After five weeks apart, Chris and I reunited in Czech Republic to continue our year abroad. We picked Prague for our city to meet in due to its easy train and plane connections.
We spent a fun three days exploring the city and eating Czech cuisine and drinking beer. We found Prague to be hugely crowded and with good reason: beautiful gothic and baroque architecture, a rich and textured history, and a vibrant old town city center. From reading a few articles, and going on a walking tour, we enjoyed learning some of the weird and funny stories of Prague through the ages, such as why there is a human arm hanging in one of the churches, and the popularity of “defenestration” in Prague’s history.
After having visited both Vienna and Prague back to back, I was ready to get out of town to a smaller place and enjoy some peace and quiet and nature. We took a train to the town of Kromêrîž, population 20,000, site of an archbishop’s palace and huge French garden, along the Moravia River. One of the nights we were there we went to an open-air acoustic guitar concert on the town square, which was perfect. We walked in the gardens and admired the peacocks during the day. A brewery next to our hotel featured their own delightful beer as well as sausages, cheese, and beer cheesecake. We were glad we chose to visit the town.
We took the train to Bratislava and stayed in an apartment just outside of the main walking area- and I have to say, it is my favorite place we’ve stayed in a while. It felt like being at home, with a terrace outside and a large living room. Best of all, it was next door to the Slovak Pub, which served the best of Slovakia’s national dishes: cabbage soup with sausage and cream, and bryndzovè halušky, which is a gnocchi-like dumpling with sheep’s cheese and crispy bacon.
In Bratislava, we took a Communism tour and an Old Town walking tour. We also hiked up to the radio/tv tour outside of town for a great view- the highest point in Bratislava!
With a record heat-wave in Central Europe, we left Bratislava and headed into the mountainous central part of the country. We arrived in Bojnice, site of a beautiful old castle and the country’s oldest zoo. With a quiet town promenade, plenty of cafes and taverns, an escape room, and a thermal spa, I think this town is on the rise for vacationers (Lonely Planet named the Tatras mountains in Slovakia the number one tourist destination for 2019, so be ready to see a lot more of Slovakia in articles and blogs!).
And now, we head to Hungary and Romania! Any travel advice for us?
2 thoughts on “Checking out Czech Republic and Slovakia”
How did you know which small towns to visit, since anything on line is available to anyone. While the food sound delicious, I assume no one has to worry about the cholesterol, do they?? Cristina, Debbie, and I enjoyed our four winery tastings with a cidery in between. While all the samplings were tasty–some much more than others, it is the snacks that are outstanding. We went out beyond Middleburg and worked our way east. There was Boxwood, Cana and I’d have to see what my glasses say. It was a beautiful “Vermont summer day” bright blue sky, puffy scattering of clouds, and almst no humidity. This might be considered my petite mini trip! Happy travels.Alis
Actually I found an article online about small towns in Czech Republic to visit and then looked to see which might be on our path.
We’re trying to eat salads and veggies in between sampling all the Central European cuisine!