Road Trip in Czech Republic 2015 Photo Gallery
Off the beaten path in the Czech Republic……
Renee had never visited the Eastern part of the Czech Republic. To see it “off the beaten path” we borrowed a car from her sister and set out on a week-long journey through the countryside.
Domazlice – located in the Plzen area (southeast of Prague). By chance, we arrived during the Chod Festival, one of the oldest folklore festivals in the Czech Republic. Traditional folk music and dance, and a fair in the main square consisting of many booths with a huge selection of very typical foods and crafts. A big beer hall was set up near the music and dancing – a fun time!
Olomouc – the historical capital city of Moravia. Two highlights (of many) are the Holy Trinity Column (a UNESCO site) and the Chapel of St. Jan Sarkander. There are not one but two main squares, one leading into the other, very picturesque. Spend at least one full day here to allow time to wander the historic area and see some amazing sights.
Velke Losiny – a tiny village we stopped at on the way to Klasterec nad Orlici. Worth a visit to see the old paper mill. I know – that sounds nerdy, but it really is worth visiting. The operation is one of the oldest in Europe, dating back to the 16th century. The paper is still produced by hand, a mixture of cotton and linen and a tour of it is more interesting than one would think. A great cafe on-site is a good place to stop for refreshments before continuing on.
Klasterec Nad Orlici – a hidden jewel! This town of about 1,000 is definitely off the beaten path. Quaint houses, sparkling windows with geraniums spilling off the ledges, picket fences (really), plum and apple trees with ladders leaning up against them. A great place to overnight and enjoy a leisurely walk along the river.
Plzen – is where the Czech beers Pilsner & Gambrinus are brewed. The large brewery is definitely a must to tour. Yes, you get a large free sample – the tour guide tapped into one of the barrels and everyone enjoyed a glass.
From a historical perspective, it was really touching and humbling to see how our military is honored here. We saw various plaques and monuments thanking the Americans for freeing them from German occupation. There is a museum dedicated to General Patton. So many years later and the town’s gratitude is still very obvious. In a very small nutshell on May 5, 1945 the US 16th Armored Division, the 97th and 2nd Infantry Divisions rolled into Plzen to secure the city from Germany. The U.S. government didn’t want to offend the Soviet Union so a crucial decision was made for General Patton to stop his troops in Plzen rather than pushing on towards Prague. This decision led to Czechoslovakia being under communist rule for the next 40+ years.