Loket: Like a Charm

After spending the night on the middle bunk in a 3 bunk sleeper cabin, I woke up in Prague. The trip between Krakow and Prague is an overnight journey of about 10 hours. I was lucky to have two girls from the Netherlands who were on a backpacking journey to share my sleeper cabin with. We swapped stories and sipped Polish beers for a few hours before dozing off to the sound of the train rolling over the tracks. I had already spent 5 days in Prague in summer of 2012, so I decided to venture out into the Czech countryside before wrapping up my trip in Prague. So upon arriving at the train station, I took the metro to the bus station and bought a bus ticket to Karlovy Vary, one of the major spa towns in Europe. But my final destination was not Karlovy Vary, hotel and airbnb hosts in the city charge high rates during the popular summer holiday months. Instead, I took a taxi to Loket to make my way to the Pension Ve Skale, the Inn in the Rock.

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Loket is literally a teeny tiny town, probably the smallest town I ever spent a few days in while in Europe. I choose Loket because of the beautiful photos of the place and I was not disappointed. If you are looking for a relaxing getaway in beautiful historic surroundings, Loket is a great choice. I spent my first day in the Czech Republic exploring the small town. I walked down the cobblestone street (there is only 1 street through the town) and headed to the Castle, the Hrad Loket.

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The Castle is set upon a large rock which rises high over a bend in the River Ohre and has existed in this spot for over 800 years. Up until the 1940’s the castle was still in use as a prison. Now it is a historical monument which visitors can tour to learn about the history of noble families who resided in the castle and the torture devices of the prison. The views from the top of the tower over the town were absolutely gorgeous as well. After touring the castle for about an hour, I went to the castle restaurant for some typical Czech cuisine. I started out with a traditional Polish soup and a large Krusovice Polish Beer. For the main course, I enjoyed cabbage, dumplings, and duck.

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After lunch, I walked to see the St. Florian Brewery at the far edge of Loket where beer has been brewed on site since 2006. After trying some of their light beer, I took a walk along the path which traces the River Ohre around the outskirts of the town. The views from this path were gorgeous of the colorful town. After taking a walk, I headed back to the Pension and laced up my tennis shoes to jog to the “Wedding Parade”, a formation of rocks about 2 miles out from the city along the river.

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I got to see the unique rock formation of 7 dagger-like rocks, then headed back on the trail towards town as the sun was going down. Several families were camping out on the river in a large campground – many Czech families head to the Loket area for a getaway into nature, and from these photos you can see why! I went to bed early that night in order to rest up to trek bike the 15 miles to Karlovy Vary first thing the next morning. The Pension Ve Skale was quiet, clean, and comfortable, the perfect respite after the hustle and bustle of Krakow.

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