Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Adventure? Czech.

Last month we had a wonderful week-long vacation to the Czech Republic. We were excited to get into Eastern Europe--actually behind the former Iron Curtain. For those of you who are coming to visit, Prague is only a four hour drive from our door! :)

We had an ignominious start--about 1/2 hour north of Munich (about 2 hours in) we realized Ellie had left her Lovey at home. Ahhh, weeping and gnashing of teeth! Monumental parental failure! What to do? As we had to be at our rental at a certain time, we couldn't go back. So when we stopped for lunch, amid fervent prayers, I went into the nearby German store (Rossman). Lo and behold, they had something resembling Lovey. I bought it and we presented it to Ellie. After a moment of indecision, she embraced her "urlab Lovey" (urlab = vacation) and the world was sunny again. Thank heavens!!
E and the savior of the trip
Once into Czech, we drove to our rental in the southwestern Sumava (pronounced Shoe-mauve-uh) mountains, just over the border from Germany. What used to be a massive barrier between Germany and the Soviet Union, this hilly, forested region is a favorite vacation spot for Germans and Czechs...and the less frequent English-speaker. "Chalet" in Czech seems to translate as "Chalupa" so we stayed in the Zadov Chalupa. :) Our chalupa was located right on the ski slopes, within sight of the lift. Beautiful and fairly remote!
Zadov Chalupa
 The home was rather starkly furnished and obviously is mostly used to squash as many skiers in as possible. We had lots of space, but it didn't feel that clean--not the place when you'd like to take your shoes off. The bathroom left much to be desired...but there was plenty of space and we spread out and made due.
The girls' room--they took turns sleeping on the top.

The kitchen and its most frequent occupant. (Just don't open the cabinet next to the stove!)

Our fire pit in the front yard.

Having fun in the swing.

No, the hole was already there when she got in!

First on our To Do list? Get some Czech food and beer. The beer was so cheap it cost (usually) just a dollar for 1/2 liter. Paradise!
And speaking of beer, Czech is the original home of the name Budweiser. Busch and the Czech maker of Budweiser battled it out and Busch got to keep their name in America, and Europe got to keep it in Europe. So when you see Budweiser in Europe, it's not from the States!

Our first trip out was to Kasperske Hory (Cash-per-skay Hoary), a nearby town with a wonderfully old castle. It was built in 1356 for Charles IV, the king who put Czech and Prague on the map.

Hiking up the hill

During the tour (as a great surprise, our guide spoke English).

View from the top. Amazing! The roof tiles are the original 14th century.

Besides sight-seeing, we wanted to relax and hike around. One one of our walks, Ellie was delighted at who decided to join us. Can you see her friend on Jon's ear? (next to that oojaboojy smiley baby??)
The butterfly stayed on her hand for several minutes. She was thrilled.

We had a delightful romp through the wilderness, thanks to Jon's fantastic guiding. The girls, in the usual German way, quickly found their walking sticks.


 Next post: Cesky Krumlov and Prague!


b.niel said...

Cool! Love the pun in the post title. Also, mm, chalupas.
It's also kind of amazing that Ellie decided the stand-in lovie would work for vacation. hallelujah!

Blythe Owen Hunt said...

I loved this post! It's my favorite of all your travel posts. What gorgeous scenery and fun pictures of your everyday fun, too. Thanks for posting!

Susan said...

Kudos to you, Jen, for keeping your family blog alive and well. Enjoyed looking at the photos and reading about your trip. Looks beautiful! Eager for the Prague post--seems like y'all are really making the most of your tour in Germany!

Nana said...

Again, these are beautiful pictures of a beautiful country. Hiking sticks are great and I'm glad the girls have picked up that way to hike. And it's so wonderful that Ellie accepted the love. She will have quite a collection by the time she is in school. What fun! And the smatterings are so tiny.