BEGIN TYPING YOUR SEARCH ABOVE AND PRESS RETURN TO SEARCH. PRESS ESC TO CANCEL

The PolCzech Trip Travelogue ||| Part 5 ||| Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

New folder11

Trip Advisor has always been my go-to Travel Information partner since the last 5 years whenever I plan a trip and thanks to TA, I got in touch with a Czech gentleman named Jeff who helped me with finalizing our Czech Republic itinerary and through him I got to know about the magical city of Cesky Krumlov!

Cesky Krumlov is a small city by the Vltava riverside in the South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic and the Old part of this city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; yes not just one single monument but the whole Old Town and that is a rare feat! The construction of the town began in the late 13th century and since then it has seen many ups & downs thanks to various power tussles! The main attraction of this city is the Castle which is unusually large for a town of Krumlov’s size; within the Czech Republic it is second in extent only to the Hradčany castle complex of Prague (which we visited as well). It is located some 172 odd kms from Prague. You can get more information at http://www.ckrumlov.info/php/turista/

I booked a bus from a Hungarian company named “Student Agency”  for this journey. The booking process was quite complex though plus there was a minor mishap (the first & only one of this trip) but we soon got over it! More details about it later!

I planned 2 full days for this small city to relax & explore it completely and am glad I didn’t plan a day tour like many other tourists do. This city definitely deserves atleast 2 days to enjoy its beauty and serenity. I booked an apartment in a property named Hostel Krumlov House which had excellent ratings on TA; the booking process was very smooth as well and I was provided every possible information about the city by the representative.

Tuesday 21-July-2015 ||| Prague to Cesky Krumlov

We checked out of our Prague Hotel at 9:30 AM and took a Tram to the Praha Na Knížecí station from where the Student Agency bus to CK originates. We reached well before time and waited to board the bus. The place was buzzing with fellow travellers and had an awesome feel! We boarded the bus at exact 11 AM and the bus was a real comfortable one; it had free WiFi, spacious seats, complimentary beverages on board, had a washroom as well and most importantly Abhay had his own seat! He sat on the window seat enjoying the scenery passing by!

21 July

21 July1

We reached the CK bus station at 2 PM and were treated to a superb view of what this city had on offer!

IMG_20150721_140255

After a short downhill walk we reached our accommodation. We checked-in, freshened up and moved out immediately to explore the city and have lunch at Papa’s Living Restaurant which I had pre-booked. The day was tolerably sunny and quite pleasant for walking.

21 July3

We had a wonderful & well-deserved lunch with an awesome view of the Vltava River flowing right next to us. The order consisted of Sicilian lemonade, Carpaccio – marinated slices of beetroot with goat cheese, pesto and parmesan cheese, Tomato soup with chopped tomatoes and grated parmesan cheese, Roasted gamba shrimps flambéed on cognac with garlic baguette, Turkey Breast baked in pastry served with leafy spinach in blue cheese and fine mustard cream sauce. We were so stuffed with all of this and for a change didn’t order any desserts!

21 July2
The view from the Restaurant!

There was a kids’ playing area where Abhay got busy while I went by the riverside to enjoy a smoke! Abhay saw the river and needed nothing else; he started asking to go in the water and we duly obliged! He had a ball playing in & with the water while I joined him as well.

21 July4

The sun was roaring down our neck and it was becoming quite uncomfortable to stay in the open so we decided to head back to our hostel for an afternoon siesta which was definitely a much needed one! We started to walk towards our hostel and spotted a roadside bar kiosk! Yes, you read it correctly, Cesky Krumlov has a kiosk selling mocktails and cocktails funnily named Boom Bar! We bought Mojitos which matched perfectly with the weather while Abhay enjoyed his share of crushed ice.

21 July5

We reached our hostel and slept off blissfully for a couple of hours before getting ready and hitting the streets again for a late evening stroll followed by dinner.  After a lazy stroll we reached the riverside at 9 PM for another hour-long water-fun session with Abhay while Bandita sat down clicking our pics & her selfies!

21 July6

 

21 July8
What a view!

Abhay was in no mood to come out of the water so we almost had to forcefully pull him out as we were getting very late for our dinner. Luckily we reached the restaurant just in the nick of time and thanks to our beautiful & lovely host who attended us. We were duly seated and the gates were closed so that no other guests could come in; it was already 10 PM!

And this dinner at Le Jardin became the best meal of our trip; what amazing food with impeccable service and beautiful surroundings! Abhay got a bright and vibrant Green-orange coloured baby seat for himself too! Coincidentally Bandita was dressed in green while I had my orange cap so it was a perfect family colour scheme! This was also the first time we had a meal at a top rated restaurant of any city (number 1 out of 80 restaurants of Cesky Krumlov) and it definitely deserves all the accolades. And I just can’t forget the South Bohemian soup I had…It was way too awesome!

21 July7

We ordered South Bohemian soup named Kulajda with dill, quail eggs and wild mushrooms; French Onion Soup, Lamb French rack sous vide in herb crust with sauce of red wine, Kenyan beans and vegetables; Tagliatelle with dried tomatoes, pecorino Romano cheese, basil oil and fried capers plus a complimentary starter dish made with Rabbit Back. The head chef also came out and met us to ask about our food! It was such a wow & unforgettable experience!

IMG_20150721_221439

We finally got out of the restaurant at 12:15 AM after a very long & enjoyable experience. But were in no mood to go back to our hostel as yet so went to the riverside again to enjoy a peaceful time with not many people around; sat there for almost an hour soaking the castle scene!

DSC00726

 

Then we went towards the city centre to enjoy the peace of that place too. The entire city is do damn beautiful across the 24 hours of day that nothing can’t be missed! It is one of those special places.

21 July9

We finally came back to our hostel at 1:30 before calling it a day; a day very well spent indeed!

Wednesday 22-July-2015 ||| Chill in Cesky Krumlov

22 July

We woke up at 7 AM and were greeted with a glorious morning with sunlight peeping into our room. We had already finalized our Breakfast joint the last evening and walked straight towards MLS Creperie which is world famous in CK! We were the first customers of that place and were personally greeted by every staff member! And Abhay got an empty restaurant which he rarely gets so he started doing what he enjoys best – monkeying around while we waited for our breakfast. I ordered freshly squeezed orange juice for Bandita and black coffee for myself plus 2 breakfast meals with Cinnamon Crepes and French toast. It was quite a heavy start to the day but perfect for a hectic day which was planned ahead of us.

22 July1

We explored the CK streets a bit more while waiting for a Wiseman Tours’ Free Walking Tour which was supposed to start at 10:30 AM but it eventually began at 11:15 AM due to people joining our group late. The sun was well & truly in his best form and ensured that we kept searching for shade throughout the initial part of this tour! Our tour guide was a young gentleman with quite a complicated name which I have obviously forgotten and he did a splendid time in explaining the history of CK with lots of myths which are part of every medieval town!

22 July2

We visited many important landmarks and historic streets before reaching the CK Castle and to get the best view of the city we had to make a long uphill walk; Bandita was really exhausted so she decided to stay back in the shade while I went to the topmost point with the group and clicked some splendid pics of this beautiful city.

1

Our tour ended at 1:30 PM and I came down and we decided to rest in the Castle Gardens where Abhay played merrily with the dry leaves and the small fountain!

22 July3

And then we reached the Laibon restaurant for a very special meal. You know my love for non-vegetarian food and this was a specialty pure vegetarian restaurant serving dishes from all over the world including our very own Dal & Sabzi in the main course and Kheer for dessert! The Czech owner also came to greet us who was such a vivacious guy indeed; he had backpacked across India for 8 months and was very fond of our food; infact he has taught his cooking staff himself having learnt recipes on his travels across the world. He procures his Indian raw materials through his friends in {Prague and he also ordered some extra hot chili sauce as he knew his food was pretty bland for our desi palette! We also ordered a couscous salad to start our vegetarian lunch! The restaurant was located right next to the river and was diagonally across the Papa’s Living Restaurant where we had lunch a day before. The Kheer was simply awesome – very low on the sweet with powdered cinnamon & walnuts plus freshly prepared for us! Couldn’t ask for anything more to end our first and last restaurant “Indian” meal of our Trip! We bid the owner and the staff goodbye and headed back to our hostel for another afternoon siesta which stretched to 4 hours!

22 July4

22 July5

We woke up finally at 6:30 PM; it was a much needed sleep therapy session conserving our energy had been sapped out after the walking tour in bright sunshine earlier in the day. We left out hostel at 7:00 PM with a leisurely walk on our minds! And we went back again to Laibon for our evening Chai-Snakes session! This place had such awesome charm and it definitely needed a second visit! The entire staff was so cheerful and their happiness rubbed off to all the guests. I ordered grain coffee with cream and caramel sauce for myself plus Ginger lemonade for Bandita and rekindled our Arabic connection with some Hummus and pita bread.

22 July6

And then another special highlight. After our snakes session got over we decided to walk on the grass bank next to the river and spotted a tree with fresh red cherries (Thanks to my friend Srishti Gupta, I got to know they were Red Currants) which I had seen in pics but had never eaten before. I just could not resist myself, plucked a few and quickly gobbled them hoping that the owner of that tree doesn’t catch me! They were simply delicious so I went again and plucked many more! Bandita and Abhay also loved them. And then I went for the third & the last time plucking many more and storing them in my handkerchief! It was one of those sheepish moments but then the taste of those red currants was impossibly delicious!

22 July7

We had spotted another restaurant with a beautiful setting on the riverside and went to book a table for us; sadly there was none available but the restaurant owner promised us a table in case of any cancellation. I badly wanted to have our last dinner in CK there and left with a prayer on our lips!

We bid a final goodbye to Laibon and went to the riverside where Abhay had another long watery session enjoying to the fullest! I sat with him soaking the final evening in this magical town.

22 July8

After spending almost an hour enjoying the water we sent to the restaurant at 9:30 PM hoping against hope to get a table booking as it was choc-a-bloc with guests but I guess it was our lucky night as the Manager had reserved a table for us with a fabulous view of the river! We thanked him and sat down to enjoy another awesome dinner.

22 July9

The service once again was top notch and the food was delicious to boot. Once the crowds started to thin a bit he came down to have a conversation with us too. He had recently joined this place and was excited to see some Indian guests that is why he made sure that he got a special table booked for us. He also got a photo clicked with us.

IMG_20150722_223912

We walked back to our hostel finally reaching at Midnight through the sleepy streets; clicked a lot of pics of closed shops with their display lights still switched on!

22 July10

Thursday 23-July-2015 ||| Cesky Krumlov to Prague

23 July

We were to check out this day and were ready by 8 AM for our breakfast in the hostel which was quite a unique experience for us. There was no “restaurant staff” member; everything was self-service including washing the plates after finishing the breakfast! We met an Australian couple who were on their honeymoon and had a nice conversation with them about their travels. All this while a staff was listening very intently to our conversation and once it ended he jumped in! He was planning a trip to India in 2016 and needed information from us about how to go about it and you know how much such stimulating conversations excite me! We had a long discussion and he noted down my e-mail address as well.

23 July1

We vacated our room, put of our luggage at the reception and then visited a local handicraft market nearby to do some final souvenir shopping. Bandita bought some jewellery for herself plus we bought a toy for Abhay and chocolates for my friend Javed Zafar who is extremely fond of them!

We got back to the hostel to pick up our luggage and then walked towards the bus stop to catch our “supposedly planned” bus at 11 AM! We reached the stop, I checked our ticket and to my horror that the bus I had booked was scheduled at 9 AM and here we were, stranded at 10:30 AM! I went to the ticket office and they could not help me either as they didn’t have any access to the bookings of the 11 AM Bus. So there was only one option left; hoping that there would be seats available which we could book on the spot once the bus arrives.

IMG_20150723_105217

And thankfully this is exactly what happened; we got the tickets on the bus, thanked God and started our Prague journey. And while we were all tensed up, Abhay made a new Chinese friend! They communicated silently though!

IMG_20150723_104957

The Castle Tower looked simply majestic in the cloudy weather and bid us a hearty farewell!

DSC00858

We finally reached Prague at 2 PM where we had to spend the entire day before boarding our 11 PM train to Warsaw.

Cesky Krumlov was definitely a top highlight of our trip and I recommend this to everybody travelling to Prague and that too not just a short day trip but atleast 2 full days to soak in the city completely! This is one of those idyllic-dreamy cities which you thought just existed in fiction!

So till the time we meet again…

Cheers to life…

Till then ride safe and have safe sex…

Inquilab Zindabad…

Hasta la Victoria Siempre…

Jai BoP!

Leaving without a comment? now that's cruel!