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4:36pm on Wednesday, 26th June, 2013:



I feel much better today, as my daughters have both caught my cold.

This morning, we went on a tour to Karlstein Castle, an imposing structure built to house the crown jewels of the former Kingdom of Bohemia. I think the main system of defence was the fact they built it at the end of miles of back roads so you'd need a map ever to find the place, and when the crown jewels were once put in actual danger they were moved to Nuremburg for safe keeping. Still, it's quite imposing:

The walk up to the castle was not advertised as existing, so we were rather suprised by the unpleasant 20 minute uphill trek through the rain that greeted the arrival of our tourbus in Karlstein town car park. Here's our tour guide:

I don't think he's quite got the hang of umbrellas.

The tour round the castle was a sterling example of Communist-era job demarcation in action. The local, castle guide spoke to our guide in Czech, then he repeated it in English and Spanish. The local guide spoke good English herself, and occasionally forgot that she couldn't speak the language in order to answer questions; our main tour guide also knew what she was going to say because he'd been on the tour enough times before to have committed it to memory (indeed, he'd already told us a lot of it on the bus ride in). Still, I guess it explains the high level of employment in the Czech republic.

Pro-tip for kings: don't make your personal WCs overhang the steps up the castle walls. If you excrete something on someone armed with a bow and arrow, you're asking for trouble.

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Copyright © 2013 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).