These boots are made for walking

And that’s just what they’ll do, and one of these days, these boots are gonna……walk all over Pardubice. Went for a wee photo walk the other day while the snow was still fresh and the temperature still well below zero. It’s a balmy four degrees today and all the snow has melted away, except for a save chunks here and there that were shoveled up outside business premises. My first port of call was the local lake which was almost completely frozen over, save for swan corner. I had hoped to find people skating on the frozen lake but alas not on this trip.

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The lake is encircled by these lovely birch trees with their distinctive camouflaged bark, you know so the lumberjacks can’t see them to cut them down….
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No trees here, keep walking
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In the almighty words of Ian Malcom from Jurassic Park “That is one big pile of shit”. But he’d be wrong, for it is in fact a mole hill, the surrounding park is covered in them. That’s chaos theory

From the park I made my way around the side of the CEZ arena and the sprawling sports complex it encompasses, including a hotel, soccer pitch and tennis facilities.

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Behold the mighty football arena, capacity: 1,500,000,000……give or take.
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Love these tennis blobs that seem to be all the rage these days, I’d hate to be inside if they let the air out.

The path continued along parallel to the Elbe river which flows through the town. At the western edge of town its flow is interrupted by a hydroelectric power station. There’s a cycle path running over it connecting the two sides of the river and a lock to let small boats through.

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No upward facing anchors? All anchors must be pointy side down? I don’t get this one..
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The hut where the guy in charge of making sure your anchors are pointy side down sits…..and waits.
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God DAMnit!
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Super fun happy slide! Reminded me of that scene from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory where the kid gets sucked into the pipes. I doubt these are carrying chocolate though, but one can only dream.
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The lock for allowing boats a safe passage down the river was frozen over.
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The power station worker’s Summer homes atop the dam, although it’s highly likely they’re control rooms instead.

I continued my stroll down past the old square and further East towards the automatic mills, which have been on this site in one form or another since the late 16th Century. There’s a number of quaint little houses in this area, and lots of little hidden details. I had completely walked past the boat while crossing the iron bridge to the mills, before I realised it couldn’t have been a boat, it was on land. Sure enough when I turned back to investigate, it was a boat alright, but now it lies up out of the river and serves as a restaurant, although it seems to be closed for the Winter period.

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Where the trolls live, this one’s a lovely spacious condo with three rooms including an en suite bathroom.
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If boat captain’s need a lighthouse on this river they really should reconsider their chosen career path.
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Beautiful draping Willow trees can be found throughout Pardubice
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On this episode of Pimp My Balcony…
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A boat that is not a boat, but a restaurboat.
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Kitty friend! This fella came running out from underneath a car (no he wasn’t run over and re-animated, although that would be cool!) and proceeded to meow loudly at me, failing to understand I don’t speak cat or Czech cat.

I returned home via the old square as the sun was starting to set. It always pays to revisit places as you’ll see something new every time, a carving you didn’t see before or a huge piece of tile work on the footpath that you’ve walked over half a dozen times but never thought to look down at your feet. If there’s one thing I always forget to do when exploring a new area, it’s looking in every direction and not just the obvious. You’ll be surprised by the things you notice.

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One of the few plants not buried by the snow.
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That cow better get a wriggle on or he’ll be in trouble. This motif can be seen throughout the town on various buildings.
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The splendid Green Tower, yet to be scaled….someday.
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The crest of Pardubice, half a horse. I like to think there’s a town in Slovakia somewhere that has the other end as their crest. No prizes for guessing who got the bum deal there eh?

 

EDIT: A more detailed and historically accurate description of Pardubice and it’s crests and motifs has very kindly been given by a commenter. You can read more about the town here. Thanks to jaryba for this information.

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7 thoughts on “These boots are made for walking

  1. Love the tennis bubble idea, I guess that’s one way to keep the sport alive during those Eastern European winters. Maybe the upside down anchor is the thing you would tie your boat to, meaning “don’t tie your boat here”? That’s my best guess. “No upside down anchors” is still a contender…

  2. It is a bison (aurochs) – “Zubr” in Czech.

    There is a legend surrounding the origins of the Pernštejn family and its coat-of-arms, which features a bison’s head with a ring in its nose on a silver and later gold shield. The Pernštejns, in fact, used to present this legend in the form of stone relievo on the dominant structures of a number of their residences. There are three places to find such relievo in Pardubice. The legend has it that there once lived in a forest in Moravia a poor collier called Vojtěch, from whose simple shack somebody (or something) began stealing food. Vojtěch decided to lie in wait for the thief and discovered to his surprise that it was a wild aurochs (European bison). He seized the beast by the horns with all his might, but had no idea what to do next. Just then a little bird sitting on a tree cried to him, “… the bast, the bast …”. The collier understood and unwound the bast he had around his foot as a shoe, wove a withe from it and shoved it through the bison’s nostrils. He then led the conquered beast to the princely castle, where he cut off its head in one stroke in front of the astonished spectators. For this heroic act of ridding the estate of the raging bison he was given a black bison’s head with a ring in its nose as a coat-of-arms and the forests in which he had previously burned wood coal to build a castle on.

  3. There is also a legend about the crest of Pardubice.

    The Lords of Pardubice have as their coat-of-arms the front half of a horse with a golden bridle on a red background. There is a legend surrounding the origins of this coat-of-arms, which is as follows. Bohemian King Vladislav II set off to Italy in 1158 with Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa to conquer the town of Milan in a war that brought renown to Bohemian warriors for their bravery. During one night time raid they were able to capture the horses and war standard of Milan. However, the people of Milan began to defend the attack and forced the Bohemians out of the town. They released the portcullis just as the last of the warriors was fleeing on his horse. The white horse was cut in two, but still managed to carry its master for a while. The brave squire, named Ješek, took his faithful half horse on his shoulders and carried it all the way to the camp of his king, Vladislav II. As reward for his bravery he was given the front half of the horse as his coat-of-arms. This legend is also depicted on Green Gate (Zelená brána).

    from web:
    http://work.xhtml-css.cz/pardubice/en/the-origins-of-the-city.html#

  4. Fantastic information, thanks very much jaryba! I was looking for something along these lines but couldn’t find any detailed information, thank you very much for this, very interesting stories and it gives me an extra appreciation for Pardubice’s culture. Thank you 🙂

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