I don’t know about you guys, but I have been experiencing some pretty heavy duty travel lust this week. As someone who truly dislikes winter, January is the hardest time of year for me. At least in December we have the holidays to look forward to. In February there is my birthday, Valentine’s Day, the huz’s birthday… fun things. In March, the end is in sight. But in January. Phew, it’s rough. I find myself doing things like curling up in a blanket cocoon and perusing “tropical getaways” on Expedia and Googling “homes for sale in [insert warm city name].” I also have this inner dialogue with myself every time I step outside, which goes something like this, “$%&* this! This is terrible! I hate this. %^&* *($^ Argh!” I guess this is all a side effect of living in Michigan. I was born here and have chosen to stay here for the time being, so I really have no room to complain. It’s a love/hate thing, Dear Mitten.
So instead, let us reminisce about warmer times. Like last summer! I have been saving this post for a couple reasons:
- Final day of our trip to the Czech Republic last summer
- My favorite day of our trip!
Missed previous posts from this trip? Catch up:
- Europe 2013: Day 1-Arriving in Prague
- Europe 2013: Day 2-First Full Day in Prague, Part I
- Europe 2013: Day 2, Part II–Taste of Prague Tour
- Europe 2013: Day 3-Dresden, Germany
- Europe 2013: Day 3-Dinner at Café Imperial
- Europe 2013: Day 4, Part I-Prague’s Old Town Square
- Europe 2013: Day 4, Part II-Prague: Mala Strana
- Europe 2013: Day 5, Part I-Vyšehrad
- Europe 2013: Day 5, Part II-Kutná Hora
- Europe 2013: Day 6, Part I-Prague Castle
- Europe 2013: Prague Day 6, Part II: Jewish Quarter
- Europe 2013: Prague Day 7–Part I: Petrin Hill
- Europe 2013: Day 7, Part II: Hradčany and Café Savoy
And now, ladies and gentlemen, I present:
The Charming Český Krumlov
The prospect of visiting Český Krumlov (pronounced ‘CHESS-key CRUMB-lof’) was one of the main reasons I chose to travel to the Czech Republic for my most recent big trip. With more sights to see, the larger city of Prague served as a fantastic “home base” during our 1.5 week trip, but we also took several day excursions during our stay, including visits to Kutna Hora, Dresden, and Cesky Krumlov.
Cesky Krumlov, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a small and impossibly charming riverside town in the southern area of the Czech Republic. It is only about 20 minutes from the border of Austria, in fact.
We elected to take a guided day tour from Prague to make things easy. Walking to the city center, we could see part of the castle:
The Vlatava River (the same river that runs through Prague) gently winds around the small town.
Our first views of the town! So excited.
Another view of the castle, looming over the town:
The building facades were, again, impossibly charming.
Our guide led us to the public square in the center of town, and set us free for a couple hours of exploring on our own.
First, after a three hour ride into town, lunch was in order. I had some sort of pasta dish with salmon, cream sauce, and greens. I remember sitting under an awning on the restaurant’s shaded terrace and just burning up from the heat. Oh what I would give for that heat right now!
The huz had some sort of schnitzel dish with potatoes. He’s a meat and potatoes man.
St. Vitus Church (we went inside too, but no photography was allowed):
We found a fantastic terrace with an incredible view of the castle:
We licked a couple ice cream cones while hanging out on this terrace, which was just an overall mess because they were dripping like crazy and my hat kept blowing off!
Then we started to be real lurkers and wander down strange alleys and staircases. Hmm, wonder what’s down here?:
Let’s find out!
Thah REE-vah! (River. Sorry.)
There were tons of people rafting and kayaking down the river which looked incredibly fun. I was a little jealous actually! #bucketlist
Okay, let’s go back up.
Have I convinced you that Cesky Krumlov is incredibly beautiful yet? I swear, around every twist and turn in the cobblestone street, I would audibly “ooh” and “ahh” and say things like “this isn’t real life!” or “this is crazy!” or “are we in a fairy tale!??!”
I mean, this doesn’t even look real right!? Looks like a Disney movie:
The locals probably took me for a nut job.
Pretty sure I may have claimed that “I NEVER want to leave here,” at some point, and asked the huz if we could move here. Clearly, we didn’t. Yet.
After meeting back up with our tour group, we were led to Krumlov Castle for a tour.
The castle has its own bear keeper, who, well, keeps the bears, in the castle’s moat. We have a thing for bears (they are so cuddly!) so we loved seeing them. Bears have been kept at the castle since the 18th century.
Photography was again not allowed inside of the castle, but we were led on a tour through the castle interior for about one hour, which was really cool. Stepping outside, from the castle we had the most fantastical fairy tale view of the town, including the river below, and the green rolling hills beyond.
Magical, I tell ya. I’ll never forget this day!
In my opinion, Cesky Krumlov is a must-see and worthy of anyone’s travel bucket list! I definitely had a connection with this town.
We arrived back in Prague in the evening and simply got a couple Döner Kebabs from a street cart for dinner. So good! We were wiped out.
We also picked up a treat from a French bakery on our way back to our hotel.
Despite a low-key last evening in Prague (we had to pack for our early flight the next morning!) we had an incredible final day in the Czech Republic!
Thanks for following along on my trip!
View my Travel page HERE.