To the Middle Ages, with headset

Mediaeval marvel ... the castle of Cesky Krumlov.
Mediaeval marvel ... the castle of Cesky Krumlov. 

"We got off the ship in Linz and were driven about an hour by coach to Cesky Krumlov, which is a mediaeval town in the Czech Republic.

"The journey was really worthwhile because we drove through beautiful countryside - green, with cattle and typical European villages.

"The 13th-century town of Cesky Krumlov is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The thing that really caught our imagination is just how old it was, after travelling in Australia where we just don't have any [towns] that old.

David Tremlett and his wife, Lorraine.
David Tremlett and his wife, Lorraine. 

"When you travel to other parts of Europe they are always telling you about sites that were bombed and how they've been rebuilt, but Cesky Krumlov wasn't touched in the war.

"UNESCO is providing funding for the city to be restored and you can see parts that have been restored and parts that haven't.

"In the areas that haven't been restored yet, the ground level comes halfway up the bottom storey of the building because the ground level has changed over time.

"Something that amused me was seeing an enormous wall of the Cesky Krumlov Castle, where there was a part of the building jutting out of the wall, which was the toilet. It was a long drop, down the outside of the building!

"In the parts of the city that have been redone there are shops and we had lunch in a beer hall.

"Most of the day we had a guide and we used those brilliant headsets where the guide can talk to you through your headset and you don't have to be right in front of them.

"You can be spread out over 100 metres or so and still hear them talking, so you don't have to be constantly stopping. They're particularly good in areas where you've got a lot of people, such as the town square.

"After the tour and lunch we had a couple of hours to wander around on our own. The shopaholics went shopping and others went back to have another look at the old part of the city."

Value for money

Under Scenic's FreeChoice touring options, David and Lorraine were given a choice of three included tours from Linz: the German town of Passau, a trip to Salzburg in Austria or a day trip to Cesky Krumlov.

David says the FreeChoice options make Scenic's cruises "10 out of 10 for value".

WHO David Tremlett, of Caringbah, on his third cruise.

WHAT Exploring the World Heritage-listed town of Cesky Krumlov.

WHERE Southern Czech Republic, via the Austrian port of Linz and returning to the ship in Passau, Germany.

THE SHIP David cruised with his wife, Lorraine, on a 14-night European river cruise on Scenic Sapphire. scenictours.com.au.

As told to Jane E. Fraser

Have you done an interesting shore excursion? Drop us a line at travelshd@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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