Sunday, June 18, 2006

Karlstejn

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I was told that this was the most important castle in CZ after the gorgeous Prague castle in...well...Prague. So I stayed in the country for a weekend and took a day trip with the Harajdas--my family here in CZ. =) It is nice for me when I spend time with them, so I really looked forward to our trip. The above picture is a lovely view of the castle.

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When I got up close, I was surprised it wasn't better taken care of, better restored since it is supposed to be so important to the country. I guess they are working on it.

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The other thing that surprised me was the lack of interesting exhibits on the inside. We took a tour, but we were not allowed to take photos. There were some paintings of Charles IV' s family, some pieces of furniture, a couple of rooms were set up "as used in the time of..." but the main draw seemed to be that Charles IV built it and lived here, held reign here, had his four women here...I guess if you really idealize him, it could be interesting to see where he lived. A beautiful crown was on display in a glass case, but Mr. Harajda said it was a replica.

A couple of people in period costume were waiting in one room to sing a song. Well, a guy played a guitar-type instrument and a girl (with a great voice) sang an old style song. Which got me to thinking...wouldn't it be fantastic if there were people in period costume in every room, re-enacting life as it was lived there AND they did the talking instead of a tourguide???? It would be awesome--and not just in this place. Many places could benefit from such a thing. I am thinking of places like the ghost towns of the Old West of the USA for starters--or anywhere there are tours of buildings that are no longer used as what they were intended. Hmmmm...

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I agreed to go on the Czech tour because I was the only one of my party who would have needed the English tour, and it was 90 crowns more expensive for English. I didn't mind it because I find that tourguides rarely say anything I actually care about anyway. I usually spend my time day-dreaming. =)

But the thing that killed me about this tour was that every time we went into a room, the tourguide locked us in! It was like I was in Jail--or HELL! She stood there holding the ring of keys until she finished giving her (Czech) speech and then she would unlock the next door, escort us into a new room, and LOCK us in there too! Some of these rooms were way too small for our group. It was grating on my nerves! I got more and more antsy as we progressed to each new room. I would look at each room for about 1-2 minutes and I'd be ready to move on--but I couldn't! And I so hate feeling trapped, confined, restricted in my movement. I am a butterfly, and butterflies are free. =) Anyway, the tour was scheduled for 50 minutes, and by the last room (when we were at 54 minutes), I was begging (inside my head) to be released, "please, someone, let me out of heeeeere..." Then finally, it was over! I can't remember when I have been so happy to get out of a place.
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All thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Harajda, though. I appreciate their kindness and interest in wanting to go somewhere with me and show me something. It meant a lot to me. =)

KM

9 Comments:

Anonymous Carye Vogt said...

I can not beleive you are not impressed by this....

1:15 PM  
Blogger Jiři Harajda said...

Absolutely!!! Thank you for the support Carye. I guess that is the way Kylowna is. When everybody says it is beautiful, let's be different. Kylowna is NOT everybody, remember?????

6:09 PM  
Blogger Travelin' Fool said...

Well, Kylowna needs more than everybody elses's opinion to make her think something, ok? When everybody says something is sooooo beautiful, I am expecting something SPECTACULAR, and...well maintained. Up close, it was just...ok. Don't get me started, Mr. Harajda. I am not impressed on cue!

9:14 PM  
Blogger Jiři Harajda said...

There are some ISSUES I think :-) And DO NOT get MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE started!!!!!!!

7:08 AM  
Blogger Travelin' Fool said...

Yes, my issue is that I make up my OWN mind; I don't let others make it up for me. =)

7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, dude, this was the second--and last--time I have spent a year in Central Europe, and I can't tell you how sick I was of these central European "must-see, the-most-beautiful" places. It's all lies to make
themselves feel better--like the people who talk up the corn palace in Mitchell, South Dakota. You just know it's all crap! And then you get there and it's like, "oh, yeah, another castle." There's nothing so exciting inside either. And the lady locking you into each room--how creepy and controlling is THAT? Your photos are nice though, and at least you had got to meet the President earlier that day!

11:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if Kylowna's opinion is as much a matter of a need to be "different" as it is of a desire to actually experience something beautiful, if that is what she is told she will experience. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but, you know, some people call something beautiful only because it's the best they have--not becuase it's inherently attractive.

10:02 PM  
Blogger Travelin' Fool said...

Thank you Anonymous and Anonymous 2 for YOUR support! It means something, epecially, that at least one of you is speaking from first-hand experience with these things. And the other of you can understand that I am not TRYING to be different for its own sake, but I AM different. I really DO make up my OWN mind (instead of just following others and copying their opinions and beliefs)--and I believe it is a GOOD thing!!!

8:32 AM  
Blogger Jiři Harajda said...

The dude would like to say a few words. First of all I am surprised by your opinion. Maybe you are a little kid and in that case it is OK, but I suppose you are not as you have lived in CENTRAL Europe twice. "Must-see, real-beautiful" is not Central-European, it is typical for every and all countries. What do you expect people in those countries to say??? Hey dude, do you want to see the least beautiful, the least important, the least interesting things?? Come on!!! Which country is famous for its THE largest, THE biggest, THE most famous, THE best???? Certainly not Central Europe. Believe me the people here in US during my whole year haven't done anything different to what you have experienced in C.Europe. These things are not lies, it is pride!! People everywhere show what they have. It is nothing special and surprising. Many times I followed people's advice to go somewhere here in US and in the end it was a crap place. So are you telling me they were lying??? I bet they did not. So make the things simple , I believe it is EVERYWHERE so I would not pick on Central Europe. And as for the "locking" people in the castle it is for a reason of course. The reason is tourists damaging and stealing stuff there. There are many different tours available and Kylowna had the most basic one. And the very last thing is "controling" people. I believe it is a matter of a different country where everything is controlled and organized. That is ALL dude, don't be surprised or disgusted by common things!! Think about it.

9:40 AM  

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