Monday, June 15, 2015

Turnov, Czech Republic - Bohemian Paradise Adventure

An hour and forty minutes by train, north of Prague, is the oldest protected landscape in Czech Republic. Near Turnov, Bohemian Paradise or Ceský ráj is a nature reserve and UNESCO Geopark. The landscape here is scattered with dramatic rock formations, valleys, lakes, rivers and castles.
Our travels brought us to this paradise for many reasons. The natural beauty, the travel experience, to stay in a castle, and to climb some rocks.

Our journey to Turnov was a typical European one. From Prague we jumped on a train with backpacks in tow. From Turnov we travelled another 8km by taxi to an area called Hrubá Skála. Perched high above the unique rock formations that make up the Bohemian Paradise is an original Gothic castle founded around 1300 by Hynek from Valdstejn. This is where we called home for a few days. Yes, hostel life is not so bad. The OTBP crew can do castles if they must. (castle pictured behind us)

As beautiful as the castles was it was time to get our adventure on. Climbing Paradise, a rock climbing guide company, is owned and ran by Vaclav. I had made arrangements with him prior to our trip to pick us up from our castle and take us to the Bezdecin area for a day of rock climbing. What a day it turned out to be!

The whole experience of rock climbing in Czech Republic is the best one we have had to date. Vaclav was a great guide. He was positive, encouraging, fun to be around and answered any and all questions we threw at him about life in Czech Republic. I know the power of local knowledge and how much better travel experiences can be if you veer off the ususal tourist attractions.
Vaclav gave us just that. After our climb and while we were helping pack up the gear he asks us, "Go for a swim, yes? I take you to a lake near the castle." I can't recall exactly but am pretty sure we all said yes instantly!

I will leave with you some candid shots of our adventure to Turnov. We are off to Prague for a few days and are looking forward to taking in the rich history and beautiful buildings.

1 comment:

  1. woohh seems that was a great trip! sorry i send you unfortunately a pirated hacked email, i lost everycontact i had on it, i we could meet or any else plan we talked about (in canada or france!)... please answer back at helenere@orange.fr, new safe email adress.
    now i want o go to czech republic...! à bientôt!