It is the year 1253, and on the banks of the Vltava river, that same snaking water that winds its way through the heart of Prague, a castle is taking shape.
The castle is situated on a swarth of green meadow, caught between a twisted loop in the river - a natural embodiment of security from the thieving bandits around-abouts.
Where there is a castle, there grows a town. Around the walls, people flock to find work, patronage for their art, or markets for their livestock. And so the town of Cesky Krumlov was born - named after the curved meadow on which it sat.
WONDERS OF A MEDIEVAL TOWN
Terracotta roofs, huddled close to one-another.
River-rafters braving the rapids; Oliver and I, watching the spectacle from a bridge above.
Small shops selling dusty books in unknown languages, traditional spiced cookies, and barrels of mead.
The dark-doorways of the bars, and the promise of a cold draught beer for the price of a smile.
Walls covered in Renaissance style sgraffito and painted illusions: bricks, stones, florescues and curlicues.
A moment spent sitting on the wall of a park, watching children play a game of piggy-in-the-middle below my feet in a private garden.
During the sun's pinnacle ascent, the crowds in the old town became too much. This was the perfect time to find a tea-room, and rest a while on pillows under the shade, drinking teas infused with rose waters, coconut flakes, and exotic flowers that bloom when hot water is poured on them.
Winding streets, alcoves and arches - the ideal setting for a promenade of hand-holders.
A market-place in a medieval courtyard, stalls piled with wooden spoons and blown glass.
A meal in a dark hovel of a place, the pork knee cooked upon an open fire.
The sheer mystery of it all... All the while, I was trying to peer behind the screen of façades, to learn of the once-beating heart that was this medieval town.