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Prague, Mikulov and Cesky Krumlov recent trip.

santa cruz
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Prague, Mikulov and Cesky Krumlov recent trip.

Helpful hints and our trip. (used eyewitness prague and lonely planet. Rick steves prague not helpful and inaccurate on many things.

Flight. Flew via Amsterdam. Had to go through customs and security twice in an airport very spread out. Give yourself enough time at least 1 1/2 hours between flights.

Most people have very limited English, especially those over 20 as Russian was taught as a second language and English outlawed until 1989. People not the friendliest especially given the language difficulties. Tried using a phrase book but still very difficult to get point across unless very basic. (Do not use lonely planet phrase book as it is VERY poorly organized.)

Prague 5 days. Stayed in apartment through prague city apartments who manage many properties and have 24/7 assistance and include transport from the airport. Beautiful room, easy, convenient, and quiet. Use the Prague post for planning as there is no central calendar of events or concerts.

Things we loved were walking day and night in all parts of the city, trams everywhere very easy. Communist museum, all the squares and tourist areas, sculptures everywhere, St. Nicholas and St. Vitus churches, all the quarters, having a beer or glass of wine and people watching in the squares, taking the tram to the monastery and walking down to the castle area, having a drink and watching the sunset colors at the wine garden coming down from the castle, seeing an exhibit in the riding school at the foot of the castle area, Don Giovanni marionette show, concerts in the Rudolfin or other locations.

Things that were overrated or bad. Black light theatre was horrible. Too many large tour groups everywhere. Black madonna was a joke. Do short tour for the castle, most of the interiors are either a letdown or you do not need to see to many in order to just feel overwhelmed. This goes for most of the interiors of castles and churches that charge for admission. Chose only those which you have a special interest.

Rented car through rentalcars.com a consolidator. Easy, cheap through Budget with pick up at airport so driving was simple.

Mikulov, great little city close to austria in a rolling hill wine country used as base to explore. The wine cellars do not have tastings and are difficult to find even with the wine map given out at the information center. The best information we found was in Valtice at the information center and went to the Czech wine center there where you can taste for up to 90 minutes a selection of 100 award winning czech wines including champagne and dessert wines in a gorgeous cellar with a somelier. There are other cellars in Valtice that have tastings. We spent 4 hours in the other neighboring areas and were unsucessful in finding one cellar with available tastings but it was a nice drive.

Telc town on way to below was quite beautiful and the lake area gorgeous.

Cesky Krumlov was beautiful. Everything walkable. would eat in one of the underground cellars. The modern museum at the base of the castle with sculpture was beautiful and the small essays insightful on what life was like during communism and afterwards. Found just walking around and taking in the sites and one concert the best way to use our one and 1/2 day here. Would not stay in Hotel Mysi Diva, mostly overpriced hostel with terrible boardlike beds. Most locations of pensions were quiet and many on the river since the river takes an almost 300 degree turn. The Egon Schiel museum was mostly cartoons and caracatures. No originals.

Stayed in Holiday Inn at the airport which was quiet and convenient.

All in all a great trip to a beautiful country of rolling hills and preserved towns.

the Czech Republic
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1. Re: Prague, Mikulov and Cesky Krumlov recent trip.

Thank you for the report.

Just one little thing: English was not outlawed until 1989 -- it was one of the languages available for study in my high school in the 1980's . Russian was the first required foreign language but in high school during the communist times you had to study at least two foreign languages and English was almost always one of the options (other options usually included French, German and Spanish).

People did not have much opportunity to practice their foreign languages and thus people's conversations skill were often limited.

Brno, Czech Republic
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2. Re: Prague, Mikulov and Cesky Krumlov recent trip.

What were you expecting to find at the House of the Black Madonna?

If you wanted a religious icon of that name you would have to go to Brno or Cestochowa in Poland :)

Fort Collins...
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3. Re: Prague, Mikulov and Cesky Krumlov recent trip.

I have been traveling to the Czech Republic every year for more than 10 years, and leading tour groups there for the last couple, and I have never had a problem communicating.

English is common, and generally spoken much, much better than we do second languages here in the US. Not sure where you are coming up with your comment about people not speaking English or being able to communicate, but your experience seems to be totally different than any I have had.

Berkshire, United...
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for Prague, Bohemia
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4. Re: Prague, Mikulov and Cesky Krumlov recent trip.

Speaking English is generally problematic outside major cities and tourist locations.

5. Re: Prague, Mikulov and Cesky Krumlov recent trip.

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