Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Český Krumlov and South Bohemia

Great photo from wiki
Český Krumlov is a small city in the South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic, best known for the fine architecture and art of the historic old town and Český Krumlov Castle. Old Český Krumlov is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was given this status along with the historic Prague castle district.

Truly an authentic medieval town with a very labyrinthine layout.  Krumlov is a major stop on the ancient pilgrimage route westwards towards Spain through Austria.  I decided to walk a portion of this route through the Sumava National Park and had a very interesting adventure. The first segment of my route consisted of Krumlov to Kajov and back to Krumlov.  Kajov has a unique pilgrimage church with a sundial calendar. 
 Back in Krumlov on the second day I took the bus to Frymburk, another town on the pilgrimage route on the Lidna.  I really enjoyed Frymburk.
About as peaceful place as you can be.  The weather was outstanding.  I walked the 5k north to Vrasna and back to Frymburk along the lake.  The third day was a mission to say the least. This is my route.
I walked about 45k, from Frymburk to Lidna to Predni Vyton to Sv. Tomas to St. Oswald to Haslach an der Muhl. 
Following the pilgrims path was a unique adventure. 

My route went across the "abandoned zone" that was formerly the guarded border between Austria and Czechoslovakia.  Navigating was quite challenging and fun.  There are no roads that go directly from St. Thomas to St. Oswald, and in fact, many of the original pilgrim's paths had been destroyed intentionally. 
This is Vítkův Kamen at Svatý Tomáš.  At this point, I realized that I had no choice but to continue on to Austria for accomodations.  There is a nice lodge here, but it is a seasonal hunting retreat. I arrived at Sankt Oswald bei Freistadt at dusk.
St. Oswald
There was unquestionably a feeling of relief on seeing the steeple of the church here.  Though on entering the town, I realized that there were no services.  So, I pressed on to Haslach in the dark.  I arrived there at 21:45, nearly 11 hours after starting in Frymburk.  
Pilgrim's path marker in Haslach an der Muhl.  

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