Cesky Krumlov beer

Never was a beer fan. But during our Eastern Europe trip, I made it a point to try the local brews as you really don’t get to have it anywhere else. So yes, in almost all our meals, we had beer.

This brew was in a restaurant in romantic Cesky Krumlov.

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Now clearing up space on my iPhone hence the old photos. 😀

RC Cola

I thought RC Cola was only in the Philippines. There actually are in Czech Republic. Saw this in Cesky Krumlov.

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reminiscing Czech and Vienna

It’s the season for photo ops again hence its just but time to finally free up my SD cards and organize the photos we had during our trips ever since September. Was reminded again of how many blog-worthy photos I haven’t posted yet, especially during our trip  in Czech Republic and Vienna and during our New Year celebrations in Takamatsu. Of course we weren’t able to browse everything. Yet there were tons that I could easily identify as favorite photos. Among of which (all unedited and taken using our ever dependable Canon G12)….

Me, walking along Kärntner Strasse, Vienna. Pardon, I just love back shots. 😀 😀

Me, so color-coordinated, atop a castle tower in UNESCO World Heritage Český Krumlov. Kakulay ko ang mga bubong! (My attire is of the same color as the roof!)

Goodness, how thin was I six months ago!

This is one of my fave Atsushi photos (among so many!). Taken in front of the Statue of Maria Theresia in front of Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History).

I so hope I can post more blogs about that trip!

and we have the voucher

A week ago, I talked about the email we received from the staff of Hotel Gold, our favorite hotel during our recent Eastern Europe trip. Click here for our feature on the hotel.

When we got home this evening, we found this squeezed inside our mailbox. Yey!! Had to cover some details for privacy purposes. 🙂

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the dolls we brought home from Eastern Europe

I’m a doll collector. Wanted to be one ever since I was six when my parents (or was it my grandmother?) bought me a very pretty and dainty Filipina porcelain doll wearing the Philippine national costume. Wanted to be one ever since I was six when I played with my cheap but really cute United Nations dolls – they were dolls wearing different national costumes (I wonder what happened to them….). And as it happens, when you grow old, you forget about your childhood dreams. Until something reminds you of them.

I worked in a Japanese company hence it was but natural that we have displays of Japanese dolls in the visitors lounge in the office. Seeing the dolls, there came remembrance. One of my best friends, Dhonna gave me my first doll, an omiyage (present) after her first assignment from Japan. And it went rolling from then on. Whenever I travel, I buy the doll of that country. Friends have been very generous as well with their gifts in that whenever they travel to some countries, they also think of me and my collection and buy me a doll. Most of my collection are in my parents’ home in Davao now. With the exception of this exquisite Belgian porcelain lady which my manager in my previous company thoughtfully asked her brother to buy for me. I had it with me because it was the latest doll that was given to me and I wasn’t able to bring her to Davao before I moved to Japan. Customs check ruined her hair and hat and necklace though. 😦 Seeing her not in her perfect state just breaks my heart. 😦 Sorry, she’s surrounded by neighbors who can’t be posted here hence I can only share her bust. 🙂

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It was but natural therefore for us to buy dolls during our recent trip to Eastern Europe. I’m having regrets now though that I didn’t buy a porcelain one. Albeit I’m still mighty happy with these new addition to our collection.

Magnet couple dolls we bought in Vienna.

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Rustic mother and daughter doll we bought in Cesky Krumlov. Rustic – very Bohemian.

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And of course, a marionette that we bought in Prague. It was only during this travel that I learned marionettes originated in Czechoslovakia. It took me a long time to decide which marionette to buy though because most of the original design ones are scary looking and reminds me of witches. Hence I ended up buying this wooden Czech boy.

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Friends, hope you remember me during your travels. 🙂

Hotel Gold (Cesky Krumlov)

Vienna was a dream ever since childhood. And Prague was a dream ever since we started planning our Italy trip. But Cesky Krumlov was a dream when we started our planning for the Eastern Europe trip. True, I wouldn’t have known about the place had our travel agent didn’t recommend it. And the moment I learned about it, I was more excited about it, compared to finally visiting Vienna and Prague. Why so? Because of every girl’s fairy tale dreams. This place has retained its charm from the medieval times up to now. Mark, Cesky Krumlov is one of the few, if not the only one, who wasn’t bombed back in World War 2 hence it’s just but logical for UNESCO to mark the whole town a World Heritage.

But I’ll save my post of the place for later. This post will be about the place we stayed in on our 1 night and 1 day stay in Cesky Krumlov – Hotel Gold.

We’ve only been to a handful of cities in Europe so it may be different with other cities. But at least with the cities we’ve been to, this I can surmise – a four stars hotel is an equivalent of two stars in Asia.

Our Vienna hotel was four stars yet the size of our room is just equivalent to a six-tatami-mat room. Our kitchen at home is twice that of the hotel bathroom. No toiletries except for a 3-in-1 soap/shampoo/rinse (although I really don’t want to complain with this because the shampoo was good for my hair). No bathrobe nor slippers.

Our Prague hotel was even worse – the hallway is reminiscent of a sanatorium or hospital. We’re thankful though that the staff gifted us with two bottles of sparkling wine to celebrate our honeymoon/anniversary with.

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But we are most thankful in that our hotel was best where it should be best – at the charming and medieval town of Cesky Krumlov.

We arrived at the town just when it was getting dark. And it was raining. There was only one taxi in the station so we shared the taxi with another Japanese couple (I had to urge hubs to go approach the couple to have the ride with them otherwise we’ll be out in the cold for a long time, waiting for another taxi). As expected, and really almost all guidebooks warned us of this, the taxi driver cheated us; charging us 200czech crowns with only a 5 minute ride.

Wet, cold, hungry, cheated on, we really didn’t feel welcomed. But our moods changed the moment we got inside the big doors of our hotel.

It has a courtyard!

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So unlike the hotels we’ve stayed before and even unlike some of the hotels we saw in the area (we dropped off the other Japanese couple earlier and their hotel didn’t have the same courtyard as ours had).

As hubs filled in our info, I was giggling right beside him, taking in the delicious aroma of the food wafting from some part of the building.

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The guy showed us to our room and carried our luggage hence he saw me squealing with delight as I saw our charming attic suite room. It’s like a little girl’s dream come true – I’ve ALWAYS dreamed of having a room in the attic even when I was already an adult. Room was about 2.5 times the size of our room in Vienna.

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Was taking the pictures from the landing where we laid our luggages. Yes, even the landing was sizable.

The room was traditional. But the bathroom is certainly modern. And big. Twice the size of the bathroom of the room I stayed in in Makati Shangri-la.

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And they have the proper toiletries. and we have slippers!

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The bathroom has its own heater by the way hence even during winter, you wouldn’t mind staying inside the bathroom for a long time.

Which reminds me. It was already pretty cold during our stay in Cesky; almost like the place is already transitioning from autumn to winter. Yet our room was comfortably warm. Despite the fact that we didn’t use the heating system. The room is sooo comfortable it was quite difficult to get up the following morning to explore the place. And oh, it wasn’t only the room that was warm. The people as well. Will be sharing our story of that warmth in another post.

Charming. And rustic. Typically Bohemian.

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Bohemian crystal chandelier is just about everywhere.

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I love their key holder.

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From the outside, the hotel looked like a farmhouse, similar to the ones you can see in the Bohemian region, as you cross the boundary of Austria and Czech Replublic.

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I wish there’s a Philippine flag in there. But at least Japan flag is up so we’re happy.

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Small acts of thoughtfulness doesn’t escape me. Hence I’m really happy with these chocolates they’ve put on our pillows (the pillows are the softest I’ve had by the way – in fairness, the pillows in Vienna, Praha and Cesky is just pure heaven).

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Cesky. English. German.

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Of course, half of it is advertisement. The chocolate was really good, in fairness.

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We thoroughly enjoyed our stay here so much so that I so wish we can come back here again.

And that wish was granted just this evening, actually.

I was so happy with the hotel and how the hotel staff treated us in that I dutifully filled out their questionnaire re: our stay in the hotel which promises the chance of winning in a raffle if I completed the form albeit I was just so happy that I actually didn’t pay heed to this promise.

Now, three weeks after our visit, hotel staff emailed me, informing me that I won below enumerated perks.
Package for two persons including
– A romantic accommodation in the castle-style room for 1 night
– Candle-light dinner
– Relax massage
– Breakfast in your room
– Parking

Arrghhh. But validity is only within six months. Curious because the last day of validity falls on our wedding day anniversary hehe. Of course, much as we’d like to visit the place again, it’s insane to go back there only after six months. We’re not exactly overflowing with money.

Fortunately, it is transferrable and hotel informed us that we can give it as a gift to a friend. And fortunately again, I do have a friend who’ll be having her nth honeymoon as well early next year. Lovely. Inggit na ako sa inyo Rezza! Haha. But I’m really happy that I could share around a possibly great experience like what we had. 🙂

Can’t wait for the voucher to be sent to us! And I hope we don’t loose it like how we lost the postcards we sent ourselves from Vienna. 😦

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