Český Krumlov is a little town in the south of the Czech Republic that sits in the bend of the Vltava River. It’s pretty as a picture and is small enough that you can fully explore the Old Town in an hour. As far as official ‘sights’ go, Český Krumlov runs short – it’s more about the old town itself.
I stayed in Krumlov Guesthouse, a beautiful place run by lovely people. It was cosy, with mudbrick walls and a carved wooden dragon on the front door. The common room was gorgeous, again cosy with colourful cushions and comfy armchairs. I laughed when the woman who runs the place told me that someone complained that it looked like Dracula’s den – I wouldn’t imagine Dracula would have a lounge room so brightly coloured!
The first evening it was difficult to find somewhere to eat – a couple of restaurants turned me away because the kitchens were closed…at 7.30. That was a surprise! After wandering around for a while I ended up at the local pub where I had a reasonable meal for a pretty good price in the smoky sports room – which was packed with locals, mostly old men and a couple of their wives, watching the football [soccer]. They really take their football seriously, and the room was basically divided along team lines. They were cheering when their team did something [well anything really, if they only cheered when goals were scored the room would have been virtually silent] and hissing and cursing when the other team got one over them. It was entertaining.
Český Krumlov isn’t exactly bursting with activities for the average tourist, and so I decided on my second day to visit the castle. It looked quite pretty from the town side of the river, and it would at least be a nice walk. I crossed at one of the further-away bridges and walked along the riverside. It was fairly warm so there were a few families lying on the river’s edge while the kids swam, and I saw a few people floating by in rubber tubes and a couple of kayaks. I planned to go tubing and spend the day in the water the following day – that turned out to be a bad plan. But back to the castle…
The castle had a small but rather interesting museum, with a good amount of English information on sheets in each room. The museum details the history of the castle and the town, and many of the rooms are decked out as they would have been during certain periods. There was a nice collection of ceramics and fancy dinner sets from around the world, and some lovely glass. There was the usual room full of guns, and others full of early 20th century photographs.
I paid an extra 20kc to climb up the tower, and it was a great view from there over the town. That was the castle highlight for me – not the bears kept in part of the old concreted moat. I felt sorry for the bears.
That afternoon I met another girl who was staying at the hostel and we went to dinner at a medieval style restaurant on the riverfront. It was full when we arrived so they gave us a blanket and we sat on the riverbank with some delicious warm mead waiting for a table to be free. The food was good, the view was great and the mead was fantastic.
The next day, my plans for swimming and tubing were thrown out the window when it turned out to be cold and raining. Instead, I had a terribly busy day which involved cafe-hopping, drinking hot chocolates, eating bagels and cakes and reading a book. It’s a hard life sometimes.
I had an early night, as it was still quite cold and miserable, and I had to get up early the next morning to get a bus to Prague and then a train to Olomouc.