In the Czech Paradise

I admit it– I have been slacking off with the blog recently. In part it’s laziness, in part it’s because it’s the holiday season and in part it’s because of astounding global warming type heat. We arrived back from Norway in the middle of a heatwave– 37 degrees centigrade/98.6 Fahrenheit– this in a European city and an apartment without air conditioning. I hail from Scotland. In such temperatures the only thing Scotsmen do is melt or turn a bright shade of sunburnt pink and lie on their backs whining (manfully) about heat. Combine hot nights and a sleepless toddler and you have a recipe for lethargy.

This week we escaped into the Cesky Raj (Czech Paradise), which really is lovely and I say this as a man who has just returned from the fjords of Norway. It’s wild land with lots of razor-edged cliffs and huge rock formations, a perfect setting for a fantasy novel and one which I will no doubt use at some point in the future.  It’s the sort of landscape in which it is very easy to imagine being ambushed by orcs or encountering elves. I would show you some pictures but I haven’t transferred them from my phone yet so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

We’re staying in Mala Skala, which sounds like a town from one of David Gemmell’s Drenai novels and which it’s not too difficult to envision Druss strolling the streets of. I am writing this outside a wooden cafe that could double as a Warhammer tavern. I have spent a large part of the last few days walking through woods and along ridgetops, occasionally wearing an Osprey baby-carrier with a baby in it, mostly admiring my wife’s fortitude as she does the heavy lifting. She lacks my considerable body mass which helps with these things.

Today we were walking around Kost castle and in encountered some medieval jousters. I kid you not. I am talking about armoured men on caparisoned horses, looking as if they had just stepped out of Game of Thrones. (In case you were wondering, they were part of some sort of jousting display.) It reminded me that in the unlikely event of me ever having to face a mounted knight I am much more likely to be scared of the horse than the man. Those things are big. As it happened the only injury I faced was a mosquito bite and I showed that bloodsucker who was boss. 

Anyway, that’s enough of what I did on my holidays for the moment. Hopefully normal service will be resumed next week. 

12 Replies to “In the Czech Paradise”

  1. I can’t believe that someone who was raised with the constant threat of death by midgie would be intimidated by a mere war horse, no matter how thoroughly armoured. For my part, I was off cycling around the Western Isles, where the threat seemed much more likely to come from Viking longboats or Highland raiders than Orcs. Cycling through Ardnamurchan, you can see why the Highlands are such a brilliant setting for geurilla warfare, as the Romans found out.

    1. I believe the English discovered this too– and the Scots when they were fighting their traditional enemies– the Scots! Sorry could not resist that old quote from 1066 and all that :).

Leave a Reply