this must be just like living in (czech) paradise

you know that song, by david lee roth? about a year ago, alex and i heard this song playing loudly on one of those perfect warm early june evenings at dusk and, feeling pretty high on life, we changed the words to “czech paradise”.

now we sing it early and often, so it seemed only appropriate to title this post this as we have just recently returned from a relaxing end of summer hoorah in the real czech paradise or český ráj, a national reserve located smack in the center of northern czech republic, just over an hour northeast of prague.
the journey took what seemed like no time at all, and we arrived to our adorable chata in a tiny village. ahhh, how i was looking forward to reading on the porch, listening to the crickets and the owls in the evening over a cold glass of white wine.


český ráj isn’t only about relaxation, there are incredible natural rock formations there, called hrubá skála, and we couldn’t miss a wander through the “forest” of large stones. the area is extremely popular with rock climbers, but also just with czechs in general. we didn’t notice very many foreigners over the span of the weekend and often got a few looks when speaking english!
there are fantastic natural rock formations and historical castles to visit all over the area… the decision was not an easy one when considering what to visit! 

i spy… a castle!

we popped up to malá skála for an afternoon to eat at a fantastic pub and glimpse the famous pantheon rock formation.
those blueberry dumplings (borůvkové knedlíky), though. i’m still drooling over the memory of them.

the next morning, we set off bright and early to climb the hill to trosky castle, near train stop ktová on the turnov-hradec kralove line. you can see the hill from far in the distance and the two castle towers, baba and panna. though the morning was already sweltering, the hike was under an hour, mostly straight uphill and covered with shade from the beautiful deciduous forest. 

the climb was so worth it! i think trosky is my favorite castle in the czech republic for its incredible uniqueness… and it dates back to the fourteenth century. what utter radness.

for natural sights in the czech republic, you really can’t beat czech paradise. i may be pretty biased about sobo (south bohemia), but turns out north bohemia is just as beautiful. it was exciting to be in a largely unexplored region of the country for me! (map via)