“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” Henry David Thoreau, Walden
I lived in the Czech Republic for almost two years before moving to China. It is my second hone, after Canada, so I thought I would share my top 10 places to see there.
1. Cesky Krumlov ~ without a doubt, this is the most beautiful, quaintest, peaceful town I have ever encountered. The history, the magnificent castle and its grounds, the food. Many people will visit only for a day but to get a real feel of the town, you need to take your time, walk through the alleys, visit the shops and imagine you are there back in the medieval era. Spend a weekend at one of the quaint bed and breakfasts. It is worth it!
2. Konopiste ~ again it is a castle town. This country has so many castles to see but this should be near the top of your list. Set away from town, surrounded by trees and the prettiest lake, is a castle out of a story book. I spent about 5 hours wandering through the grounds, having a picnic by the lake, and people watching. A stunning site to see.
3. Karlstejn ~ another castle but so much more. This castle is built above a town, and the town is a site to see on its own! The many shops selling uniquely Czech goods, the aroma of the food (sausages ~ oh the sausages!) ~ its a short train ride away from Prague and a wonderful place to spend a day.
4. Prague Castle ~ my friends will be shocked to see this is number 4 on my list! This Castle has my soul ~ it is a magnificent place. The gardens, St. Vitus Cathedral, the quiet alleys, the incredible views of Prague. There is one special spot in my heart for this Castle. Its amazing to see anytime, but at night, when most of the tourists are in a pub drinking pivo (beer), this place is magical. Serene. Take the time to go at night and you will understand.
5. Charles Bridge ~ you simply cannot visit this medieval city and not walk on the famous bridge! There is much to see ~ statues, the Vltava River, the buskers, the people. It is very busy on weekends so try to go on a weekday.
6. Divoka Sarka ~ at the end of one of the tram lines is what looks like a big forest area. But once you wander down the hill and are enveloped with the trees and the cliffs and the bubbling creek, you will know why this is on my list. It was my place to escape. Its quiet with an occasional group of people biking, or walking, or having a picnic. Whenever I was having a stressful day, I would get on the tram and walk. You can walk for hours and I did many times. It had an interesting history as well. Many battles happened here and you will see signs throughout the park but not in English.
7. Kutna Hora ~ the town with a church of bones! I am not kidding ~ there is a bone church in this town! It is fascinating and quite spooky at the same time. It will chill you! The town also has a beautiful square and incredible views.
8. Old Town Square in Prague and the Astronomical Clock ~ one of the main attractions of Prague is the Astronomical clock. Definitely stay and watch the hour chime in and watch the clock’s animation. Then go and enjoy the square. Jan Hus Statue, the horse and carriages, the aroma of food ~ try trdelnik (a pastry) or langos (its like fried bread with sauce ~ its different and popular). Wander through the narrow cobblestone roads and turn a corner and you will find even more sites and pubs!
9. Wenceslas Square ~ so many shops!! And this is where you will find the best sausages. Well all of Prague has amazing sausages but you will find a lot here. Oh how I miss the sausages.
10. Letna Park ~ in case you couldn’t tell, I love walking. And this park is the best for that because it not only has wonderfully wide paths, and parks for kids, but at the end ~ you will come to the Letna Beer Garden. I could not end my list without including this place, and Czech beer. The views of the city are absolutely the most incredible, and the beer is cold. And yes you can get sausages here too! Try Kozel, or Gambrinus ~ its a favourite place for many people to go to in the summer.
I could go on and make this a top 100 list ~ I have such incredible memories of this amazing country. It is not a country to miss if you are in Central Europe.