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Posts from the ‘Czech Republic’ Category

Checking out Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic

We hop a two-hour shuttle from Prague that drives through snow-covered rolling hills and farmland. The small city of Cesky Krumlov sits in the south Bohemian region of Czech Republic and surrounds a castle.

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Cesky Krumlov State Castle and Tower

Staying in hostels for about $20 nightly can make traveling cheaper than living at home. “Welcome to Krumlov House,” Cal, the proprietor says. His wife Carolyn helps us with future travel arrangements to Vienna.

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Krumlov House, our humble abode

“You have to try the fried homemade local cheese and Eggenberg brew at Na Louzi,” Cal says. “It’s my favorite restaurant.”

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Niva – lightly breaded and fried Roquefort cheese

Off we go. Soon, Marilynn and I sip a mixed light/dark Eggenberg, and munch on mild Roquefort cheese wedges lightly breaded and fried. We love how food is truly one of the best ways to internalize a culture, anywhere in the world.

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Town Square

Small towns that surround castles make me feel medieval…, until I realize that instead of donning furs, Marilynn and I dress in REI down jackets and high tech hats. So much for medieval! However, Bram Stoker conducted much of his research here in Cesky Krumlov. Per the locals, this town is the true birth of vampire.

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Wandering the cobblestone streets

Getting lost on narrow, cobblestone streets that angle and twist through history adds to the delight of our adventures.

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Tower walls

We climb up the spiral stairs to the top of the Castle’s tower for some panoramic views of this stunning city.

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View from the tower

It’s time for dinner. Again, on Cal’s advice, we devour a “Bohemian Feast” at Dwau Maryi, loaded with pheasant, rabbit, chicken, pork, dumplings, potato cakes, and a measly salad in the middle – probably a recent addition. The leftovers were wonderful for breakfast.

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Bohemian Feast

Strangely enough, food servers in this small town carry a gruff attitude. We would expect the opposite. Perhaps they are tired of tourists. I wonder how they must feel in the Summer season when the place is crawling with tourists? I would not want their job.

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Which way do we go?

The following morning, we finally have time to write our first post on this adventure about Prague, Czech Republic . Afterwards, we hike up a snow-covered hill to “Our Lady Dolorous and the Holy Cross” chapel, built in 1710.

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Chapel on the Mountain of the Cross

Although closed every day of the year but one, we enjoy the energy and catch views of the city from different angles.

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City views from the mountain

Stay tuned, we be on our way to Vienna, Austria, for a short stop in Western Europe!   Ron Mitchell

 

 

CZECH REPUBLIC: Check It Out

The longer that Marilynn and I stay at home, the harder it is to leave. Once we leave, it’s easy to stay away. Finally, we hit the road again, all geared-up for two months of winter travel around Eastern Europe with no set itinerary.

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Prague

During winter “off- season,” most tourists are gone, and everything from hotel rooms to food is half-price. So, let’s bundle up and start checking out magnificence in the city of Prague.

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Prague Old Town Square

After a sleepless overnight flight, we roam the cobblestone streets and sidewalks of Prague in a trance of awe and wonder. The art begins on the cubic ground level.

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Even the sidewalks, streets, and sewer covers are beautiful

Snowflakes fly with the wind around stone sculpted saints, angels, warriors, gargoyles, and yet to be identified creatures clinging to Gothic buildings, spires, bridges, domes, and even the astronomical clock. Yes, overwhelming.

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The Astronomical Clock

Prague, my friends, is an amazing walking city. Plan to get lost in the angled alleyways where the streets make no sense, especially while a plethora of art grabs your gaze.

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Typical street in Prague

Like the hidden passageways of a Moroccan Kasbah, front doors of countless cafes, restaurants, and hotels mean nothing until you step through the portal and discover a different world.

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Pork Knee or Knuckle

It’s time for some stick-to-your-ribs food, like roasted pig knee (call it knuckle if you prefer) with sauerkraut and horseradish, a Czech favorite.

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Ron crossing the Charles Bridge

Let’s walk across the Charles Bridge to visit the John Lennon Wall, followed by a cold one at the John Lennon Pub. All we need is love.

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The Lennon Wall

A one-hour train ride to the town of Kutna Hora presents a unique day trip to the Cemetery of All Saints with the Ossuary.

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Sedlec Ossuary, better known as “The Bone Church”

It’s a church decorated with the bones of about 40,000 buried bodies who died mostly from epidemic around the 14th Century. Legend has it that a half-blind monk decoratively arranged the bones and skulls around the 16th Century. The monk regained his eyesight after his honorable labor.

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The bones of 40,000 people

The Roman Catholic Church administrates this UNESCO World Heritage site.  “Remember the Death” symbolizes hope of resurrection. Not a celebration of death, but symbolic of the equality of all people in front of the throne of God.

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No words…

I digress here to explain that we are American football fans. We stayed awake two nights in a row, all night, to watch the NFL playoff games in the comfort of our room at the “Elite Hotel.” (Quite unique hearing broadcasters speak German) I was too gassed that morning to walk to Prague’s most popular attraction, the Prague Castle.

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Prague Castle, up close and personal

While I was content to view the site from a distance, the amazing Marilynn trekked up to the castle.

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Views from the Castle

She had the place almost to herself. From Gothic to Renaissance to nouveau and cubist, the art and architectural presentation transcends words.

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Prague by night

So, I’ll end this post in a trance of awe and wonder, and leave with you Marilynn’s inspirational photos of Prague.   Ron Mitchell

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As beautiful at night….