Monday, 18 May 2009

This afternoon at 2pm the digger arrived at the island. Our protests and all those signatures against the removal of the island were in vain. Crunch - the first bite and the ducks scattered, forming little protective groups around the little ducklings, still very young.
The resident birds flew up, screeching in panic. And then we watched as, scoop after scoop, what remained of the little urban nature reserve was destroyed. Wild flowers, roots, reeds, water gladioli...
They told us that they will build a new - much smaller - island instead. But will the concrete island ever be able to serve the wildlife for whom the natural island was a safe home?Poor old Krumlov too: the old houses shall be framed by a concreted river. And what of its people? On the opposite bank from us, an Italian has been running a very successful and much beloved cafe, whose terrace is a picture of lovely greenery, where visitors from all over the world like to sit and enjoy the riverside under the castle. The Italian came to Krumlov some 20 years ago - but despite his long residency here he hasn't yet been able to find out from the Town hall whether his terrace will be bulldozed away or not! Even today, he still didn't know, whilst the bulldozer ate away at the island in front of his eyes. 'What will you do if they take your terrace away?', I asked. He shrugged: 'Go back to Italy'.This is a town that lives and breathes tourism - it is its only real source of income. If more people like this hard-working cafe owner leave, if more tourists, or even UNESCO, get fed up with a town that makes life of its residents and visitors harder and uglier by the day, if massive signature campaign doesn't produce a democratic result, what will the Town hall live on? One can bake the goose that lays golden eggs and have a fabulous dinner, but there will be no more golden eggs after that.

2 comments:

Limey said...

Oh, I'm so sorry - that's heartbreaking. Those poor birds saw that as home. I hope that some progress can be made to find them a new, acceptable home.

Anonymous said...

That's so sad. I wish UNESCO could see what is going on and could do something about it.