What excursions to choose in the Czech Republic?
The Czech Republic is a unique country. I didn’t want to return to any other country again after the visit, but I wanted to go to the Czech Republic. As a result, it happened: I visited there twice as part of a tourist group. Both times we traveled by bus from Minsk, with visits to Brest, Poland, Austria and some other wonderful places. As soon as you pass the border of Belarus and get into Poland, it immediately becomes clear that there is something to see. It was Czech attractions that attracted me the most. It so happened that in no hotel did we stay longer than two or three days. So, having stayed in Prague in some inexpensive 3-star hotel, we went daily with an excursion to other Czech cities. Of course, we devoted the first day in the Czech Republic to Prague itself, looked at Stara Mesto and Mala Strana. It is impossible to describe in words how much I liked Charles Bridge and the Powder Tower, the Astronomical Clock on Old Town Square, Prague Castle, and many other famous places of this magnificent city.
The next day we went to Karlovy Vary. I had already heard about this city as a local resort with healing waters, but I wanted to see it with my own eyes and, if possible, drink water from mineral springs. We rode the bus for about 2.5 hours with a couple of stops along the way. At the entrance to the city, we stopped at a Czech glass store Bohemia. I have never seen such an abundance of original crystal products. There were even nail files made of such glass. All bus passengers bought gifts and souvenirs for their friends and relatives, and then we continued on to Karlovy Vary. When we entered there, I immediately remembered the gingerbread town from children’s fairy tales. This is a series of colorful houses resembling toy artifacts. The houses are located on both sides of the Teplá River (tributary of Ohře). At the entrance we met a whole complex with healing pools and baths. A driver with a guide offered us to make an hour stop and swim in the pools. The street was the beginning of May, the weather in the Czech Republic was warm and sunny. We could have done this, but preferred to start visiting local attractions.
We were taken to medical sources. There are 12 of them in Karlovy Vary, and the local alcoholic liquor called Becherovka is jokingly called the 13th source. By the way, it is also full of healing properties. Especially helps with digestive disorders. When I came to local sources, I thought that I was in Kislovodsk or Zheleznovodsk. Both mineral water and stone pantheons, in which it beat very much like these resort towns. In their chemical composition, all sources are almost the same, only differ in the amount of carbon dioxide. After the sources on the cable car, we were taken up to the Diana observation tower, from where a magnificent view of the city opens. At the very top there is an excellent restaurant where we stopped for lunch and many souvenir shops. Most of all in Karlovy Vary, I liked the local treats that you could buy at every turn. They were called “pay.” These are wafers made according to a special Karlovy Vary recipe. You can choose various additives to them, for example, there were chocolate payments, walnut payments, etc. Of course, we could not see all the attractions of this wonderful city in one day, but were satisfied with the tour.
The next day, a trip to Kutna Hora awaited us. This is an old town located just an hour from Prague on a high plateau. The city has medieval Gothic architecture, looking at which you want to mentally go back to the past centuries. The main purpose of the trip to Kutna Hora is the Sternberg castle. Guides also called Czech Sternberg. From the 13th century to this day, the castle has been at the disposal of the noble family of Sternberg. It rises beautifully above the Sazava River. Since we arrived early in the morning, the castle was shrouded in fog and it was a beautiful sight. The interior of the castle is no less interesting than its appearance. Each room is richly furnished with massive furniture, and the walls are decorated with medieval paintings and stuffed animals. There was even a separate armory and entire apartments set aside for a library. In the courtyard of the castle there is a small shop with souvenirs. Here tourists are welcomed by a photographer with a huge owl. If you wish, for a small amount you can take a picture with this cute bird.
The next day, a “terrible” excursion awaited us. We drove to the ancient city of Siedlec, where there are literally bones. The guide called them the bones. It took us about 2.5 hours on the road. Having parked in the center, we went first to the church on the bones. This is a Gothic building, somewhat reminiscent of many other Czech cathedrals. Frankly, there was nothing interesting here. We took some pictures against the backdrop of the cathedral and went to the All Saints Chapel, the construction and decoration of which took more than 40 thousand skeletons. The sight is not for the faint of heart.