Prague & Český Krumlov

Prague

Leaving Marrakech (and the heat) we travelled to Prague; a first for both the Aliferous Co. team! Prague is one of the most beautiful cities we have ever been to; the buildings a mix of romanesque, gothic, renaissance, and baroque styles, each a different colour creating an eclectic mix of beautiful streetscapes!

During our stay in Prague, we hit most of the famous tourist attractions, including the Prague Castle, the Lennon Wall and the Charles Bridge. Prague Castle is the largest castle complex in the world! The most prestigious and beautiful building is the St Vitus Cathedral. We loved walking around the little side alleys of the castle grounds where you can explore stores selling traditional goods such as wooden Czech toys! After a wander around the grounds, we took a rest and tried the Czech Apple Strudel! An apple a day keeps the doctor away right?!

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Crossing the Charles Bridge, we wandered towards the John Lennon Wall. After John Lennon was murdered (8 December 1980), students in Prague painted an image of John Lennon on this wall.  This was during the time of communist rule and a lot of western pop music was banned. Despite the secret police’s attempts to paint over the image, it never remained white for long. Today, whilst the image of John Lennon is difficult to see, the wall remains painted with peace messages and the Beatles lyrics!

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Finally, because no trip to Prague is complete without this gastronomical experience, we tried a Trdelnik! It is made from rolled dough, wrapped around a stick, grilled and then covered in sugar! We took a walk to diabetes heaven and added ice cream!

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Český Krumlov

Taking a three hour bus from Prague, we headed to a small town called Český Krumlov. Český means “Czech” and Krumlov means “crooked meadow”- with the town surrounded by a weaving river. This was honestly one of the most picturesque towns we have ever been to; a postcard worthy image at every turn! Český Krumlov is a very small town; indeed you can walk the whole old town in about 30 minutes – but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in beauty!

Whilst in Český Krumlov, we partook in a free walking tour, run by Wiseman Free Tours. The current Český Krumlov is the combination of two towns – the original Český Krumlov and Latran town. Today, the two towns are connected by a wooden bridge. The town centre (historical area) is a UNESCO world heritage site. The most beautiful landmark in this town is the castle, which can be seen from most angles of the town, making for great photographs wherever you are! After the fall of communism, house prices in Český Krumlov were only $2,000 – $4,000 USD – a gold mine for the lucky purchaser. Unfortunately today the price for a beautiful house in Český Krumlov range between $500,000 to $2 million USD. Slightly outside the budget for Aliferous Co. but we can dream! Instead we dropped into Vtlava Sport Service to rent a kayak for a trip down the winding river, viewing the houses we will never afford from afar!

Whilst is Český Krumlov we tried some traditional Czech food – meat, big portions and potato! Oh and a good side of French Onion dip for your potatoes. Daniel ordered the duck at one restaurant and received no less than 1/2 a duck, potato dumplings and red cabbage salad. We definitely did not go hungry in this town!

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To try something different, we decided to go on a ghost tour of the town at night! It was a good mix of historical information and fairytale make-believe, excellently presented by Wiseman Free Tours. The people of Český Krumlov also continue to keep the tradition of their former rulers; keeping bears on the castle grounds. In the 1980s, some drunken soldiers decided to climb into the bear enclosure to feed the bears some beer. Unfortunately, one of the soldiers was attacked by the bears and in the process he lost his arm. In order to rescue him, the police were required to shoot and eventually kill the bears. The animal activist in us was outraged. However, our tour guide told us that the people did not mind. Being under communist rule, the people did not have a lot of meat – and dead bears meant the town could have a feast consisting of Bear Goulash!

Next stop of this worldly adventure?? Vienna!

Until next time,

 

AP & DT

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