Wednesday, 14 July 2010

The pleasures of Krumlov riverside

Despite of the continuing river works, life at the riverside is back to Krumlov Summer normal. And for the first Summer season we are enjoying the privileged position of being right by where it all happens - so sitting in the garden is like being in a front row of a theatre, watching the life go by as it has done for years, when Krumlov becomes both a sophisticated tourist town and a simple beach.
Hundreds of canoes pass by, their crews shouting Ahoy - canoeing and rafting being such a popular sport in this land-locked country that I know no-one who hasn't 'done the river' at least once in their lives. The canoeists usually take a week or two going from up the river as far as they can get (theoretically you could go all the way to Prague if you'd negotiate the few dams along the way), sleeping in camps or rough anywhere along the banks.
And our little street that backs onto the river also becomes a sort of beach - I meet my neighbours, young and old, in the morning and in the evenings going for a swim, or just say hello to them sunbathing by their gardens. And I watch from the window the fun everyone is having. This is the most wonderful part of living in this little town - I can be sitting outside working at my computer but I still feel I am on holiday, surrounded as I am by the relaxed, happy people who actually are.
And then after my swim, like this evening, I can dress into a formal gear and attend a concert - Krumlov is always having some festivals, from classical to jazz etc. And these are not just any old concerts, the quality is high. Next week for example Jose Cura is giving a performance here.

Going home, as evening darkens, Krumlov comes alive with many drifting sounds competing gently as they ooze from little riverside bars and restaurants - a guitar here, a piano there, gypsy music on the opposite bank...
So the daytime beach becomes a sophisticated venue by the evening, only to relax back into a kind of homely place to eat and stay up late. As I go to bed I tend to hear distant laughter from below my windows, along with the lapping of the Vltava river. Life feels so pleasant - how could I ever have thought that the only place to live is London?

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