Bohemian Paradise and Cesky Krumlov
We had to figure out what other parts of the Czech Republic we wanted to check out as it was time to move on from Prague. There were still things to see and do around here but we needed a change of scenery. There’s an area Northeast of Prague called Bohemian Paradise where it’s a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. It is known for having large scale rock formations that provide great scenery. You can also do hiking, biking, rock climbing, caving, kayaking, etc in the region.
After reading some reviews online, we chose to stay in Mala Skala. Booked two nights here and would have considered a third but the weather dampered the experience a bit as it rained the first day as well as the morning of check out. It was easy to get there. You need to take the yellow metro line to the last stop East and buy a ticket at the bus station. Only costs 106kc/person.
The first day we got there it started to rain so didn’t manage to do much except find a place to eat (Pietro Tomassa). The weather was much better the next day for us to do some hiking.
The hotel host recommended a hike to the rock city, East of the river, where you get a view of the rock cliffs and the valley below. The second was the Vranov Pantheon (rock castle), West of the river. Third was Frydsteijn Castle on the continuing trail from the Pantheon. Probably hiked 10-12km that day. Feet were TIRED afterwards no question!
To get to rock city was a bit tricky. The one page map that the hotel provided wasn’t that clear with it’s trail markings on that map itself, nor on the trail paths either. The routes are marked by green/red/blue/yellow stripes on the trees/posts, but there were rarely any signs that tell you where exactly you should go to get to the viewpoint. Well we couldn’t find it but did get a decent view from the town side.
We walked from our hotel towards the back roads to find the trail. Had to ask a local and he points us to a trail that leads us through the forest. The trail didn’t have any signs so how are we suppose to know we go there?? Anyway, he said it’s a 2km hike to get there so we’re on our way.
Looking back from the ‘trail’ that you can see a part of it on the lower left.
Along the trail there were a few huge slugs about 3 inches long! Good thing we had our eyes on the ground. I wouldn’t wanna step on those.
Finally reached one of the towns
We walked through this small town Besidece and see all these cherry trees along the road. It didn’t look like anybody ‘owned’ them so we literally started cherry picking. Viv was quite happy since she loves cherries…and they’re FREE! 🙂
Don’t mind if I do…
This red one’s mine!
Nice quiet area with a nice view of the rock formation.
Although we ultimately missed going to the viewpoint, we had an acceptable consulation prize with the cherries 🙂
Our second hike of the day was to the Vranov Panthenon. It was a rock castle (yes, a castle made from rock), and had a fantastic panoramic view of Mala Skala at its summit. There were parts of the castle with cave-like rooms where some they used them as storage cellars and others I don’t remember lol i won’t bore you with those pics.
Here we go with hike number 2…
Looks like a church but was actually a summer house.
This was a memorial of important individuals during te Napoleonic wars.
Monument dedicated to King Charles IV
Steep climb to the summit
After the Pantheon we continued our hike to the Frydsteijn Castle.
I see it, we made it!
We get to the entrance and the placed was closed so we couldn’t go up 😦 this seems to happen to us a lot for some reason. Oh well, the hike was nice.
This was a top tourist attraction outside of Prague. A castle situated in an old medieval town surrounded by a winding river. This place was dope! It definitely reminds you of the olden times. I actually felt that this town had a better ‘medieval’ atmosphere than the old town in Rhodes, Greece.
To get here from Mala Skala took some time but still relatively cheap transportation. Took the bus back to Prague (111kc/person), metro it to the Na Kineczi bus station (24kc/person), and bus to Cesky Krumlov (195kc/person).
The main square
A place where we had lunch with the castle as the backdrop
The main sight was the Cesky Krumlov castle. The views from the castle was gorgeous. We’ll get to that.
Before you enter, there are two bears that live in the moat. Mom and son?
First of 5-6 courtyards
Along the way there was an art exhibit showing in the underground chambers. Thought it was cool to check out. Strange but hey, someone’s imagination at work here.
Are these guys in the new Prometheus movie?
After the exhibit, we moved on with the breathtaking views!
And that concludes our journey in the Czech Republic!