Telc, Czech Republic

Telc, is a small town of around 6,000 inhabitants located halfway between Prague and Vienna. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage list due to its town square which is lined with Italianate buildings.

Either side of the town are two lakes. The setting was magnificent and yet it seems to be missing from a lot of tourist itineraries. I’ll post more later, but there must be have been more ghosts than tourists there when I visited.


Czech Republic

Today I am in Liberec in the Czech Republic. Been here a week already but we have been busy walking, taking photos, sampling Czech food and generally having a great vacation. Here are a couple of photos from the fist 2 days of the trip. Day 1: Czesky Krumlov, UNESCO World Heritage Listed Site in South Bohemia.


Secondly, Holasovice, another UNESCO World Heritage Listed Site. This time listed for its farm houses that were influenced by the architecture in Prague and other cities.



It is the first time I have driven in the Czech Republic and at first found navigating to be very difficult. It takes a little time to get used to how direction signs are erected. They seem to point in the wrong direction. Then we would go and make long trips out of our way because we misread them. However, I now find the signage to be very informative.Friends of ours who we met up with in Czesky Krumlov also struggled with navigation.


Animal graffiti in Brussels

Nearly every empty accessible wall in cities tends to get covered in graffiti tags. However, every now and then someone comes along and does something a little different. They try to create a work of art, albeit illegal and often really upsetting the owner of the property affected. Walking around my local environs, here in Brussels I have noticed a lot of graffiti art depicting living creatures. The most prominent being the dinosaur skeletons outside the Natural History Museum. But there are numerous fish and fish skeletons painted very high up on walls in Brussels. There was also the elephant careering off the top of the National Library, the swimming crocodile on top of the tiled façade of C&A in Chausée d’Ixelles as well as other creations around the city. These have now been removed. My favourite being the sky diving fox, which led me to wonder how the artist managed to access his canvas.


Then I found out the artist is someone called Bonom. He was even featured on RTBF, the Belgian Broadcasting company. An excerpt from the video can be seen on this posit from the Laid Back blog. He uses some climbing techniques and describes the production of his paintings as like a dance as he swings to paint areas.


Post from 2005 Burg Eltz, Moselle

No, this post wasn’t lost in the German mail system. As the original Blog was using an obscure blogging tool here is an old post from 2005:Just got back from a short trip down the Moselle in Germany. Beautiful scenery, food, drink and weather. The ghosts have stayed away but the Burg Eltz castle apparently has its own ghost (Agnes) who died defending her honour and the castle from an unsuitable suitor. This doesn’t really count though as she doesn’t leave the castle. The walk up there was a sensory feast through the forest from Mosellekern. The smells were particularly worthy of mention. The smell was of Fruits of the Forest.
The photograph shows


a view of Burg Eltz castle as it comes into view from the footpath up from the Moselle River.

Are you a Shock Tourist?

Travel is not a one size fits all commodity. There are many ways of enjoying travel and just as each one of us is unique then what we do and see on our travels is too. Even if we visit the same places our experiences will not be the same. My travel tends to be budget orientated and to include physical activity such as walking, hiking or even snowboarding. I find destinations that are not tourist magnets, interesting, especially if they include Industrial Archaeology.

Of course there is also Luxury Travel, Adventure Travel, Cruising, Camping, Glamping, and even Shock Tourism, which is quite close to my liking, the list is seemingly endless. Last week, I gave Joelle a lift to Charleroi, not a town to be found high on many tourists’ “must visit” lists for Belgium. Nevertheless, I found the old spoil heaps slowly greening over and the old industrial heritage to be quite a draw. Two preserved headframes were visible over the buildings, so I made my way through the Marcinelles quarter to see them. They belonged to the former Le Péchon mine and now stood in an urban park. Sadly, they have been fenced off and allowed to slowly rust away. However the Bois du Cazier Mine has been preserved a memorial and visitor centre to respect the 262 victims who perished on 8 August 1956 in Belgium’s worst mining disaster.

Of course if one is to find ghosts, Bois du Cazier, might be a good place to look.