We are hunters of beauty, chasing grace wherever we find it, devouring everything there is about it to the last bite. We continuously point our camera at charm and shoot it down, trying desperately to acquire a piece and claim it as our own. Yet, beauty can have no owner, it’s something that lavishly offers itself to anyone even though most of us view it as our potential property. Český Krumlov is a small town in the heart of Europe where beauty has taken shape, inviting anyone to adore it. Our third day in Czech republic proved a little bit tricky, since we wanted to visit this charming little town, but we had not booked our tickets in advance due to certain difficulties back home (With capital controls enforced, we could not buy anything online for weeks, therefore the last arrangements for our summer trip could not be made).
You can review the previous part of our trip here
After a good nights sleep and a tasty breakfast, we walked to Florenc bus station to catch a ride to Český Krumlov. To our astonishment though, we discovered that there were no available tickets to the place until two o’ clock. Plus, we would have to catch that specific bus at Anděl, reach Český Krumlov at five and be on our way back to Prague at eight. We thought about it for a while and even though the thought of skipping Český Krumlov crossed our minds, we decided to stick to the plan and boy, were we glad we did!
We had to spend some time hanging around Anděl though, since we were told that there might be a slim chance to find two seats on one of the earlier buses. Anděl seemed like an interesting place at first, but we got bored after a while, so we were constantly checking if the time had passed. After leaving the metro, we found a farmer’s market there and we hanged around, tasted some juice, ate something, grabbed a coffee and some refreshments and that was pretty much it. Then boredom kept whispering that we should have stayed in Prague and forget about Český Krumlov, whose charms began to fade in our minds as monotony was taking over. Luckily, we resisted the urge to stay in Prague and boarded our bus, but unfortunately the bus company recruited an older vehicle to meet the needs of passengers and that kept us a bit disappointed.
This picturesque town is easily reachable from Prague, as well as Vienna and Linz. It’s center maintains its medieval beauty in a fairy-tale like manner as the Vitava river gently crosses through. The castle and its bears are the main attraction (You can feed them some watermelons and contribute to their happiness, ah great times to be a bear), while there’s also a museum dedicated to the art of Egon Schiele.The town is a great place to buy moldavite, a semi precious stone, encountered only in Bohemia, the result of a meteorite impact on neighboring Germany millions of years ago.
The three hour route was tiresome yet the scenery once there seemed that would compensate us for our trouble. However, once we got off the bus, nothing could prepare us for what we were about to view, since the bus station is actually some sort of parking lot and a small hill hides the town from that point. So we climbed on top of that hill and we were faced with beauty…
Not words nor pictures can depict accurately the town’s beauty. We went downhill to reach the small town center and rushed to make the best out of our limited stay on the place. Since we arrived late there was no way we could visit the castle on time, but we walked all the way up there just to have a view of the town.
By the time we got there, visitors kept still crowding the place although their numbers were slowly declining as the hour was getting late. We explored the place without being in a hurry and paid a visit to an antique store, where I started my own tradition of trying to collect a book from every country we visit. So, I acquired a Czechoslovak translation of a Norwegian writer’s work. Afterwards we grabbed a bite at a small restaurant and we enjoyed another Trdelnik, while in Czech republic. The place seemed lively and we ‘ve heard that many festivals take place in the summertime, but we guess that the place is beautiful when snow embraces the tiny village as well (at least that’s what we think, looking at some pics taken in wintertime).
There were also many small details all around us that gave the place an artistic tone. However, we could not afford much time around the sights and soon we found ourselves reluctantly returning to the bus stop. We bought a couple of souvenirs and observed a hot air balloon rising above the roofs, as we made a quick stop on the top of the hill that stands between the bus station and the village.
As we were waiting for our bus back to Prague, I saw the sun going down showering the castle tower in a glowing light. Now, usually Catherine does most of the photo shoot, but I thought I ‘d give this one a shot, so, I zoomed in and got a pretty great photo.
Our way back to Prague was more comfortable since our student agency bus was a better option than the one that got us to Český Krumlov. The seats were equipped with screens that we used in order to watch series and listen to music, while we purchased some coffee and snacks on the bus. As we arrived, we decided to return to Zizkov and have a drink there, since we liked this suburb from day one, yet we had skipped on every chance we had to enjoy a drink there. After a while, we walked into one of the small bars and got comfortable on some stools. The place was not crowded and we were the only non Czechs around, the music was not intense, yet some of the customers were talking loud and that gave the place an authentic look. It was really an average working class bar, addressed mostly to locals just like the ones back home. We enjoyed a beer and I noticed a bottle of slivovice behind the counter, so we asked the bar lady for a shot and invited her to have a drink with us. We raised our shots and yelled “Na zdravi” and “yia mas” and engaged in some small talk before calling it a night. In the morning we would catch our bus to Vienna to spend the weekend there…
Check the next part of our Central European adventure here