Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Cesky Krumlov, Prague, and My Vacation Surprise

All this jumping around I've done, you may be confused about the timeline of our Norway / Czechia vacation.  Here it is in a nutshell:

Fly Icelandair from Seattle to Iceland--take a plane to Oslo, Norway--get picked up by kids and grands at the airport--stay 3 days with them--take a train from Asker to Oslo--board new plane to Prague--rent a car at the airport--drive to Pilsen (Plzen)--spend the day, then drive to Cesky Krumlov--stay two nights in really old building (main guest suite $160 total--includes taxes, fees, breakfast & parking)--drive through the country stopping at small towns on the way to Prague--stay in Prague for 2 nights--catch a ride to airport (Uber cost about $18 for a 25 minute ride)--fly back to Norway--take train back to Asker--stay another night with the kids and grands--fly home.

Cesky Krumlov was written up in the Wall Street Journal September 2015, and it sounded amazing.  It was a largely forgotten town that sat untouched until after the Velvet Revolution--at which point locals began to preserve and prepare it for tourism.  It's the 2nd most visited town in the Czech Republic and sits nestled at the foot of a grand castle.  You can stay in the castle, but the rooms were booked out by the time we made our reservations.  We were happy to be nestled in the heart of the downtown.

View out the hotel window--downtown Cesky Krumlov.


The Hotel Krcinuv Dum where we stayed for two romantic nights.


Our medieval suite overlooking the downtown. Keep in mind, this suite was only $160 a night--TOTAL.  There was an amazing Czech breakfast included in that price--all the pastries (kolaches, croissants, etc), eggs, various cheeses and meats--along with standard fare like yogurt, bagels, fruits and juices.  It was quite a feast.










Here are some sights from Cesky Krumlov:












This was the winter riding stable.











 
Our next stop was Prague--after a journey through the countryside to get there.  There not much I can add that hasn't already been written about Prague, so I'll share the photos.  Amazing city.
 
I love these images of the people of Prague walking in the rain.  They've turned out to be my favorite.
 

 
 
 
The Charles Bridge
 
 



 

 
Walk across the Charles Bridge with me and listen to some fabulous music from the buskers!
 

 
  
View of the castle from the Charles Bridge.
 


St Vitus Cathedral at the Prague Castle.

 
Video of St Vitus Cathedral

 
 
 

Miscellaneous pics from Prague--there was something beautiful everywhere you looked.





The original Darth Vader.


 
The Jewish Quarter in Prague. A horrible truth: Hitler envisioned it being a museum for an extinct people. 
 

 

 Tourists.


The stairs up to Prague Castle.  Hey, there's a Starbucks, with a beautiful view of all of Prague, waiting for you up there.  Hurry!
 
 
Looking down the stairs.
 

Czech dinner down below the Prague Castle.

 

Getting ready to eat lunch at the oldest pub in Prague--at the bottom of the Prague Castle stairs.




 
In the pub.
 

The pub basement.



My trout lunch.  Trout is very popular in Czechia.  I ate this before we saw the skulls.


 
Some last photos of the Prague Castle and St Vitus Cathedral:
 


 
 
 
(I'm not sure what the girl on the horse signifies in this fountain.)
 
 
We've arrived near the end of our vacation--a plane trip from Prague to Oslo.  As my husband was retrieving his work laptop he'd accidentally left in Oslo as we went through security--I was checking in for our flight home the next day.

But when I followed the link in my email--two names popped up for check-in on Icelandair--mine was not one of them!  My husband's name--AND--the son we'd come to visit in Norway.

Whhhaaaaattttt?

Yes, my hubbie had booked on Expedia and, since he'd booked flights for Matt in the past, his name was in the drop down box--and he accidentally purchased a ticket for Matt (who lives in Norway)--and NOT me.

Long story short, we had to purchase a 1st class ticket, the only ticket left, on Icelandair at the added cost of $1500.  The ticket was $2,200, but they refunded the $700 for the other ticket. 

Now, did I actually sit in 1st class (comfort class)--or with my husband?

With my husband, of course!!  I was tempted because, oh, was it nice up there--but it was easy to switch tickets with the Coach passenger next to my husband.  She was thrilled to change seats!  I did a sad walk back to row 34--cramped--few amenities--lackluster flight attendants, but I got to sleep on the shoulder of the man I love.

And, that is the end of the vacation story.  We are safe and sound home.  Our wallets are a little lighter, and it will be a while before we return to Europe, but despite all the various mistakes we made, we loved every minute of it.

10 comments:

  1. Even though I adore Brett, I would have been sorely tempted to stay in first class. LOL

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    1. Oh, it was tempting. I was settling in pretty good, and thought I was going to get to stay, until a tap, tap on my shoulder. I was sitting next to a young, single man, and I traded with a young single girl, so maybe they got to know each other and will get married someday--all because we goofed up on buying a wrong ticket!

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  2. Wow, looks like you have incredible memories to hold from this trip :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it was a whirlwind, but after we've rested up, we'll savor the memories.

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  3. Love all the old cities in Europe. The architecture is just beautiful and amazing. They don't build them like that anymore.

    Too bad about your first class seat. I'm pretty sure I would have stayed up there and then switched half way through the ride with my husband. Hey, fair is fair and a couple shares!My husband is also 6'6 so he would have appreciated the leg room.

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    1. We've decided that the next time we fly to Europe, we're splurging for 1st class or Business. It's just too long a flight for us to be that cramped. I think it borders on inhumane and dangerous--quite honestly. Blood clots...who knows what else. Plus, if you can't get a little sleep on those flights, you're seriously jet-lagged--which can take a day off your trip both coming and going. So, yeah, internationally, we're done with coach. It's go big, or stay home. Lol. I feel for your husband!! He definitely needs to spring for the leg room.

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  4. What an absolutely beautiful place!

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    1. Yep. It reminded me of Rome--something to see on every corner.

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  5. What a beautiful city. The European architecture is so inspiring. I love that cathedral and oh how I love a pipe organ.
    I don't travel any more, and especially would not fly that far so it's really nice to see photos from people who are brave enough to go.

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    1. We may not fly that far again for a while either. It takes a lot out of you. It really was a beautiful country and city though. I love Czechia, and if I go back to Europe, I would want to go there again. Maybe we'll take our older grandkids in a few years so they can see their Czech heritage.

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Please feel welcome to join our discussion--tell us about your own thoughts and experiences.