Thursday, 29 May 2014

A stop in Český Krumlov

Somewhere between Vienna and Prague sits Český Krumlov, a Unesco World Heritage site.  On a tip from one of my friends who used to live in Prague, I decided to make a pit stop and stay the night in this 14th century town on my way from Vienna to Prague. 

I organized a shuttle with shuttle lobo  to take me from Vienna to my hostel in Český Krumlov for 1100 CZK or $60 CAD.  When I factored in a train to Linz and then further transport, there wasn't much of a cost difference and the shuttle would save be a lot of hassle. However, there were some complications (I assume not enough people were signed up for the shuttle) and I ended up having to take the train to Linz anyway and had them pick me up at the train station.  It worked out just fine in the end. 

I started my visit with a visit the castle and the gardens.  As usual, the best views are always at the top of the hill so be ready to do a little walking.  Aside from visiting the castle there isn't too much else to do but wander through the narrow cobble stone streets and soak up the atmosphere, which can be tough to do mid-afternoon when the town is flooded with tourists.  I preferred Český Krumlov in the morning and then again in the evening when there were fewer people milling about.  That's when you can really hear the babbling of the water and if you time it just right, you'll probably get treated to some live music too. 

  I encountered some locals along the way and asked them for a dinner recommendation.  It's always hard to find an good place to eat in a place whose sole purpose is to cater to tourists.  They sent me to the restaurant where they had been for lunch:Na Louzi. They have a friendly staff and encourage you to come and sit at their communal tables.  And wouldn't you know it, they locals were right.  The dill soup was super tasty as was the Bohemian meat platter I decided I needed to indulge in.  If you're lucky enough to be there on a Sunday, they have live music for you to tap your toe to.  I had every intention of heading out to one of the bars around the corner, but after gorging myself all I went was to have a shower and tuck myself in, so that's exactly what I did.  Although, I was pretty curious to know what a "disco" would be like in a sleepy little 14th century town.  If any of you go, you've got to let me know how it is.

The next day I boarded the Student Agency bus to Prague for 8 Euros. It was a great ride with comfy seats and personal TV screens.  What a deal!