Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Lilies of Trebon

lily collage 
We spent the weekend in our favorite Czech spa town, Třeboň, visiting one of our babysitters. It's June, but don't tell that to the weather - it has spat rain and chill at us for several weeks. I worried we'd be rained in all weekend too so packed books, paper and pencils, and found a room in a pension that was big enough for all four of us and then some.

My worries came to nothing. We did happily wear our winter coats Saturday morning, but by Sunday, shorts and t-shirts were in season. Saturday's market tempted us all out and around the old Třeboň square, where Caroline and her friend Kačinka looked at every single thing, and I may have taken a picture of every single thing, myself.

Luckily too, because as I scanned through my pile of pics from the weekend I noticed a theme emerge, a lily theme. And in one of the market shots I found a basket of wooden lilies, glowing if not gilded. The floating variety showed up in a canal just outside the city walls and in a fountain just inside the castle's.

Why are lilies so popular in Třeboň? I'd guess because it's a water town, right in the middle of the carp pond region of the Czech Republic, and just beside the largest of those ponds, Svět or the World. Even the town clown is water related, he's the local representative of the vodniks, water sprites who haunt ponds and lakes in the Czech Republic and are appeased by tobacco thrown into the water by fishermen before the carp haul begins each fall. (Note to self, I wonder if Třeboň's vodnik hoped for a plug himself!)

12 comments:

lizardek said...

It's been spitting rain & chill here, too. Lilies! I love that water sprite statue.

Lynn said...

I love the statue and the little flowery buckets! Thank you for the tour and the vodnik story...

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Are these natural ponds or manmade? How pretty--water lilies!

Kelly said...

That woman in the water is sooo cool! The weather here has been less than ideal, but amazingly it always seems to turn into sun by the weekends!

Julia said...

The ponds are mostly man made - about four hundred years ago! The Trebon region used to be bog and moor and little else until one of the members of the Rozmberg family decided that the flat moors of the region could be turned into carp ponds. Now carp fishing is a big industry for the area and the fish are raised in little hatcheries until they are around two, when they are released into the ponds until the autumn and carp season comes around.

Kelly said...

So there's a carp season prior to the Christmas sidewalk execution stands? :)

eurolush said...

I like learning more about the Czech Republic each time a read your blog. Trebon sounds wonderful.

PS-Caroline is adorable.

Julia said...

Kelly, Trebon's carp season is when the fish are netted out of the ponds in preparation for those barbarous (yet convenient) Christmas carp stands.

EL, Trebon is really nice. We didn't get to go biking this trip, but that's another super thing to do there and I can highly recommend it.

Eleanor said...

From Phoenix to Trebon....what a life you lead!!

And the carp ponds remind me of the last time I was visiting Israel. We were taken on a bit of a tour and we passed by many ponds. When asked about the fish in them, the tourguide responded "All this, it is all crap..this pond is crap...this pond is crap...only crap we farm." My dad quietly corrected him, and it's been a family joke ever since. (It's even funnier with an Israeli accent).

Julia said...

That is hilarious, I can just hear it (and imagine the same mistake happening here)!

Lucy said...

I love all those pictures, did you buy a wooden lily?

Julia said...

I didn't buy a lily, though when I got home I thought for a moment that I should have, they are rather delicious. Then I looked around at all of the toys scattered about and was glad that I didn't!