As there was an official long weekend in Czech Republic in the beginning of May, we decided to use these days and go away to explore another interesting area of the country. We wanted to go somewhere, where we would be able to just let our kids run around in the countryside. Last year we visited Špindlerův Mlýn the Krkonoše Mountains (in English – Giant Mountains), you can read about that trip here. It was really beautiful there, but the slopes were too steep for small kids to roam around freely without supervision, so this time I was looking for something more child friendly.
After some research on internet, we decided to choose an area in the very Northern part of Moravia between Orlické hory (Eagle Mountains) and Králický Sněžník massif (Snow Mountains), just 4km from the Polish border, and we were not disappointed at the least. Rolling hills of wild flowers, multicoloured mixed forests of pines and broadleaved trees and bubbling mountain brooks – exactly what we were looking for.
Our weekend did not start promising; the weather forecast showed that it would rain most of the time for the three days. Finding something fun to do in a small hotel in a tiny village with young kids while it rains – not the easiest of tasks. Nevertheless, even while we were driving there we really enjoyed what we saw around. Getting out of town is definitely a relaxing experience, when you can just rest your eyes on all the greens and blues around you.
We decided to stay in Penzion Ovčárna in a village called Šanov, nearby a town of Králíky. Now, Králíky’s population is less than 5,000 people, but it is huge in comparison to Šanov, a village mainly consisting of one main street and quite a lot of B&B’s serving skiers in winter and hikers in summer. We chose Penzion Ovčárna, as it had a very high score on Booking.com and a lot of positive reviews, and we were really pleased with our choice. Very clean and cosy rooms, very friendly owners, wonderful location with its grounds bordering on a hilly field, where our kids could just go wild without us worrying about them falling down anywhere. I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone, with kids or without, cannot even find anything to criticise here. So if you’re planning a countryside break in CZ, seriously consider Penzion Ovčárna (you can find them on booking.com or check out their website).
While it rained occasionally on Friday afternoon, we still got enough dry breaks to walk our kids outside till they were pretty tired from the mountain air and exercise and fell asleep almost instantly in the evening. Next day, the weather (and consequently the ever so reliable weather forecast) changed for the better and we decided to drive to Králíky to walk around the old city centre.
Another place of interest in the vicinity is the Králíky Military Museum. My husband, being a fan of anything connected to military history, made that visit a must. They have a collection of various WWII items from Czechoslovak, Soviet and German armies and our 5 year old actually enjoyed, when her daddy was telling her about them. Our 2 year old and I just followed them, patiently trying to appear not completely bored (I guess, we’re the girly types). The fields in this area are just filled with bunkers – they are just dotted everywhere with very short distances between them. This was a part of Sudetenland, occupied by Nazi army in 1938, and the bunkers were built just before the invasion, although, unfortunately, they were not enough to protect this land from the enemy.
Another highlight of the weekend was a BBQ, which we arranged in the courtyard of our hotel. The grill was provided by the hotel owners, we bought all the groceries in a shopping centre in Králíky and the weather was all sunny and warm.
In the evening, we went for a stroll around the village. We walked up the hill, towards a ski lift, and found a field that was used as a pasture for the local sheep farm. We also found a peculiar looking pillar, made of a freshly cut pine tree with ribbons and a wooden ring attached at the top. My guess would be that it was made for some kind of May celebration. Then we just followed a small mountain brook along the main street and the setting sun coloured everything into golden yellows and emerald greens, making it a walk in a fairytale.
The weekend was amazing! The weather worked out much better than we hoped it would be. Our kids had a huge doze of running in the wild and fresh air. We completely fell in love with the views and the peaceful atmosphere of the Czech countryside. Even our road back home was filled with beautiful scenery.