Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summertime and the livin' is easy

Play Summertime on YouTube prior to and while reading get that full summertime feelin'

Summertime, and the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin', and the cotton is high
Your Daddy's rich, and your Mama is good lookin'
So, hush, little baby don't you cry

One of these mornings you're gonna rise up singin'
You're gonna spread your wings and take to the sky, take to the sky
But until that mornin' there's nothin' that can harm you
With Daddy and Mommy standin' by

Yes, it's the time, I'm talking about summertime
And the livin', summer living, the livin' is so fine
Fish are jumpin, and the cotton is high
Your Daddy's rich, he's rich, your Daddy's filthy rich
And your Mama, hot mama, your Mama's so good lookin'
So, hush, little baby don't you cry

Summertime is a glorious time in the Czech Republic!  Although we don't have a coastline, we love the water and travel to the sea.  Croatia's my favorite go-to summertime spot and I hope you have the chance to visit.  Pretty much every Czech has either a chata (cabin) or chalupa (cottage) in the country and they'll head out of the city almost every weekend.  But for those of you who don't have a country home to escape to, there's still a ton to do just outside of Prague, as well as right in the city!

Fishing under the Charles Bridge
(not sure what he's catching, perhaps Water Sprites?!)

Take a boat cruise along the Vltava River

Or along Čertovka (Devil's Stream)

Dining ...or just relaxing 
With a glass of wine or a cold beer, kick back at one of the many cafes/restaurants overlooking the Vltava

How about seeing the city from your very own paddleboat?

Horseback Riding

The city is alive with music during the summer...

Prague is a beautiful city to stroll through.  While you're at it, stop to feed the swans that call the Vltava their home

A popular activity and there are many parks in Prague to do so, as well as organized trips throughout the country

The Czech Republic is packed with castles and chateaux.  You can spend every day of the summer visiting a different one...heck you can spend well over a year trying to see them all!  



The Czech Grand Canyon
Velká Amerika (Grand America) and Malá Amerika (Little America)
"Amerika" is the name for a system of long abandoned limestone pit quarries situated in the vicinity of  Karlštejn.  Walk or jog around...some folks find there way down to swim in the clear lagoons.

Be careful you can see where the stone gave way

Prague Zoo and Troja
Because who doesn't love animals?

And right next door to the zoo we have the romantic Troja chateau, which also houses a fabulous wine cellar/shop (if you can find it!)

Jet Skiing
Launch your skis nearby the zoo and Troja, and have a blast on the Vltava!

Český Krumlov ...just go.  This medieval town is situated in the South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic and is worth the trip.  It's a charming city along the Vltava (yes, the same Vltava that flows through Prague!)

(and more boats)

There are a ton of places to hike in the Czech Republic, but one place that I find spectacular is České Švýcarsko National Park (Bohemian Switzerland National Park).  The park was created on June 1, 2000, and links to the Sächsische Schweiz (Saxonian Switzerland) National Park on the German side, which was established in 1990.  You can take several paths, one that even leads to a wonderfully relaxing boat ride. 

Žluté Lázně
Located on the bank of the Vltava River in Prague 4, this place is a great place to spend a hot summer day.  Activities include everything from swimming in the river (errr....if you so desire) to beach volleyball to soccer...and so much more.  Food, cocktails, showers, restrooms, etc.  It's a great place to come and offers something for all ages.  At night it's a great place to meet friends and enjoy a few cold beers.  Live concerts take place as well throughout the summer.

There are a lot of lakes in the Czech Republic, and Lhota is a personal favorite because of its sandy bottom (it reminds me of being on a beach at the ocean).  Lhota (u Staré Boleslavi) is a man-made lake about 20 km outside of Prague.  There's a large sandy beach (perfect for sand castles), food and drinks, restrooms, and a few concession stands.  

Another really popular lake and recreation area is Slapy.  Lake Slapy is a multipurpose reservoir built on the Vltava River about 40 km south of Prague.  There are a lot of cabins and cottages around the lake that you can rent for a peaceful weekend away from the city.  Enjoy sailing?  This is a great spot for it!

As I said, there are a ton of lakes throughout the Czech Republic...this is a random one in a village southeast of Prague...

4-Wheeling and Dirt Bike Riding
Because boys will be boys!

Spa Towns
Spa Towns are a wonderful way to relax.

Lázně Poděbrady

Mariánské Lázně

Karlovy Vary

I hope you enjoy all this wonderful country has to offer this summer.  Whatever you do this summer, don't forget the cold beer... because nothing's better in the heat of summer than an ice cold pivo!