Friday, July 31, 2015

Český Krumlov, Czech Republic

The first time I heard of this picture-postcard town, it was in a small blurb in the Indian magazine Outlook Traveller. Back then (5-6 years ago), international travel was very rare for us and this name was just filed away in some corner of my head. But over the years, the name kept cropping up, in articles or travelogues. And after knowing more about the place, I just had to include it in our Czech trip.

Český Krumlov (pronounced 'chessky crumlaw') is situated in the southern part of Czech Republic, in what was erstwhile the republic of Bohemia (origin of the word ‘bohemian’). Český Krumlov is a charmingly well-preserved medieval town, built around an equally well preserved 13th century castle – and has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The river Vltava flows through it, and the Old Town is within a horseshoe bend of the river. The town is small enough to walk across in 15 min or so (most of the Old Town is pedestrian only). Or you could take a canoe down the river if you felt like it.

(the same river Vltava flows through Prague as well)

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Czech Republic & Austria

For someone running a travel blog, I am ashamed to say, we had only seen one European country before this - Croatia. European countries, are a victim of their own popularity. We know exactly what to expect in a France or a England or Italy or Netherlands or Switzerland. They are still very beautiful and special, but they are missing that thrill of discovery. Of some corner, which makes you feel like you are one of the few to see this.

So we decided on a compromise for our first proper European trip – we chose the central European countries of Austria and Czech Republic – or more like chose the cities Prague and Vienna and wove a trip out of it. Prague (and Czech Republic) are the new European destinations, with the charm of the old world, but with lower prices and some rough edges from the communist times. And Austria has always been in the shadow of the more famous European countries, but Vienna is now getting more attention as a European destination.

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