The imposing Teplá abbey complex is sited around a dozen miles from the spa town of Mariánské Lázně, in western Bohemia. Its story is one of an enterprising religious community that was the main force in developing the whole region, its destruction under Nazism and then Communism and its tentative comeback today on the back of tourist income.
Traveling has just become a lot more convenient for Czech gays and lesbians. A new holiday brochure provides an alternative to lengthy internet research to find a place to stay that is gay-friendly. The “Pink Go!” brochure boasts gay-friendly hotels, cruises catering to homosexuals and even gay-only accommodation. Sarah Borufka has the story.
For centuries, the northern Bohemian town of Žatec has been the centre of hops growing in the country. Known as the home of hops and beer, the town is now trying to cope with a decline in its traditional industry. It recently launched a multi-million euro tourism project called Temple of Hops and Beer – but it is also slowly coming to terms with recent history that saw the town’s original German population replaced by Czechs in the aftermath of WWII.
Long standing complaints by Czech drivers that they are being harassed by German and Austrian police have hit new heights amid reports that they have taken a humiliating turn. Former prime minister Mirek Topolánek says there is a clear case that European open border rules have been broken. His successor Jan Fischer has called on the Czech interior ministry to investigate.
Two intrepid Czechs, Vašek Sůra and Pavel Blažek, are at the start of what will probably be a month long trip to travel the length of the world’s deepest lake – Siberia’s lake Baikal. They will be covering the frozen ice and snow without any other help such as dogs or supplies delivered en route. Computer programmer and marketing manager Pavel Blažek answered some questions before they set off. The first was what made the lake Baikal expedition so special.
A visit to Týn nad Vltavou offers much of what you would expect of a small South Bohemian town. The winding streets are full of locals in the morning, each one greeting the other, the buildings, mostly farmsteads, have a kind of rural hominess that whips up the nostalgia in you even if you’ve never been there before, the woods are full of aged artefacts - bridges and crosses in the middle of nowhere, say – and in the absence of any bustle you get the feeling that the church bell rings almost constantly.
Now, ever gone on holiday and been forced to leave your teddy bear at home? Well, fear not, a Czech tour operator is launching what looks like a world first for tourism – holidays for cuddly toys. Starting from 90 euros you can send your teddy bear or other furry friend on a luxury trip to Prague or other Central European cities – you’ll even receive a photo album with his holiday snaps. Earlier we spoke to the man behind the idea, Tomio Okamura.