Tom & Shirley's Page -- 2009 Czech Republic Trip
  September is a wonderful time of year to travel to Europe.   Kids are back in school, crowds are down and service is often better than in peak season.   Our destination this September was the Czech Republic.
  First stop, Prague.  We spent five nights at Studio Platan Pension, an apartment on Revolucni, perhaps five minutes from the City Center.   Shirl felt the place could have been a lot cleaner and would probably not recommend it (especially since it also was on the 6th floor with no lift).   It did however offer our required little balcony and was very conveniently located close to tram and underground connections.   Many people have said that Prague is a magnificent, special city and we certainly agree.   There is Baroque, Romanesque and Gothic architecture in Prague.   This adds to a sense of history and mystery about the city.   If you have an opportunity to take in Prague, definitely do so.   We never felt unsafe or threatened while walking around at night or on the underground (which was incredibly easy to navigate).   We hired a guide, Helena Martinkova (through Prague Personal Guide), and were very glad we did.   She was very informative and helpful; we would highly recommend her services.   Our only regret is that we were unable to make that very early morning visit to the Charles Bridge others have raved about.   That would have entailed getting out of bed really, really early and on this vacation, well, we were on vacation!   Oh well, just one more reason to plan a return trip.
  We also enjoy staying off the beaten path and exploring the back roads.   That is one reason we chose Penzion V Raji near Melnik, in the Cesky Raj area, for our next stop.   We heartily recommend this place.   They offer immaculately clean rooms, a great breakfast, helpful staff, all in a quiet rural setting complete with goats, donkeys and a view of a forest from the balcony.   From this five night base we wandered the sandstone rock 'town' of the Cesky Raj (aka Bohemian Switzerland) National Preserve and the equally impressive Ceske Svycarsko (aka Czech/Bohemian Switzerland) National Park to see the Pravcicka Brana, the largest natural land bridge in Europe.   Hey, who can resist that?   We also ventured in to Melnik for the Wine Festival which was a fun time.
  We spent our last four nights in Cesky Krumlov staying at Pension Pod Skalkou.   We highly recommend this B&B.   It offers modern, clean apartments, a great breakfast and even a small outdoor covered pool.   A special thanks to Tomas, son of the owner, who offered some good tips on day trips and local restaurants.   Cesky Krumlov is the coziest town we have visited to date.   We just loved wandering the cobblestone streets and finding out of the way places to eat, drink and relax.
  This is a quick summary of our trip to the Czech Republic.   Please take a look at a few of the pictures we have posted.   If anyone wants more detail or a full trip report for info on anything just email us at
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  Shirl wishing us good fortune on Charles Bridge Kampa Island's version of Venice About to attack a pork knuckle on Kampa Island
  Selling surplus military gear at the Prague Market Flower vendor at the Prague Marke Our super guide in Prague was Helena Martinkova
  We even managed to find the Prague 'Strudel Man' shop Time out for a Czech beer -among the beers best in the world Walking up an appetite in Vysehrad
  Our great B&B Penzion V Raji in Mseno u Melnika Exploring the Cesky Raj Nature Preserve (aka Bohemian Paradise) Wandering among the Cesky Raj sandstone rock 'towns'
  Ceske Svycarsko National Park. Pravcicka Brana is the largest natural land bridge in Europe We attended the Melnik wine Festival Plenty of good choices at the Melnik wine Festival
  Erie displays at Kutna Hora-Sedlec Ossuary-Kostnice (Church of Bones) Dressing for the Hradek mine tour located in Kutna Hora Passing by the three old bells in the Church of Our Lord's Transfiguration in Tabor
  The fairly-tale Chateau Hluboka nad Vltavou in Southern Bohemia ...Recalculating... Holasovice a little South Bohemian village is considered a pearl of the rustic Baroque style
  We recommend Pension Pod Skalkou in Cesky Krumlov City Center of delightful Cesky Krumlov Off the beaten path in Cesky Krumlov
  Eggenberg Brewery tour buddies in Cesky Krumlov One of the quiet down-alley places in Cesky Krumlov