Czeching it out again

THE PEPPER MILL - Pepper Teehankee - The Philippine Star
Czeching it out again
Cesky Krumlov at night.
Pepper Teehankee on a Leica C Digital Camera

(Part 2 of 3)

We gladly took a detour to stop by the beautiful town of Plzen for a few hours on the way to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Cesky Krumlov. Plzen (or Pilzen in English) is a city in West Bohemia where the world famous pilsner was invented in 1842. It certainly was a treat to be able to take a detour to this city and experience drinking the world-famous Pilsner Urquell in the city it is named after.

The oldest (since 1637) restaurant with a boarding house there is U Salzmannu (www.usalzmannu.com/cz/). They have three must-try dishes here: their beef tartare, sausages roasted in dark beer and my favorite Czech soup ever, kulajda! It’s a creamy potato and mushroom soup with dill and a poached egg and it is delicious!

It was a totally different feel in Cesky Krumlov this time as tourists are just starting to come back and stores are slowly opening again. I was here four years ago and it was packed! This medieval town is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. It is rich in culture and history and stunningly beautiful whether it is day or night. The Cesky Krumlov Castle, one of the largest in Europe and home of the Rosenberg family, can give one a visual of how the affluent lived in South Bohemia several centuries ago. It is in the castle where one can get the best views of town!

Visit U Dwau Maryi of Tavern of the Two Marys (www.2marie.cz/) and have a medieval meal in a 15th-century house! Shop for garnets and Moldavite, two gems produced in this city. Visit the monastery Klastery Cesky Krumov (https://www.klasteryck.cz/cz/klastery-cesky-krumlov/) or take a night tour by one of the locals and learn so much of the history of this quaint town. A museum with the permanent works of Austrian artist Egon Schiele (whose mother was born in Cesky Krumlov) is here as well.

We headed back to our base, Prague, and checked into a historic hotel. The Mozart Prague (https://www.themozart.com/) has amazing views of Prague Castle and Charles Bridge. The former Pachta Palace also had composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, artist Alphonse Mucha, and Italian adventurer Giacomo Cassanova actually live there for some time… and now they have suites named after the actual rooms where they stayed in! Some of the rooms have centuries-old frescoes in them but my favorite has to be the Alphonse Mucha room, which has two original Mucha paintings hanging there. This hotel is definitely where one should stay even for a night when in Prague!

U Salzmannu in Plze?.

Of course Mozart and Prague are synonymous, so why not go to a Mozart dinner?  It may be a bit touristy but you can have good Czech food and listen to highlights of Don Giovanni and The Magic Flute as well as some of his classic piano compositions in one night! The Mozart dinner (www.mozartdinner.cz) is held at the beautiful Boccaccio Ballroom of the Grand Hotel Bohemia.

As Filipinos love to shop, dropping by Fashion Arena (https://fashion-arena.cz/en/) is something everyone would enjoy. Believe it or not, go to the VIP room and show your Filipino passport and they will give you a 10% discount card! Outlet stores here include Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Adidas, Trussardi, Karl Lagerfeld, Lindt chocolates, and Lacoste.

A room in The Mozart, Prague.

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To be continued next Thursday. Check out https://www.czech.cz/tourism/ and the hashtag #visitczechrepublic.

Follow me on Instagram @pepperteehankee.



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