Two Weeks in Czech Republic with kids

We spent the first two weeks of September in Czech Republic – walking old towns, exploring castles, and settling into a quieter life in the small town of Cesky Krumlov. The weather was outstanding as we were on the cusp of fall with dewy mornings, bright sunshiny days, and crisp evenings.

We had a rather adventuresome travel day leaving Copenhagen, which resulted in new friendships on the train from Copenhagen to Munich!  There is nothing more demoralizing than the conductor announcing, “We must end the train here.  We will bring buses for you to get on and take you to a new station where you will continue your journey to Munich.” Thankfully, we built some comradery with fellow Swede and German travelers, which made the delay go by much quicker!

Discussing our train options with fellow travelers

We also learned an important lesson traveling Europe via train…book reserved seats! You are not required to reserve in most cases. However, we quickly learned trains are sometimes oversold, which left us sitting on the floor by the bathroom for four hours!

Hooray!! We made it to Prague…finally!

In Prague, we stayed at the Royal Court Apartments, which allowed us to tram and walk much of the city. We spent our days meandering cobblestone streets, walking through Old Town, tasting chimney cake and gingerbread, and listening to music that billowed on to the streets from the various concert halls.  We attended a one hour classical concert at the Prague Castle…and promised the kids a gelato right after if they sat still!

Two weeks in Czech Republic with kids just begins to scratch the surface but a trip to the the Czech Republic wouldn't be complete without a classical music concert

Classical music at Prague Castle

Walking the Charles Bridge

By far the most challenging and rewarding thing we did was rent bikes and pedal through the busy streets and along the Vltava River.  We rode 20 miles and the kids were troopers, even when we misread the map and had to carry bikes up several flights of stairs.  Despite the challenging ride, we loved seeing a different side of Prague, appreciating the quieter side of the city.

With two weeks in Czech Republic with kids, it was easy to find time for a family bike ride and ours along the Vltava river was perfect for all of us.

Bike ride complete!

After a few days in Prague, we drove 2.5 hours to the small town of Cesky Krumlov.  To say it is gorgeous would be an understatement.  The entire town feels like a fairy tale, with a castle surrounded by a real bear guarding the moat!  Then there are cobblestone streets and flowers cascading out of every window.  We cherished the slower pace for 10 days and enjoyed days at the park, swimming in the local pond, and hiking in the neighboring Boubin Forest. By far our favorite activity was visiting Lake Lipno (also known as the Czech Sea). There, we spent afternoons lazing on the rocks, swimming, and watching sailboats cruise.

Hiking to the Boubin Forest

Swimming at the local pond

But with the smaller town and slower life came a feeling of loneliness. Our family of five felt so alone despite being amongst the Czechs.  There are no passing “hellos” in the Czech culture, which we are so accustomed to living in the South. That feeling motivated James to reach out to different Facebook groups to meet other families traveling. Thankfully, he discovered that one family lived a few hours away. Even better, they were visiting Cesky Krumlov on Saturday to participate in the Medeival Festival! We were thrilled to spend an hour with them and their boys.

Learning about the tools used during the bronze age

We celebrated Goose's 10th birthday in a small town in Czech Republic, Cesky Krumlov.  The kids loved it and Goose had a great time researching Cesky Krumlov before his birthday.

Goose’s 10th birthday!

Since the experience at the festival, we’ve eagerly engaged with anyone who mutters a word of English.  It’s easy to be complacent in daily life but we’re thankful for all the new conversations. It certainly makes us appreciate how many kind people there are in the world. Starting conversations also led to dinner with two lovely Australian women and a fun train ride with some Danish kids! We’re thankful for that tough day during our European adventures and the interactions we’ve since had with people from all over.

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