Saturday, May 5, 2012

Bohemian Adventures: Český Krumlov

Exploring the Czech Republic with Jaap over the past week of vacation was nothing short of perfect. Adventures with Jaap is a pretty accurate description of our time spent in beautiful Bohemia. Canoeing, longs walks, romantic dinners, Czech beer, sampling Czech meat heavy cuisine, and lots of good music. This spring break is one to remember. 
Český Krumlov
Krumlov Castle
Our journey begins in Český Krumlov. A beautiful town 2.5 hours south of Prague on the Vltava river. People asked us where this place was and why we were going there. Český Krumlov came under recommendation from my favorite travel guru, Rick Steves. I love his books and travel TV series. I'm glad we decided to make the trip though. It was two days full of nature, small town quaintness, and some slow paced relaxation.
Exploring the castle grounds
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. And when in the Czech Republic, drink beer. I never drink beer (except during Carnaval). It's always wine, water, tea, or maybe a cappuccino. So, I enjoy "doing as the locals do" when we're on vacation and for 25 Czech crowns for a beer, why not! That's about 1 euro and approximately 1/4 the price of beer in the Netherlands. 
Adventures with Jaap has held true to it's name. Jaap and I sought out some more adventure style traveling while in Český Krumlov. We decided to skip an indoor tour of the castle and opt for a canoe trip down the Vltava instead. We rented our trusty canoe and equipment from a place in town and we were off. 

Little did we know, our canoe would tip and we'd be swimming in the Vltava about 5 minutes into the trip. We're not the most athletic bunch and we made some pretty amateur canoe mistakes. The first being sitting me at the back of the boat. I'll take the blame on that one, it was my idea. Jaap weighs more and is stronger. He should have been the one steering and balancing the weight in the back. Number two: When the rental company gives you a waterproof container for valuables, use it! Our camera was completely submerged in water, but has lived to tell the tale. Luckily, we didn't have to replace it. 

Here I am on dry land, not knowing that we'll be underwater in 3 minutes. 
Splash! Our canoe suddenly gets really exciting.
Chaos ensues: Trying to the get the water out of the boat...
trying to find a band-aid for Jaap's bleeding foot (luckily, we came prepared)...

fixing the camera...
and trying to get back in the water. Hilarious! I only wish I had a video of us tipping over. We gave lots of tourists and onlookers a good show. 
Back on the Vltava, things were much more peaceful. I only wish I had pictures of our beautiful ride from Český Krumlov to Zlatá Koruna. 3 hours of uninterrupted serenity and nature. Tall pine trees, beautiful sunshine, calm waters, and warm weather. Our pictures don't do it justice because we decided to keep the camera in the water-safe container, but here is just a quick glimpse. 
Back in town...we enjoyed a stroll. Here is a view of Český Krumlov from the other side of town. The Vltava winds right through town making Český Krumlov a small peninsula. 
This trip was full of some quality street performers and musicians. It got even better back in Prague. Here's Jaap making a donation. We always stop, listen, and donate to quality musicians. 
We ended our Český Krumlov journey with some meaty Czech fare at a dark candlelight restaurant that was a prison in the middle ages. A nice ending to our trip to the south. Next stop...Prague!


  1. The Czech Republic is so gorgeous! Prague is really nice. Karlštejn Castle, just south of Prague, is also beautiful.

  2. Fabulous pictures! Sounds like we're having similar adventures--Brian and I (okay, all my fault) tipped a hobie cat in the South Sea last month! Thank goodness Brian knew what do to. Then a few weeks later I decided to kill our camera in Thailand by dropping it in to our water filled canoe. Oof. Glad you're having such a great time and getting to visit some of our old haunts!

  3. Thanks ladies!

    Leslie- totally thought of you while visiting Prague again. Can't believe it's been 11 years since our visit. Crazy!