| Part 2: Stramberk,
Rožnov pod Radhoštem, Olomouc, Kromeríž, Litomysl, Bouzov
2.6: Krakow -> Stramberk -> Roznov pod
Radhostem -> Olomouc
3.6: Olomouc -> Kromeríz ->
4.6: Olomouc -> Litomysl ->
Bouzov -> Olomouc
5.6: Olomouc -> Lednice ->
Valtice -> Mikulov -> Dolni Dunajovice
6.6: Dolni Dunajovice ->
Znojmo -> Vranov nad Dyjí castle -> Telc
7.6: Telc -> Jindrichuv Hradec
-> Ceský Krumlov
8.6: Ceský Krumlov ->
Holasovice -> Hluboká nad Vltavou -> Ceské Budejovice -> Ceský
9.6: Ceský Krumlov -> Munich
Štramberk -> Rožnov pod Radhoštěm -> Olomouc
Hotel Milotel, Olomouc.
hotel is in Preroc, 6 km from the centre of Olomouc. 91 Euro for a
small apartment with two bedrooms and place for two adults and two kids
(breakfast included). Old communist era building. The elevator has been
renewed, but the toilets are old. Room has everything except a fridge
and A/C (perhaps it is difficult to sleep here in summer if it gets
hot). Adequate furniture (cupboard for the clothes, one in each
bedroom, two chairs and a table. Quiet location in the middle of
nowhere, near something which looks like a power station. Fast WLAN in
the rooms included in the room rate.
Weather: overcast in
Krakow when we leave, then the sky opens up and we have mostly sunshine
In the morning when we check out the issue with the room is settled. We
don't have to pay for an additional room, but they charge us the
difference between a room rate booked through booking.com and the
walk-in rate (at least so they say - we pay an extra 70 zloty and the
matter is settled). Quite reasonable people, probably the hotel manager
understood it is not good to have angry customers.
We manage to leave by 10:30am. We proceed quite speedily towards the
Czech republic and Stramberk. The roads are mostly in a good to very
good state. Some roadworks are ongoing every now and then (motorway is
being modernised). Overall my fear of finding broken roads full of
holes turns out to be unfounded. In this part of the country the
infrastructure is very good.
By 1:15pm we are in Stramberk (refueling stop in Krakow, otherwise we
have been driving non-stop).
Stramberk is a beautiful mountain village, in a breathtaking setting in
the Wallachian mountains. Especially the historic square at the centre
of the old town is picturesque.
We park in this square and go to a restaurant. Since we have no Czech
money we ask if we can pay by credit card. Answer is no. Can we pay
with Euro? Answer is again no. Do they know where we can find an ATM?
We walk out and ask some people if they know where an ATM is. Nobody
knows, strange. Besides, few people seem able to speak English or
another language here. Curiously, the few people who can speak a second
language, speak German. Probably this is because there are many
tourists like us who come from Germany or Austria.
In any case we settle the cash problem by asking at the tourist
information. There is one ATM 10 minutes from here. I take the car, get
the cash, and when I'm back a local policeman prohibits me to drive
again into the old square because I'm not staying in the hotel there. I
drive out, park on the street outside. The same policeman shows up,
this time in his car and tells me this parking is only for residents.
There is a parking for outside people 1km from here. So I drive away
and finally manage to leave the car somewhere where there isn't this
We then have lunch in the Sipka hotel. Very good food, and quite
reasonably priced. Then while Shirley shops around a bit, I climb on
the tower (25 Koruny ticket) overlooking the village. Great views of
the surrounding areas.
At 3:40pm we drive to Rožnov pod Radhoštěm, arriving there at 4:20pm.
There we visit an open air museum with traditional Wallachian houses
and buildings. Very scenic place, in a nice forest setting, suitable
At 5pm this place closes but we are still in until 5:15pm (and I almost
get locked into a traditional house I was visiting). At 5:20pm we drive
to Olomouc, stopping at a Tesco mall for some groceries and some
dinner. We reach the hotel at 7:30pm.
Women in this part of the Czech republic seem way more attractive than
women in Poland. In fact I see lots of attractive women here, and they
dress also well. The infrastructure in Czechia is quite good and
you get the impression that this part of the country is very well
maintained. Cars on the streets are of good level, mostly modern. No
ancient or communist era cars on the streets. This seems to be a
well-off, prosperous country, where people have a good living standard.
We settle in the hotel and at 8:30pm I drive into town for some blue
hour shots of Olomouc. There is a classical music concert on the Horni
Namesti square on this Saturday evening, with opera singers performing.
The Horni Namesti square is quite impressive. You wouldn't believe that
a small city has such a monumental central square, or perhaps Olomouc
is not such a small city.
Kroměříž -> Olomouc
Hotel Milotel, Olomouc.
Today we hear
that the room service only works from Monday to Friday and on weekends
nobody cleans the room. Poor performance for a hotel charging 91
Weather: in the morning
then the sky opens up while we are in Kromeriz, strong sun and hot
(well, not that hot, perhaps the temperature climbs to 23-24°C, but hot
under the sun). Then at 4pm it starts raining in Olomouc.
We leave the hotel around 10:45am for Kromeriz and arrive there at
11:30am. The roads are a mix of motorway, intercity roads and roads
through cities. All roads are in a good to very good condition,
allowing speedy travelling.
Kromeriz surprises me because there is way more to see than just the
Archbishop's Palace. The entire historic centre of the city contains
beautiful buildings, the main market square and the pleasure garden are
picturesque. It's surprising that a small city of 29000 inhabitants has
so much historic heritage. The pleasure garden is suitable for kids,
because the hedges are like a maze where kids can hide and play.
It would be possible to spend the entire day in Kromeriz, but at 2pm we
drive back to Olomouc. There we have a lunch at 3pm in the Chinese
restaurant overlooking the Horni Namesti square. The concert stage and
all other stuff there was yesterday has already been dismantled. Given
the amount of stuff there was yesterday I would have thought they were
going to keep it for several days.
When we get out of the restaurant at 4pm it has started raining. Since
Natasha is a bit sick we drive back to the hotel.
In the evening between 9pm and 10pm I'm back in town (Horni Namesti,
central square) for some photography. The entire square and in fact
the entire historic centre is a desert. Almost no people around. What a
compared to yesterday. The locals must be serious people who work hard
and in the evenings go sleeping early.
Litomysl -> Bouzov -> Olomouc
Hotel Milotel, Olomouc.
Today we figure
out that this hotel is used mostly by workers and people on a business
trip (not so many tourists). The breakfast switches from buffet style
to ŕ la carte. Our room still hasn't been made/cleaned, it seems that
there is no house-keeping. The shower is good (lots of water, enough
temperature and pressure) and the breakfast is good as well.
Weather: really a mixed
bag today. It
has rained during the night, it's fresh in the morning, overcast. Some
light rain during the afternoon, overcast the whole day, except around
2pm when the sky opens up a bit. Fresh, temperatures below 20°C.
We leave the hotel around 10:40am and drive to Litomysl, planning to
visit the castle which is a UNESCO world heritage site. After a brief
refueling stop the trip proceeds smoothly. The road is a combination of
motorway and intercity road, all in good conditions (smooth paved
surfaces, no sharp curves). Little driving across towns.
We arrive at the castle shortly after 12pm noon. Unpleasant surprise,
as it turns out that the castle is closed on Mondays and only (part of)
the park is accessible. In addition, the castle is undergoing
renovations and to top it all the sky is overcast. Not the best time to
come and visit the Litomysl castle.
Still, the castle is impressive. It's actually more of a palace with
beautiful walls and an impressive roof. What a piece of art. Even nicer
than the Loire valley castles, although these can't be compared
because the architectural styles are different.
We manage to get into the castle (somebody has left the door open and
climb up the staircase. But that's it, because all doors are locked. So
we walk down the road to the main market square of Litomysl town. Long
rectangular square, with beautiful house facades on it. Very, very
We spend the next couple of hours shopping around and having lunch in a
Chinese restaurant. After this lunch Shirley decides not to have again
lunch in a KFC or a Chinese restaurant. We've been relying too much on
them in this trip. It's time to try something different. The bill
totals 611 crowns (24 Euro) for three dishes (kids share one dish) +
drinks. Cheaper than what you would pay in Germany, but not that much
The cost of living seems to be somewhat lower than in Germany (perhaps
30% or so), but not that much lower. From a development and living
standard point of view the Czech republic seems to be almost on par
with Germany. The infrastructure is very good and goods you can buy in
the shops are mostly high quality.
At 3:20pm we start driving to Bouzov castle. Initially we track back
the good road we used to get to Litomysl. Lots of heavy trucks, which
you can sometimes overtake, but not all of them. They should convert
this road to two lanes on each side. Then we take a side road and
suddenly the road gets very bad. Narrow, lots of tight curves, very
We pass by small towns which seem deserted. No people on the streets.
The bad weather may play a role, but probably it's also so that this
region is depopulated.
We arrive at Bouzov castle at 4:15pm. The castle is closed, perhaps
because it is Monday. I wonder why the castles in Czechia all close on
Mondays. Some renovation work ongoing here as well. From outside you
can see that the castle is very nice. It's the Neuschwanstein type of
castle, like in the fairy tales. Good preservation state. Nice setup,
surrounded by a forested park.
We spend an hour in the park, walking around the castle. It's good for
the kids, who spend the time discovering the nature and playing around
a bit. It finally stops raining and the kids find a black and yellow
At 5:15pm we drive back towards Olomouc. Shortly before 6pm we spot a
big mall, the Olomouc city shopping complex near Olomouc, and stop
there for shopping and dinner.
The Olomouc city shopping complex consists of the Globus hypermarket,
where you can buy everything from clothes, furniture to fresh food and
groceries, and a real shopping mall on two levels with many shops and a
food court on the upper level. Everything is very modern and clean.
Plenty of stuff to buy, good choice of merchandise.
It's 8:30pm when we finally leave the mall and head back to the hotel.