When we are discussing where to go for a weekend, one of the main criteria is – how long would it take to drive there? At the moment, the maximum acceptable time is about two hours. That’s how long our youngest child, not even two-years old, can sleep in the car. Peace and quiet. So now you can basically more or less predict, which places we did or would travel to – just draw a circle around Pardubice with a 2-hour drive radius.
One of the lucky places that actually fit into our travel areal was Špindlerův Mlýn – a tiny village up in the mountains of Krkonoše region. Obviously, it’s more popular during the winter season for all the skiing and snowboarding fans, but even in summer there’re enough visitors coming here for hiking or just a breath of fresh mountain air, so it doesn’t feel deserted at all. However, the prices for accommodation are pleasantly lower than in high season ;)
We stayed in an apartment in Monika Pension. It’s located a bit higher than the central streets, but we easily walked around the town even with the kids – it is really small. I found it really convenient booking apartments instead of hotel rooms, now that there’re four of us (there were five of us on this trip, as my sister came visiting us all the way from Shanghai). You can get a one or two bedroom apartment with a kitchen and it would still be cheaper than a larger family room or two rooms in a hotel. Just have a look around on booking.com, for example.
As our kids were too small for hiking, we just walked around Špindlerův Mlýn, enjoying the views of the mountains and pretty houses, but there’re plenty of hiking routes in that area, so you can easily turn this trip into a more sporty activity.
We ate out in several local restaurants, mainly Czech cuisine. Normally, I rather like local food, but I found that it was quite plain and unimpressive here. I guess, with such a quick visitors’ turnover, the restaurants don’t really care whether the clients would feel like coming back – there will be many more new ones tomorrow.
Main languages spoken here by local staff in restaurants and hotels are Czech and German, only some people that we met spoke English. A man working in a pension where we stayed spoke Russian as well, which was better than his English, although worse than his German :)
In my opinion, a weekend is enough for a family with small kids, but if your children are older and ready for some more adventures in the wild wild Czech mountains, there’re plenty of activities to keep them occupied for a longer stay.