When people in Prague — an absolutely gorgeous city — tell you that Český Krumlov is the most beautiful place they’ve ever seen, you pay attention, and then you book the next bus to get there.

That’s what I did, and they were right. Český Krumlov (a 2.5 hour ride on the Student Agency bus — $9 each way) is simply stunning. Maybe I should refer to it as: Ye Olde Český Krumlov because it’s so beautifully preserved with elements dating back to the 1200s. There’s a castle, a castle tower, a gothic cathedral … and bears!

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There are three bears living below the bridge on the way to the castle. Hey, is that a beer keg???

Or … a bear keg? Tee hee.

There are also lots of colorful shops and hearty Czech food. Like this…

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Making my way from the bus stop to the town center, I kept thinking that I wouldn’t mind if the bed in my pension was a pile of sawdust, because the city itself was so lovely. Luckily, my room had a comfy bed in a very Czech, very old-country style room, complete with a cuckoo clock! 

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It also had a pretty view…

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On the wall of my room, there was a framed piece of paper detailing the history of the property. Reading it, I learned that a butcher named Beneš lived there in 1529, followed by more butchers, two hatters, even more butchers, a draper, some weavers, a glazier, a “princely personal coachman”, a shoemaker, and a succession of “crouppers” (their spelling). Several centuries (centuries!!!) later in 1997, a family bought the building, lovingly restored it and began operating it as a pension.

Just like Kyoto, the pictures of Český Krumlov pretty much took themselves. All I had to do was turn on my camera and try to keep my finger away from the front of the lens. Hope you enjoy!