Hopped a train to Český Krumlov

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

(Disclaimer: We're currently in North Dakota, USA, but writing a Czech post for a Travel Tuesday linkup.)

Way back in the 13th century, a Bohemian king planted a fetching castle and hamlet in the crook of the Vltava River, near the Austrian border.
Eight centuries later, our highly expert travel panel (well, BW and my parents and me) hopped a train and chugged 4 hours south of Prague to spend a couple of nights there. 

The Krumlov Castle wears a snazzy little blue-green hat 
Even in a persistent grey drizzle, the town of Český Krumlov is a charmer. But we had only one drizzly day - the kind that coerces you to buy hot drinks in late June. 

A soggy Ma and Pa
This place wasn't always so picturesque; an ugly expulsion of German-speaking citizens happened after WWII, as the area had been annexed by the Nazis into Sudetenland. And during Communism, pretty Český Krumlov became shabby and depressed. In 1992, though, it was named a UNESCO site and was polished back to it's current pristine condition.

Buildings the same as when Egon Schiele painted their images on canvas
The whole town is one big breath of special. However, we had a few experiences that increased the special quotient for us.

Food at U Dwau Maryi (At the Two Marys). The building itself is a Medieval goody, and it has two paintings of the Virgin Mary dating back to the 1700s. We sat at a massive wood table and split the the Old Bohemian Feast for four, which was a total treat with smoked meat, millet cake and potato pancakes. 

Rafting on the Vltava. We rented a raft for a very reasonable price through Surfsport and bobbed down the river, past all sorts of beautiful things. Loads of Czechs were on the river, too, with bottles of slivovice (plum brandy) dragging on ropes behind them. They all said "Ahoj!" (pronounced ah-hoy) as they passed us, an informal and happy hello.

Art Art Art. There's stellar street art - ancient and contemporary - in this village, as well as art supplies shops and the incredible Egon Schiele Art Centrum. No photos were allowed in the Schiele Centrum, but it's absolutely phenomenal, being housed in a former centuries-old brewery - probably one of the best galleries I've ever been to.

Krumlov Castle. Built in 1240, it was a major cultural and political beacon in Central Europe. It has Europe's oldest working Baroque Theater; a fantastic stories-high linking bridge; enchanting green gardens and a candy-colored tower.

Wandering about town. This was our favorite way to while away the time. Crooked little cobblestone walkways carry you through crystal shops, art galleries, pubs, antique stores, museums, a brewery, parks, cafes, etc. 

It's easy to lose yourself in Český Krumlov!

Travel Tuesday


  1. "ahoj" is originally a greeting among sailors and canoeists... Hard to say why it became so frequently used among normal people in the landlocked CR.

  2. I love the photos you took to capture Krumlov... I thought I'd seen 'em all but I love your perspective. Glad you had such a great time there... I STILL haven't been to Egon Schiele (I had a friend tell me it was terrible but don't worry, I don't believe her one bit) but soooon. Preferably without said friend.

  3. Seems to be a gorgeous town and I love that castle! Still have only been to Prague and Theresienstadt but if I ever make it to the Czech Republic again, Krumlov will be on my itinerary! ;)

  4. Wow, a lovely and charming town. Definitely looks like a place to visit when I make it to CR next.

  5. Yes, totally recommended! It's a bit touristy but nothing egregious, at least when we were there. The family really liked it.

  6. Thanks, Cynthia! Ack - can't believe she didn't like ES! There's more temporary exhibit space than permanent, so I suppose you could get an exhibition you're not crazy about, but the building interior itself is really unique. P.S. If you haven't been to the Two Mary's, they have a decent bunch of vegetarian options.

  7. Yeah, I was confused about that when I moved to the Czech Republic. And then I said it to a shopkeeper once that I thought I was on friendly terms with and I think she got testy with me. Now I only say it to good friends. And, now, canoeists :)

  8. Yes, it's definitely one of those places that's a total treat if you're in the area but not one you'd center an entire major trip around. There are so many neat little spots in the CZ; you should come back!

  9. I've heard of Two Mary's..... but it's RIGHT next to Laibon, one of my favorite joints. So..... you know.... :) Perhaps on those days that I force myself to branch out. Thanks for the recommendation!

  10. your parents are so cute!! looks like a lovely time..

  11. Thanks, Annie; it really was wonderful. I wish we could just pack family in our suitcases and haul them around with us!


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