Friday, March 23, 2012

Vienna to Czech, through Bohemia

Very sad to leave Vienna. It is so beautiful here and the people are lovely.

On our way out of Austria, we pass a town called Linz. Adolf Hitler was actually born in Austria (did not realize that) and was a failure in Vienna, so he moved to Germany, joined the army and became very successful. when he came back to Austria, he built up the industrial town of Linz. Before the invention of the steam engine, the only way to get from Linz to Czechoslovakia was by horse-drawn railroad, Ottmar says this was a unique railroad with no other like it in Europe.

Driving through the western parts of Austria, we are passing some of the most impressive evergreen woods I have ever seen, the trees (pine?) must be at least 50-75 feet tall. Ottmar says there was snow on the ground here up until a month ago. Everyone we have met who has learned I am from California jokes that I have brought the sunshine with me, so far it has been strangely warm and sunny wherever we go. I don't mind since we are walking around all day, the statues are brilliant in the sunlight (many have gold leaf on them, I don't think that comes across well in the photos I am taking).

The Fairytale town we are visiting, Čseky Krumlov, is controlled largely by the family Shwarzenberg. One of the family members who actually grew up in Austria (the family associated with the Hofburgs), came back to Prague to become foreign secretary and will run for Czech President next year.

The unique feature of Č.Krumlov is the colored fortress tower in the center of the city. Everything here is in the medieval style, built into the surrounding rocks. The fortress tower is built into a sharp jagged rock base that we can see easily from the pot h we are lunching on.

Lunch is a quick bite at Restaurace Parkân Pension Terasa.

Lunch: Zapečené penne se smetanovo - syrovou omáčkou a kurecím masem (baked penne with cream-cheese sauce and chicken).

The waiter says the cheese is Balkan. It tastes just like Gouda, perhaps a little less salty.

Shopping here is so fun! Read: inexpensive. 3 pairs of Swavorski crystal earrings (which are mined and cut in the Czech Republic) for $20? Please and thank you, or...

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