View from our 8th floor hotel room at Con Cuong, Vietnam.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Vinh, Vietnam.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Ninh Binh, Vietnam.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The City of Olomouc

People who visit Czech Republic most often go to Prague. It's fine to visit the big cities in Europe such as Prague, or Paris or Rome...but there is so much more to see, and if you limit yourself only to the big cities, you will miss so much. Or at least that's what we think. So we only spent one day in the city of Prague, preferring instead to see places that the typical tourist doesn't.

Our couchsurfing host in Boskovice drove us to Olomouc. Thanks Vanda! We so much enjoyed our stay with you and Andrew. Maybe we will surprise you and come back!

Olomouc is a small city of about 100,000 people. But it has a lot of history, and the Lonely Planet tourist guide says the following...

As countless tourists embrace the overt charms of Prague and Český Krumlov, Olomouc (Olla-moats) exudes a subdued appeal, emerging as the travellers’ equivalent of a special restaurant that is your own little secret. And, with tourist numbers at a mere trickle, Olomouc is one of the Czech Republic’s best-value cities.

It's also on their list of the "Ten hidden gems of Europe". And so we will spend the next few days telling you why Olomouc should be on your itinerary for a trip to Czech Republic.

To help us out with the things we should see and do, we sat down yesterday afternoon with Tereza and Lucie from the Olomouc Tourist office.

Ruth, Tereza, and Lucie.

They introduced us to some Moravian specialties at the Moravska Restaurace!

After we were set up with maps and pamphlets, we hurried over to catch the last rafting trip of the afternoon! Perej Tours runs rafting and cycling tours in the city of Olomouc and they were taking us on a short river trip!

Perej Tours in Olomouc.

Zbymek and Honza Loading the raft into the river.

Kind of tough to take pictures....we were busy paddling!

Our guide Honza, and Ruth.

Next, we went to meet our next couchsurfing hosts Hanka and Mirek, and their three year old son Frantisek. They live right in the central core in a 16th century building! After getting acquainted, Hanka took us for a walk over to the Botanical Gardens. 

Ruth admiring the plants.

The gardens are actually a nice parklike setting, just a short walk from the central core.

An interesting flower and berry on this plant.

Peaceful little pond.

Then we walked over to the cathedral. We'll only show you a quick photo of this fantastic building, because we will return there another day. This 13th century building has the highest spire in Moravia!

Olomouc Cathedral.

Tereza and Lucie from the tourist office had told us that there was a special light show in the central plaza at 9:30pm, so we walked over there (2 minutes away from where we are staying!) in the evening. Quite a few people in the plaza to watch the 15 minute show. Tough to get pictures, but I made an attempt at a video for the first time...

What do you think? Should we try putting more short videos up? Oh, turn up your volume...there's music too!

There is a lot to do in Olomouc and surrounding area, so we'll probably be putting up more than one post every day. We're up at 6:00am this morning to take the bus to another nearby castle! Stay tuned...!


  1. I think short videos is an excellent idea. If I know it's under a minute, I'll watch. (attention span of a gnat)
    We tend to see the little off the beaten path types of places when we visit Slovenia. Just don't have the time to check out all of Europe, but that's why I come here to follow along.

  2. Looks like you are having a great time there.
    Yes, Videos are a great way to get a better feel of something you have experienced.
    Have a great day

  3. Sometimes, videos are the best media to share things. Thanks for sharing the light show. Olomuoc looks like another great spot to explore; looking forward to seeing more.

  4. What a beautiful paddle along the river. You guys are just having too much fun!

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  5. Agree with Bob, short videos are great! So glad to see these places I never even knew existed. Thanks.

  6. Loved the video, so yes, more please!

  7. Yes, love the video - like others have said - this is so much fun seeing places we never knew existed - we'll never get there and really do appreciate your blog - you make history and travel so exciting!!! Thank you SO much!

  8. Never visit there... may have to one day...

  9. Looks like videos are coming soon to your blog. I enjoyed it! You guys are having a good time and it looks like you have found an economical European destination. Thanks for sharing. We may be going to Europe next year and your blog has really helped us.

    Are you guys heading to Hacienda Contreras around Christmas?

  10. Videos are good IF you have a strong connection which, depending on how far out in the boonies you are boondocking, you may not. I'm with you on forget the cities, the real thing to see is the countryside and the natural areas. Great pictures here. Amazing what you two pack into one day.

  11. Great video, looks like you spent great time in Olomouc. There´s much more to see, trust me. We call it "small Prague" because of astronomical clocks which are only in Prague and Olomouc.

  12. Ohh, I lived in Olomouc for half a year as an Erasmus student - love the city!
    Kasia from Poland

  13. Great video, a famous song I'm sure as I recognized it right away but I certainly don't know the name of it. Always great to get out of the major cities and tourist traps, way more fun in my mind.


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