (leaving a BIG tip for the driver) and then I sauntered up to the check in with minutes to spare! Through security to airside - and then had to wait for the gate to be announced!! I had time to window shop, but instead I took a seat and, holding my head in my hands, caught my breath...

Flight was uneventful although over Switzterland looking down on all the snow and forests was beautiful (thought of you Walter and Karen!).

Connecting to the Prague flight was easy too and arrived in Prague on time to a cold,windy and raining evening. I'm hoping it gets it out of it's system tonight so tomorrow is a nice day! Just had a pizza for dinner (told you Megg I would end up eating pizza as only vegie food I would find!! Didn't go far tonight so will hopefully find something exciting tomorrow).

Then found a nice little convenience store and tried to buy some sparkling water. Only to discover that not only does water come still or with 'gas', but gas is then divided into 'big' or 'small'. Big gas for me please - no comments please... Czech water gets my seal of approval so far. Very delicious.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The art of procrastination - or simple avoidance

It's amazing what I find to do instead of packing my bag... I loathe packing and unpacking so when it comes time to pack - I first have to unpack... Silly me!

Tonight I have managed to vacuum under my bed and behind the freezer. I cleaned the bathroom and toilet - even behind the toilet. I have washed all my scarves and hung out to dry, washed and dried my washing and found the table beneath the mountain of junk.

But I haven't yet packed my bag...

I am going to Prague tomorrow morning and really do need to put some clothes in a bag, sort out my camera and my computer too. At least I have unpacked now - and only 11.45pm! Doing well I think.

I have started to reload all the files back onto my computer - all lost when my hard drive died a couple of weeks back. Luckily I was backed up until just before the event. But still don't know exactly what I lost.

Anyway, back to packing I guess if I am ever to get to bed tonight..

Lack of Adventures of a Slackyjenn

It's a while since I was here with energy and enthusiasm to write anything, but after the hue and cry from the general public(well, one or 2 friends anyway...), I am back!

A long time ago I received an email titled The Adventures of a Slackyjenn and so in return, I would like to announce my latest blog title...

The Latest Adventures of a Slappyjenn.

So no being mean to me any more!