Through Šumava & Bohemia
November 21, 2014
Though it's been five years since I last set foot in the Czech Republic, one of my favorite places in the world, going back felt like seeing an old friend in passing and picking up right where you left off. We stayed in the western part of the country, the region known as Bohemia, starting in České Budějovice, where the original Budweiser was invented. I'll stick in another Couchsurfing plug here since we stayed with a wonderful family who took us to places we would have had a hard time getting to by bus, including the manor Hluboká nad Vltavou, a stunning white former hunting lodge. The only way I can describe the inside is that it looked remarkably similar to the interior of the manor on Downton Abbey. We also visited the red chateau Červená Lhota, which is red supposedly because a demon-possessed woman threw herself out of one of the windows and her blood stained the formerly white walls of the building. The villagers couldn't get the blood out so, naturally, they just painted the whole thing red.
We continued up through Prague (you'll see that next week), spent a day in Klatovy. The catacombs in Klatovy were creepy and interesting, and the castle Klenová, just outside the city, was a nice few hours spent as well. Though I have to say my favorite stop in the area was traveling to my home away from home in the Šumava area: Svojše. We met up with my host family and stayed on their cow farm. We ventured on muddy roads in the old farm truck with Gonzo the belgian shepherd, and tracked down the cows in the misty morning. One of the most memorable highlights for us was hiking to and from Kašperk, which is surrounded by thick, foggy, slightly spooky forests. I took an unhealthy amount of photos of the trees disappearing into the distance, but I'll spare you all but a few.
Our itinerary was a nice balance of returning to a place filled with good memories while also having new experiences and seeing some things we never had before. Hopefully we will be going back sooner than five years from now.