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--------A trip to South Bohemia, Czech Republic (2006)

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 Czech Republic map I went to the Czech Republic in the summer of 2007 with my daughter Isabelle. We used the highway number six in Germany to reach the border of the Czech Republic. Once in the country, the road becomes the E50 it leads to Pilsen than to Prague. I noticed the side of the road had more weeds but the road in general was in great condition. It was nice , this was the first time during my holiday in Europe the autobahn was free( there was a speed limit that needed to be respected though)

This was my first visit to a country from the old communist regime. In order to come to the country, I had to pay extra car insurance, not much, about $50.00.This made me uneasy, were they charging more because of the increased danger in car thefts???

I had no intentions to go the two major cities ; Pilsen, famous for its beer, or Prague. I was too afraid of the traffic. I had read not to bother to bring your car to Prague. A book suggested leaving your car at the airport and taking the bus to downtown. It was a great idea but I felt it would be a bit costly and complicated.

For my first stop, I decided to visit the spas par excellence of the country and possibly Europe. Karlovy Vary and Mari�nsk� Lazne. We had to go out of our way in order to go there. In my nervousness I missed the exit to the spas. Driving with a young child is hard to get any help with the maps.

After missing the spas, we decided to go to Linz in Austria via the southern part of the country. I went to Klatovy hoping to get to the 22 and go to Ceske Budejovice then follow to Linz. Unfortunately, again, I missed the turn and ended up going towards the German border. This resulted in a short stay in the Czech Republic.

On our way south, we stopped at the town of Prestice in Southwest-Bohemia 20 km south of Pilsen. Later on, we visited the downtown which has a population of around 10 000 people. People seemed friendly enough but they also seemed quite reserved. I took some Czech money from the bank and bought some fruit for really cheap. We had saw a sign about a zoo but we could not find it to the great disappointment of Isabelle. The rest of the trip she would not let me forget about the missed zoo. We walked around and visited the spectacular church Assumption of the Virgin Mary( a colorful Baroque monument from the eighteen century). It stood on top of an hill and was definitively the highlight of the town. We had a great view of the area and of the town. Unfortunately, it was closed.

We stopped at a store and I bought some large beers , we also stopped at a restaurant close to the border. I was shocked by how little we paid, a meal for two was a little bit more than 10 dollars. I almost felt bad paying so little. The food was good. In fact everything was so cheap in this country. We entered Germany near the Czech town of Spicak. I felt bad that we could not stay longer.(Picture: The church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Pře�tice source:ftp.czechtourism.com)

By Fernando Candido


Typical landscape of South Bohemia

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