Monday, April 21, 2014

 IVF Czech
 April 15-17th
Prague, Pilsner, and Cesky Krumlov
  We were told that our next appointment was not until Friday so we decided to go on a little trip to Prague, Pilsner, and Cesky Krumlov.  All three of these towns are in the Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic.  We went home and booked hotels, packed a small bag, and got a game plan.  We arrived in  Prague around noon and picked a few things to see such as the Charles’ Bridge, the Prague Castle and we were also hoping to go the Jewish District.  

At the entrance to the Charles' Bridge
Looking out off of the Charles' Bridge
  My parents told us Prague was very easy to get around on the public transport so we left our car parked at the Hotel Taurus.  The young woman at the front desk was not very helpful, but got us in the right direction to pick up the tram for the Charles’ Bridge.  We ended up getting lost and then tried the metro and got turned around on that until a nice young man noticed us arguing about which train to get on and helped us out.  We got lost again and then I finally figured it out and was able to get us where we needed to go and back to the hotel.  My advice is to try and get an idea about the system before you go and wear comfortable shoes!  I forgot my running shoes and my feet were killing me from all the walking.
 The Charles’ Bridge was beautiful with a really nice view of the Malastrana area of Prague where the castle is.  There are street vendors selling art and jewelry all up and down the bridge.  After lunch at a local restaurant we picked up the metro and then the tram to the Prague Castle where the President lives.  The castle is very eerie looking.  It was a gloomy day and all that the castle needed was a bunch of crows and maybe flying monkeys, and it would have looked like it was straight out of a movie.  We walked around and took some pictures and then left to go to the Jewish District to see the cemetery museum.  Once we got there it said that it was closed due to Passover.  Overall it was a short day in Prague but we enjoyed it.  Well, not the two hours we were lost, I was ready to leave and go home then! 
Prague Castle
The next day we drove about an hour outside of Prague to Plsen or Pilsner (as in the beer).  We visited the Pilsner Urquell Brewery which was started on 1842 and is now part of Miller Brewing.  The tour was really interesting and took us from the brewing area to packaging and even into the underground area where they still brew some beer in old oak barrels just for the tourists.  At the end of the tour you get to try the raw and unfiltered beer right from the barrels.  We ate lunch at the restaurant that is below the gift shop and it was very good.  

The original gate to the Pilsner Brewery

Old Copper Brew Kettles

New Copper brew tanks

Old handmade barrels

 The next day we went to Cesky Krumlov which is twenty minutes south of where Budweiser was originally brewed in Ceske Budejovice.  John and I agree that this is probably one of the most beautiful and charming cities we have ever been to.  The old town is surrounded by a winding river and in the summer you can tube around it.  Our hotel was just across the entrance to the cobblestone streets not far from the town square.  We meandered through the shops on the side streets and along the river and then walked up to the old castle.  We walked through the outer parts of the castle and took lots of pictures.  My brilliant self saw a sign to the gardens which were up a very steep, long hill and ended up not being very spectacular.  There is a tour of the underground parts of the castle, but we were tired and our feet hurt so we made our way back down for lunch.  It was a beautiful day of walking, shopping, sight –seeing, and tasting local cuisine. 

Cesky Krumlov
Over looking Cesky Krumlov from the castle on the hill

Cesky Krumlov

Looking down from a small arch up
Cesky Krumlov

 On the next entry I will discuss my next appointment at the IVF clinic.   

More on our journey to come...

Kelly and John

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