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Czech Republic -- (Prague and Ceske Krumlov)

beer, hearty food and more beer.

sunny 30 °C
View Eastern Europe Route on Nicholas J's travel map.

Prague

Prague was really fun. We were there 4 nights in total. The hostel we stayed at was incredibly nice...it felt like more of a hotel than a hostel honestly. the mattress were good and the linens, pillows and duvets were great quality (which has not consisently been the case).

our first day in Prague we took a siesta when we arrived at the hostel because it as extremely hot and we were exhausted from travelling. later that night we took the tram into old town and went for dinner. we went to this traditional czech restaurant that had been recommended to us by the hostel. it was in the basement of this building and the whole place was wood...it reminded me of that sienfeld episode where kramer wants to be surrounded by wood: "wood jerry...WOOD!" anyway, we ordered this mixed plate of czech food!!! WOW it was incredible. I remember I had eaten great pork the last time i was in Prague with Brian (like 5 years ago), and this meal did not dissapoint. they served us three kinds of meat on this giant wood board: pork neck, ham and duck. it came with lots of red and white cabbage, dumplings (czech style), gravy, mashed potatoes and veg. so damn good. after dinner we walked around old town, which is just incredibly beautiful lit up at night. we crossed the charles bridge (which was shoulder to shoulder even at 22:30) and took a tram back to our luxurious hostel.

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charles bridge

the second day was scortching hot. like really damn hot...but we took a 4 hour walking tour anyway. it was a "free tour" given by this austrialian guy...it was pretty enjoyable. after the walking tour we went to this resto/bar right on the river and refresehed ourselves. then we made our way, exhausted, up this hill to this park overlooking the river and the town. there we chilled out at a beer garden for a while enjoying the view and had some bbq-ed sausage for dinner.

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prague beer garden

day 3 : explored the castle town and climbed up the hill next to the castle to go up Prague's Eiffel tour replica. was a great view of the city! on our way back down we chilled out in the castel orchard / park. we lazed in the grass amongst the trees and ate apples from the trees. then we headed to this traditional czech brewpub / restaurant...it was actually the orginial Pilsner Urquell restaurant in Prague. We had a snack plate there (meats and cheeses) and some beer. then we headed back the hostel for a while. That night we went out on the Prague pub crawl.

the pub crawl was completely crazy. the deal was 11 euro for 1 hour of unlimited drinking at the beginning, followed by 4 bars and a night club (with free entry). so we got to the first bar and we only had one thing on our minds: getting our money's worth. we sat down at this table with these two guys from toronto and started gettting down to business. we were drinking beer and these absinthe shooters. about halfway through the hour we realised that a shooter of absinthe (70% alcohol) is roughly equal to a straight shot of vodka....so we had drank about double what we thought....anyway we kept going....long story short we didnt finish the pub crawl...we ended up drinking water at the next 2 bars and then just giving up and going home....ironically, i didnt feel like we got our moneys worth.

day 4: we got a slow start to day 4, owning to the pub crawl the night before. eventually we got going and headed downtown where we went up the astronomical clock tower for a view of the city.

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view from up the tower

after that we had lunch at bohemian bagel for the second time....so damn tasty. then we headed up to this new vineyard that is right beside the castle on the hill overlooking Old Town. we went to this absolutely beautiful terrace right in the vineyard woth a spectacular view of the city...they were advertising 35 krown (like $2.50) glasses of wine....and since we had come to taste the wine it seemed perfect...even quite cheap. so i ordered a glass of white the waitress recommended.

now Im not a wine connoisseur by any means, but i have drunk enough white wine in my life to know when I am drinking wine mixed with water.

no shit! they watered down the wine. so much for a good deal. needless to say i sent it back. then i ordered the most expensive glass of white wine on the menu for 60 krown (like $4). i figured they would water down the 35 krown glass, but not the 60 krown glass. WRONG. it was just a watered down...i drank it anyway, paid my 60 krown and felt like a chump. after the terrace we headed back to the hostel for an early night and some rest.

Ceske Krumlov

imagine the rolling green hills and valleys of vermont....now imagine a crisp blue river snaking through the base of a particularly beautiful valley. NOW, imagine a stunning medieval town in the middle of that valley with a huge, opulent castle on a hill directly above the river. thats ceske krumlov. definitely one of the most beautiful towns I have ever been to.

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the first day we arrived from prague and checked in to our hostel--a really nice, bohemian cabin right in the old town. the first day we just wandered around somewhat dumbstruck by the beauty of the place. we went to the town brewery for some beers...definitely some of the best lager i have ever drank. don't forget bohemia is the home of pilsner beer. in the evening we went to this incredible terrace overlooking the river with an incredible view of the castle....we had dinner and delicious lager beers. it was a million dollar setting for 5 dollar prices.

the second day
in ceske krumlov we went river rafting!!!! we loaded up our backpack with beer and chips and headed down to the rafting office around 11am. they drove us about 10 minutes up the river to this drop point...thus we would drift and occasionally paddle 15km down the river back to ceske krumlov. from the drop point, we launched our inflatable (zodiac style) canoe and began relaxing big time. the scenery down the river reminded me a lot of BC in fact....at times we felt like we were drifting down the cowichan river...it was the canadian summer we had missed! the only problem was the beer was warm...at least until I had the brilliant idea to empty the backpack with everything expect the beer and the sink it and town it beside the canoe. it worked really well and so we drank river-temperature beer all afternoon. there were plenty of restaurants and bars to pull up to along the river banks, but we had cleverly left our wallets in town to avoid them getting wet....

that night we went out for dinner to this really special medieval grill house with all the people in our hostel room (4 others). we were served the most incredible assortment of meats on these huge wooden boards. then we all went to a "horror" themed bar where our table was a coffin. there we met up with some aussie girls from the hostel.

Posted by Nicholas J 05:14 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged backpacking

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