Mikulov: the wine and the hike

imageA couple of weeks back we decided we need to get to know our own country, the Czech Republic, a little more. We had a couple of days to explore, so we decided to go to southern Moravia for two and a half days. First stop was Mikulov.

Mikulov is a small town, but absolutely gorgeous. We spent half a day there but we wished our hotel was in the town, because we loved it so much.

By the time we got to Mikulov, it was well past noon and we were starving after spending the whole morning on the bus and train to get there. So we looked for a restaurant, where we could also enjoy our first glass of wine in the Czech wine country. We walked through the town and chose U Obřího Sudu. They had great food and great wine, so I definitely recommend it!

After food, wine and ice cream, we started our hike up to the Svatý Kopeček. The hill looked extremely daunting from the bottom, but up we went. Along the way there were information boards about the history, the area and the nature. Definitely give these a quick read, because you will learn lots of interesting things about the area you are exploring!

First tip, if you go on a hike, bring INSECT REPELLENT! We forgot to bring ours and ended up with huge swollen mosquito bites.

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Second tip, bring lots of WATER with you! Even though the hike isn’t as long as it seems, when it’s hot, you need enough water to keep you going.

imageAt the top of the hill, we were rewarded with the most gorgeous view! It was nice to just sit and enjoy the city and the castle below us. Once we took about a billion pictures, we took another route down. Half the time we were hoping we were walking down the right way, because we were alone in the forest. It was a great way to get back down, walking around the hill the back way.

Since the castle looked so beautiful from the top, we went to look at it up close. We walked around the grounds in awe of the beautiful architecture! Definitely suggest you walk around the grounds, it’s worth the time.

We brought our afternoon trip to an end with some wine on the main square of Mikulov. This is a must! There is nothing quite like a glass of wine after a long day of walking.

Mikulov is a beautiful place, that if you get the chance, you definitely should visit! Even if you don’t have time to go up to the hill, at least stop by for the adorable town and wine!


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Charles IV 700 Anniversary Events

May 14th marks Charles’ IV 700th birthday. Charles IV was a beloved king of Bohemia and Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in the 14th century. He was born in Prague and loved his country very much. He became a patron of culture and arts, since he founded various institutions, namely Charles University, and built many monuments and castles that are still around to this day. He is still remembered as a great and fair ruler and many Czech citizens like to say that world leaders could take a page out of his book and rule as fairly he did.

 

In honor of Charles IV, there are many special events in the Czech Republic this summer. Here are our top 5 events that are definitely worth going to! There are countless other events that will be interesting, but this is what we are planning on seeing.

 

Prague

Crown Jewels

IMG_0231.JPG (2)From May 15th until May 29th you can go see the the Crown Jewels of Charles IV at the Prague Castle. This only happens on special occasions, so the last time they were available to see was three years ago when a new president was elected. I definitely suggest you go see this, but be prepared for crowds. When we went in 2013, we got there before the opening at 10am and we still had to wait in line for 5-6 hours. After waiting for such a long time, we were let into the room and we got to see the jewels for a couple of minutes and then we had to leave. So it is up to you, if you want to dedicate so much time, but the jewels are rarely seen, so you might as well take advantage of it!  

 

Diamond Museum

The Diamond Museum in Prague just opened and as part of the celebrations of Charles IV, part of their exhibit includes gemstones from Charles’ IV era as well as equipment they used to saw the stones. The rest of the exhibit are diamonds and gemstones from the 21st century, probably still worth the visit! The special exhibit for the gemstones from the 14th century lasts until the end of August, so you should definitely go see them, while they are there!

 

Reenactment of the Coronation of Charles IV

One of the biggest events planned for the celebration of Charles IV will happen on September 2 and 3. There will be a historically accurate reconstruction of the coronation ceremony and all the rituals that are a part of it. Since this is such a special event, and on top of that free, be prepared for huge crowds, but if you are in Prague this will be a spectacular event that you should go to!

 

Karlstein

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Karlstein Treasure

The Karlstein Treasure is a collection of 400 small items from the era of Charles IV. They include buttons, other accessories and objects used in the day to day life in the 14th century. During the Hussite wars, the residents of the castle hid these objects in the walls, so that the precious objects wouldn’t fall into the hands of the rebels. There they stayed hidden for the next 600 years, until the castle was being reconstructed and they fell out. Usually the Karlstein Treasure is in Prague, but in honor of the 700th anniversary of Charles IV, they were brought back to the castle.

 

Noc na Karlštejně

Noc na Karlstejne, will be a stage adaptation of a Czech musical film from 1974. It is a musical telling the story of Charles IV and his wife Elizabeth. Of course this stage production will be in Czech, so for those who do not understand the language, this might not be the right event for you. However, it will be a beautiful event that takes place right on the courtyard of the castle. I suggest you buy tickets soon, because they will probably sell out their 12 shows quickly.

 

If you are in the Czech Republic this summer and beginning of fall, definitely look into these events! There is a lot more that you can do in honor of Charles IV 700th anniversary, just keep your eye out for these events!


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Bars in Prague

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Bars in Prague

Over the past few years we have gone to several bars around Prague, but before recommending any, we went back to test out our favorites over the weekend. Here are the bars we visited and what we thought about them.

 

Popocafepetl or just Popo

This is a student bar right by Old Town Square, which makes it a great location to start off your night. What makes it even better are the prices of the drinks. You can get 3 vodka Redbull for less than 150kc ($6.50), but be warned, there will be much more vodka than Redbull. You can also get a rum and coke for only 65kc ($2.70)! The service there was ok, it’s kind of what you would expect of a full bar. People were crowding the bar, so trying to get the bartender’s attention was a little difficult, especially when she seemed taken by the blond guy with blue eyes, who can blame her though :P. Another thing I noticed about Popo, was that everyone seemed to know each other. It is a student bar, so chances are that everyone goes to the same school, just make sure you have your own friends to keep you company. Lastly, depending on what time you get there, you may or may not get seats. We were lucky enough to find a small space at the bar, where we could stand while enjoying our drinks. Also, there is no coat check, so don’t bring too many things, because you will have to hold on to them all night. Popo is definitely a good place to start the night, mostly because of the cheap drinks :)

 

IMG_1633Harley’s Bar

This is personally my favorite bar in Prague! I love the music and the drinks and I never had an issue with the service. When you get there early you can sit down at the bar or one of the tables. But if you get there around 11pm you won’t be able to find a seat. The drinks are really good, but a little more expensive, around 150kc for a Tequila Sunrise, but boy are they worth it! After grabbing a drink you can join the crowd on the rather small dance floor and sing and dance to our favorite Harley’s anthem, Highway to Hell! After a couple more drinks you might even find the courage to join some of the people dancing on the tables. On some nights they have a special program or some theme. On other nights the bartenders have a fire show, which is really awesome to watch!

 

Tretter’s

Next we went to Tretter’s, which slightly more high end, and by slightly, I mean if there was a place to bump into celebrities in Prague, it would be this bar. The prices, unfortunately reflect that, costing you about 220kc for a Margarita, which is still only around $9, but it is much more than the other bars we visited. The service is really nice and it is definitely one of those places where you tip, so keep that in mind. Sadly, we did not see any celebrities this time, but it was still a nice stop and a great place to sit down and rest our feet.

 

Karlovy Lazne

Lazne is one of those places everyone has been to. IMG_0058Everyone knows of it, because it is the biggest club in central Europe. It has five floors, each playing a different type of music, which means you can always find something you like. They also have an Ice Pub, which I visited for the first time this weekend. You pay 200kc ($.8.30) as a cover charge when you get to Lazne, and then 150kc ($6.25) to go into the Ice Pub (one drink is included in that price). I definitely recommend going into the Ice Pub, where you put on one of their ponchos and a pair of gloves and enjoy the icy room, that even has a throne you can sit on and take pictures. The best part of Lazne is that it closes at 5am and it is right next to the Charles Bridge. So I suggest leaving the bar in time to see the sunrise over Prague. The view is definitely worth it and it is the perfect way to end the night!

 

Other great places to go drink in Prague include TGIF, Nebe (especially for Happy Hour), Hard Rock Cafe and Bombay! Have a great night out!

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