About 20km from the borders of Germany and Austria is the small town of Česky Krumlov. I have never been to Prague but Matt has and he loved it. Yet we couldn't squeeze in a drive to Prague and settled for a smaller city near the border of Germany that is small quaint version that everyone should see.
The old city is a UNESCO World Heritage site so walking down the alley way really does feel like you are taking a step back in time.
We started off our morning wandering through the castle gardens. I know I have said it before but traveling during the shoulder season is really the best. Yes it is a bit colder but you get to admire the changing of the leaves with sometimes basically no one around.
Inside the gardens is an old theater - not just a theater but actually a revolving theater. The stage (below) was just one of the areas they used for performance space.
As a scene was changing the entire audience rotates to the other side of the park as the show continues. It was originally built in 1958 and could only hold sixty people. Due to the popularity of it the next year it was rebuilt to accommodate up to 400 people. Still though, the theater had to be turned with the help of 40 stage hands. Finally when it was rebuilt for the last time to seat a massive 658 people, 4 electric motors were installed to help turn it during performances. The revolving theater is still used during the summer months with tickets selling out almost instantly.
From the gardens we headed to the castle which was built in the late 13th century.
As you enter the castle be sure to look over the gated sides for the bear pit below. Yes a bear pit.
The castle walls give you excellent views of the city and the surrounding regions.
While in Česky Krumlov we ate not once, but twice at the most fantastic cave restaurant called Krcma v Satlavske (don't ask me how to pronounce it). The food comes in huge portions and they cook it right in the dining area on a huge fire oven that also provided excellent heating. Even during their shoulder season they only had a few spots left open that weren't filled with an existing reservation. If you are heading to Česky Krumlov be sure you book in advance!
For a more in depth breakdown of costs and map click here