The children still in Athens, Tony and I wasted no time in practicing our Empty Nester routine with another day trip on Saturday. After a lengthy morning constitutional, Clayton Theodore requested to snooze on the sofa all day. We obliged him.

Schloss Lednice in the Czech Republic, about an hours’ drive north of Vienna is one of the collection of estates and palaces belonging to the Liechtenstein Family. This particular chateau was their weekend hunting lodge. Earlier in the week I toured their City Palace in Vienna; and as it were, our day trip plan to Castle Mikulov had us within close range of this beautiful chateau, so we detoured the wagon for a peek.

 

Whimsical gargoyles.

 

 

Don’t we all need weekend chateaus?

 

 

 

Strong trade links between the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires emerged after the Turkish sieges, but we were still surprised to see cultural influences, including, at the time of construction, the largest Minaret in Europe.

 

Adjacent to the chateau were the former staff quarters and, likely, the stables.
Passing through the arches one is struck by the contrast between the wings. Three sides have been lovingly restored, while the fourth remains tied to the past.

In the forgotten fourth wing, people still live in the apartments!  All we can guess is that the staff quarters were used as housing during life under Communism, and these families remain to this day.  How unfortunate to be within sight of such grandeur but not be living such a life.

Before moving on to Castle Mikulov we stopped for lunch in a family-run restaurant (our favorite kind!) English got us nowhere, but our my German got us a first plate of smoked meat, pickles, and bread…

…and a lunch of venison medallions in port wine and mushroom sauce for me, and Wildschwein cutlets for Tony.

It was not at all unsettling for me to enjoy so very much the venison, with its ancestors looking down upon me in the room.

The adage about eating a Chinese meal and being hungry 15 minutes later has a Czech analogy of sorts. We each ate our Czech meal and thus will not be hungry for another week! Nonetheless, we pushed ourselves away from the table and traveled on to Mikulov.