Czech Republic – Prague, Bohemian Switzerland, Krkonoše National Park

Since my surgery, I’ve pretty much been grounded: limited walking, no running, no flights.  However, there were a few trips that I went on beforehand that I haven’t written about yet, so enjoy 🙂

N and I went on a long trip in August while he had some time off, and we did it in an N kind of fashion.  I usually like to do a little research before I go anywhere, and I almost always book my lodging ahead of time because as a woman traveling in a foreign place, I at least want to know where I will be sleeping.  N is way more chill and enjoys having the flexibility of staying longer in a place that he likes.  I tried his method of traveling this time, and it was pretty cool.  We did see a lot of places I knew nothing about, however, it does require decent internet access to look things up or book lodging on the fly (as we had difficulty with while driving through the land without cell towers, otherwise known as Slovakia).

Vltava River

Day 1 & 2 – Prague

We got to our Praha 8 AirBnb late in the afternoon, visited the very educational Museum of Communism, took a nice stroll through the Old Town Square, and had a nice hearty dinner.  Prague is a gorgeous and lively city, separated into districts with the beautiful old town in Praha 1.  It’s very busy, filled with tourists and families during the day and party goers at night.  Our AirBnb was in a much quieter, more residential district that had several hipster restaurants and cafes.  We went to Můj šálek kávy for breakfast both mornings we were there.  Don’t ask me to pronounce it; I spent nearly the whole trip trying to get “thank you” (Děkuji) down…  During the day, we walked across the Charles Bridge (Karlův most), up to the Prague Castle (Pražský hrad), and then to the modern art Museum Kampa.

Pretty Praha

Day 3 – Bohemian Switzerland

We rented a car from Prague in the morning and drove 2 hours north to the České Švýcarsko National Park in Bohemian Switzerland for a short hike.  The forest is full of boulders, like Fontainebleau in France or Mullerthal in Luxembourg, and the occasional large rock formation jutting out above the trees.  There’s an iconic formation, Pravčická brána, the largest sandstone arch in Europe.  We hiked to the touristy spot, but holy crap the spot smells like sewage due to the inn located there, and the guy running the ticket booth was so rude and the least helpful person ever.  My recommendation is to view the arch from the hiking trail and don’t bother going up to it.

Smelly inn and the Pravčická brána arch
České Švýcarsko National Park

České Švýcarsko National Park

Our goal was to drive another 3 hours to Karkonoski (Krkonoše) National Park by that night, but we made a pit stop in Liberec to watch a local football (soccer) game.  As the 5th largest city in the Czech Republic, it boasts a population of 100,000 people, of which it looked like half were at this football game.  Google Translate was our best friend while we were asking for where to park for the game, as also no one we met spoke much English.

Day 4 – Krkonoše National Park

We stayed in Špindlerův Mlýn, a super cute ski town, before heading out to hike the highest point in the Czech Republic, Sněžka, on the border of Poland.  It’s 1,603 meters or 5,259 feet high, and the hike from town wasn’t hard, but man was it long.  My Fitbit hit a record of 42,889 steps that day, beating my previous high held by my last IKEA trip.  It was also a lovely little warm up hike before we planned to climb the highest point in Slovakia later that week.  If you’re not down with that much walking but still want to get to the top, you can drive closer and take some lifts from the Polish side.


View of Czech side
View of Polish side


Here I present the types of paths you’ll encounter on this hike…

Day 5 – ???

Literally a blur.  I have zero photos from that day and do not remember what happened.  I assume we drove 2 hours back to Prague to drop off our rental, took a train to Bratislava, then ended up in Banská Štiavnica, Slovakia.

To be continued…

Czech Republic Lessons and Tips

  • They use the CZK or Czech Krona, and most places prefer cash to card, especially outside of Prague.
  • Only knowing English is perfectly fine in Prague, but anywhere else will require loads of Google Translate.  Download the Czech offline translation!
  • I’m sure I say this in so many of my blog posts, but rent a car and go see more of the country.
  • If you always travel with a strict itinerary, bring a partner that makes you be more spontaneous, like seeing a rowdy local football game in random town 🙂

Photos taken with the iPhone 6s or Fujifilm X-E2s

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