One of the best things about bike touring is that you can change plans on a whim. We had planned to stop for lunch provisions only, and then ride onto a campsite. But we rode into the middle of this town square and just said ‘Wow’.
Using the free wifi from the Tourist Office we had booked a room including breakfast for €25/$35AUD at Pension Garni (Bookings.com) and an hour later we were unpacked, bikes locked in storage, showered and walking the town. České Budějovice’s town square is one of the largest in Europe with a mixture of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque elements.
The former Palace Vcela, constructed in 1896. Vcela means bee and it is one of the most beautiful, and yellow, buildings in town.
The Town Hall (where the tourist office is located as well) is a Baroque construction, decorated by four statue allegories of Justice, Courage, Wisdom and Caution. It also had the most elaborate dragon-headed gargoyles to collect the flow of rainwater off the roof.
This is a picture of a picture from the Tourist Office, an aerial view of the town – just gorgeous! The historical heart of the town is almost completely surrounded by rivers, moats and bridges.
There was a very trendy bike shop filled with Bromptons. Bromptons are a famous folding bicycle from London which have gained cult status due to their ability to fold up quickly and compactly. Their tiny size means they can be taken on any public transport or stored anywhere, even under a table or even a tent opening. We’ve seen people bike touring on these and it looks like an extremely flexible way to travel. The friendly owner let me take one for a spin. Very cool. We’re still faithful to our Fuji Tourings though.
Our hotel had a pizza place in the basement next door. Pizza is one of the cheapest and best options in the Cezch Republic, even the tiny takeaway shops roll the dough out fresh. This one had a proper wood fired pizza oven. It was so gooood we ate dinner twice there.
České Budějovice has been known for a brewing town since the 13th century and you can tour the Budweiser brewery. It’s beer, Budweiser, has been party to many lawsuits over the years against the US brand of the same name for legal rights, commercial use and trademarks. Although the Czech beer originated first the US beer has become iconic in its own right. This multi-headed dispute has lasted decades in several different countries and new copyright conflicts are still continuing to this day. As both brews have their own international reputation it is unlikely either one will concede. The battle lines are drawn in a confusing number of trade market relations.
Hotel Accomodation: 700Kc
Total Costs: €39/$55AUD
Hotel Accomodation: 700Kc
Total Costs: €49.23/$69.48AUD
Yep, that’s the joy of unfettered travel.
I bet the Czech Bud is a much better beer!