Friday, November 11, 2011

Europe 2011 - Day 6 & 7 to Cesky Krumlov

Date of Travel: 11 April 2011

Cesky Krumlov, UNESCO World Heritage Site

Český Krumlov is a small city in the Czech Republic, that is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is famous for its architecture and arts and the Cesky Krumlov castle. We embarked on a 2 Day 1 Night trip to this historic town to see what the hype is all about.

Getting to CK is a pretty simple affair. Head to the Student Agency Bus website ( and make your booking and payment online. We chose the 7:00am bus which takes 2 hours and 55 minutes to get there. From the website, you can even choose your seats and view what movies will be showing on the bus. The bus even provides you with a free drink and has a very miniature toilet which I couldn't fit into. To catch this bus, go to Andel bus station Na Knezi and look for platform No.4.
Getting to Hotel Konvice

Upon arrival at CK, wait till the very last stop in CK old town itself. If you cannot fit into the toilet on the bus, toilets at the bus station go for 5Kr. On hindsight, it was comical to see that once everyone got off the bus at the last stop, nobody knew where to go. It seemed like we were dropped off in the middle of nowhere. Immediately off the bus, turn left and follow the sign to Centrum. It leads you to a forrest trail, a short 20 step downhill path and you are on the main road going downhill. Take the first right and you will see Hotel Ruze. Continue along that road to cross the river. Trying to get into the little picturesque town, we were thankful that we only brought along a small bag. The cobblestones path here is much worse than Prague. And it's cold and rainy and slippery and unkind to our feet. Doesn't sound very promising now does it.

Room at Hotel Konvice, €59 per night

Heater at every window, but we still felt cold

We chose Hotel Konvice for 59€ per night, which we were very happy with and would recommend this to anyone. Our hotel room is in this old medieval building that dates back to 1539. Internet wifi access is limited to the lobby area as walls are 1 foot thick! Everything you see here feels really really old and interesting.

Tower of Cesky Krumlov Castle

Many restaurants on the left side of the river offering riverview dining

Many lovely arts and crafts shop. We visited quite a few to escape the cold

Here's hoping chocolates would warm me up
After checking in, we walked around the old town, crossing the bridge to get to the castle side. Surrounding the castle is a bear moat, and yes it had actual bears. We tried getting into the tower (the colourful one) but believe it or not, we gave up after awhile. It was too freaking cold! It was still raining, slippery, freezing and we were just not in the mood. We had to keep darting into shops to avoid the unkind weather. Bought some chocolate bonbons for 122Kr for about 10pcs. Lunch was at Two Mary's, highly recommended in forums and was filled with tourists. We had garlic soup, trout and old bohemian feast (chicken), which all tasted great! All for 315Kr only. The restaurant has a yard by the riverside, which was very picturesque but again, freezing cold!!

The bear protecting the CK castle

Garlic Soup

Old Bohemian Feast

Trout. The simplicity and freshness made this dish really stand out

Outdoor dining area of Two Mary's. We had to run in after taking this shot, COLD!
 So what's there to do after lunch? Zzzzzzzzz. Went back to hotel for a short nap and woke up on time for dinner. Before that, there was a special twilight photo moment that was worth all the miserable coldness. Trying to get this photo shot turned our fingers numb!
A picture worth freezing over

The only 2 idiots around taking photos in the freezing cold
After a simple dinner at a little restaurant in our hotel consisting of beef goulash 130Kr and salad 60Kr, we went back to sleep. Honestly, I felt like a bear waking up for mealtimes only. I wonder how the locals can survive in this weather after so many years. Incidentally CK celebrated her 700th birthday in 2009.

Beef Goulash bohemian style

Simple salad - you gotta have vegetables in every meal

The next day turned out to be similar to the previous one. Rain, cold, same old shops, same old stores. I couldn't take anymore of this aimless wandering in the cold. Thankfully, I logged into the Student Agency website and managed to swap our tickets for an earlier bus and off we were back to Prague.
Entrance to Hotel Konvice

Breakfast is included. Delicious and simple spread

One more photo before saying bye bye

Did you all know that Bata is actually from the Czech Republic? Kudos to those who do

What's the first thing we did in Prague? Shopping (back to civilization). Andel Station has a very nice neighbourhood mall called Novy Smichov. What do people buy back from Prague? I have no idea but I managed to get a lot of soaps from Body Basics and Manufaktura. There's a chain vegetarian shop called Loving Hut, which serves asian vegetarian food. Tastewise, 5/10. But it was cheap and served hot soup on a cold cold day.

We stayed at Movenpick again due to a prepaid booking, and thankfully we got upgraded this time to a Superior room. A slight improvement in terms of toiletries, a safe in the room, and free access to the fitness centre. Other than that, we're almost as miserable as before. How could we go so wrong in Prague, *sigh*.

If you have missed the rest of this series:
Europe 2011 - Day 1 Arriving Paris
Europe 2011 - Day 2 Cycling and Eating Like The French
Europe 2011 - Day 3 Shocking Ourselves Silly
Europe 2011 - Day 4 Backbreaking Prague
Europe 2011 - Day 5 Royal Animals of Prague
Europe 2011 - Day 8: Top 5 things to bring home from Prague
Europe 2011 - Day 9 Guten Tag Munchen
Europe 2011 - Day 10,11,12 Dedicated to Munich (Part 1 of 3)
Europe 2011 - Day 10,11,12 Dedicated to Munich (Part 2 of 3)
Europe 2011 - Day 10,11,12 Dedicated to Munich (Part 3 of 3)
Europe 2011 - Day 13 Munich to Paris
Europe 2011 - Day 14 & 15 Going Home

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