Český Krumlov charmed us with her Bohemian beauty, her medieval castles and cathedrals. Of course, the streets were lined with shops on the main floors of the 15th-century buildings. (Pronounced Chesky Crumloff)
But before we reached the little town nestled by the Moldava River, we stopped at the true Budweiser brewery, which has been around since 1825. Currently, this brewery's owners are in a copyright dispute with the American Budweiser, so it it sells as "Budvar" in the United States. No one in our group had heard of it before.
After the tour, we had another half an hour's drive, and we were in this town of towers. The hamlet was taken over by the Russians, but they didn't do any damage to the buildings, so everything was preserved, including the old castle and all of its contents. We had an eye-popping tour of the castle with its items from the 15-17th century, from the mirrors, to the dining tables to the beds. Amazing.
One of the main items for sale in the jewelry shops was moldovite, a stone created when a meteorite crashed into the earth, a mineral treasured for its healing properties. The Czech Republic (and old Gemany) are the only places where the meteorite formed this mineral, so it is hard to come by anywhere else. To learn about Moldovite, click here. To learn about the supposed healing properties of moldovite, click here. Link to the Moldovite Museum. We enjoyed looking at it in various settings, both cut and rough, but we didn't purchase any. However, one of our fellow travelers with roots in the Czech Republic, Katie, had to get some earrings as a payback to a picture her husband took of her in an unflattering pose.
Unfortunately, for some more than others, we weren't able to stay at the monastery in the townsite of Český Krumlov as originally planned, so we boarded the bus for another 40-minute road trip to another castle town. Most were happy with the switch because the rooms were huge and the views amazing. Some even preferred being in a quite town instead of bucking the crowds of a main tourist attraction. And since we weren't in a town, we couldn't do the "dine around" dinner, where we could pick from different restaurants. We all ate in the hotel from a set menu, but the staff did well at accommodating special diets. Two down sides to this hotel: it was very hot with no air conditioning (the windows wouldn't stay open) and the electrical plug ins wouldn't work, hence, this blog post is late. We had no way to charge our phones or camera batteries.