After spending the past few weekends in Prague, I decided I was in desperate need to get out of the city. I still struggle some days with the lack of commitment I have in my life – no work, one volunteering gig and uni that involves minimal out of class study can sometimes get me a bit down. Determined to not let that happen this weekend, I organised a last minute little getaway to the Czech countryside. Plus, I really could use a breath of fresh air from the city life! Český Krumlov is a town about a three and a half hour train journey from Prague. Well, it did end up being a little bit longer than that, due to train works or something of the like that saw my journey change from two trains to a train, a bus, then another train. You don’t know terror until you are navigating a transport system in a foreign country. If it hadn’t been for a lovely old lady I probably would have continued sitting on an empty train when we had to change for the bus! I had heard good things about Český Krumlov, and I was not disappointed. It is a beautiful little town with meandering side streets and a wonderful old castle. I arrived in the afternoon and grabbed a coffee while wandering around the old town. While there was not shortage of tourists, it was nothing compared to how many there are in Prague. The main attraction of the town is the impressive castle looming over the river from a hillside. It looks like it was even constructed out of the natural rock of a mountain in some places. This river – the Vlatva – is the same that runs through Prague. Glass blowing – or something of the sorts – seems to be quite a traditional Czech art form. This quirky post was out the front of one such shop. Also, the below photo is to demonstrate my love of cobblestoned streets. Well, probably love-hate. They look beautiful, but after a few hours they really start to hurt one’s feet! I was entering the castle complex to climb up the above tower when I noticed the below sign on the bridge… Bears?!? I excitedly ran from one side of the bridge to other but saw no sign of them. The views of the town provided from the tour were spectacular. The changing leaves due to fall made the forests on the hillsides even more beautiful as they sported an assortment of colours. As I looked back over the bridge via which I had entered, I spotted the bears! However, my excitement quickly turned to sadness for the poor animals. They seemed to be less than ecstatic about their lives in the castle moat, as demonstrated by this poor creature who was standing with his face against the wall. These are the final flight of stairs leading up to the tower, to demonstrate how steep and narrow the journey was. And this wasn’t even the worst part. The rest of it featured handmade wooden stairs that were horribly uneven, low ceilings and rope for a handrail. I spent the entire time walking up thinking of what an impending law suit this place must be. One wrong step… It was free to walk around the outside of the castle complex and through the courtyards, which were wonderful. Most of them were painted with faux bricks and statues of – I am assuming – various religious figures. The castle complex went on for awhile, before opening up to some impressive gardens. I was happy just wandering around here for an hour. The garden also features the below building, called the revolving theatre. I have no idea what that means! Seeing fall happen in a northern hemisphere country is amazing! I was trying to capture some photos to show how vivid all the colours of the season are (the below tree was such an amazing shade of yellow!) but unfortunately my camera and photography skills weren’t quite up the task. This is looking out over the edge of town, into the countryside. Despite the gloomy weather, it looked beautiful. That evening I went to the most delicious vegetarian restaurant with a couple of girls I met at the hostel. I got a tasting plate of all their various curries and what not, and it was amazing. I have most of the day today here in town, so I am not quite sure what I am going to do! The town if definitely a lot smaller than Prague, so I might see if I can go for a hike into the countryside. – Reanna.