The town was somehow even MORE dog friendly than Prague. Within the first 2 hours I was given a discount at a local shop because the owner hit it off with Olive so much and at lunch, the restaurant owner gave me a free desert because he loved that I was traveling with her. The hostel owner was also very taken with Olive and she was allowed to roam leash-free in the hostel courtyard. Olive also made many furry friends just walking around the city and in the outlining parks where she played off-leash.
We were allowed almost everywhere in Cesky Krumlov old town except the castle. This is actually a big bummer in this town because the walls cover a solid perimeter of the outside and (I’m assuming) offer amazing views. Not being able to experience this castle was the first time I felt held back by having a dog with me.
On the second day, a Czech friend we had met in Ghent earlier in the trip came all the way from the eastern end of the country to visit with us and took us to a castle nearby called Hluboká Castle where we were allowed to go inside and it was pretty deserted. It was so great to see Bara again and to be able to take Olive into bars with us while we caught up on the last month. It’s also nice only paying the equivalent of $1 for a local beer. Czech Republic is swell.
That being said, I have to warn about one of the down-sides of the Czech Republic - their train system. More often than not your train will be running late. Which is fine if you’ve got all the time in the world, but if you have a connection to make to another country or worst - multiple connection to make, don’t assume you’ll make that connection.
Our next stop from Cesky Krumlov was Innsbruck (purely because I found out dogs are not allowed on night trains, so my whole Prague to Zurich by night train idea was squashed and I now had to travel 2 separate days to get to my next destination of Lausanne, Switzerland). The journey was as follows: Cesky Krumlov to Ceske Budejovice. Ceske Budejovice to Linz. Linz to Innsbruck. Each connection was about 20 minutes of layover which is normal plenty of time, especially for these smaller train stations.
But remember what I said about Czech trains? What was meant to be an 6-hour journey turned into so much more. Right away, my first train from Cesky Krumlov was 15 minutes late. Which meant I had 5 minutes to connect but as long as it stayed on track, that 5 minutes was enough. About 2/3 of the way to Ceske Budejovice we were stopped and asked to walk to a few nearby busses that would take us the rest of the way. At this point I assumed I wouldn’t make it to Linz that day. Luckily (if you’d call it that) the Linz train wasn’t working so there were a separate fleet of busses waiting for those of us making the Linz connection. We piled into busses that seemed to enter towns for no reason at all and make elaborate turn-arounds then continue on their way. The whole thing was very strange. 2 hours later, about half-way to Linz, they dumped us off at some train station in the middle of nowhere and we all walked around like chickens with their heads cut off as no trains were marked. I got on the wrong train but thank god a local saw me and asked where I was headed then said I was on the wrong train before we took off. Finally, the Linz train had arrived and we all piled in. After waiting in that still train about 20 minutes (I have to mention the extreme heat. we were all sweating and poor olive panting so hard), the train started moving. A nice old Aussie couple sat in our car and we laughed about the ridiculous journey we’ve been on all morning. When a ticket-taker came by and saw our tickets he informed us all that we wouldn’t be making our respective connections on time (no shit) but gave us alternatives. The Aussies, a train 30 minutes later to Salzburg and for me a train 1 hour later to Innsbruck. This didn’t faze me at all, as I could at least have time to finally find something to eat!
At least Olive and I weren’t denied a ride this time. But boy was that a painful travel day.