We drove from Vienna to a small town where we thought there might be a campsite open. Their website said they would welcome us year-round so we figured that was a good sign. We arrived in the town, followed the signs and ended up at a house with camping in the orchard.
The owner said that we could stay, but there were no showers or dish washing facilities because they had to drain everything with the cold weather. They let us use the washroom inside the house which we figured were the ones that went with the rooms you could rent. We later realized that we had actually gone to a different campsite, one that had been listed as closed, but it was very nice of them to let us stay the night regardless.
The next morning we set off to see the town of Telc. It is a small town that is known for the largest square in the Czech Republic. We arrived in town, found parking, and walked in to the centre. The square really was huge! It was lined with really pretty houses with facades of all different colours and we enjoyed strolling along looking at them all. After exploring some of the shops along the way, we headed out over a small bridge to get a look at the town from across the river. We laughed at some of the signs in the stores which read "mapy and compact disky" – we decided that to make an English word Czech, we should just add a “y”!
We walked along the bank through the park with nice views back towards the town. Once we arrived at the next bridge, we crossed back over and popped out beside the small castle at the end of the square. We then headed back to the car to continue on our way.
Our next stop was the town of Trebon. We arrived a bit later than planned because of a detour due to construction (not Anoop's navigation!). Trebon is located among tons of small lakes which were built in the Middle Ages to turn the swampy ground into something useful. It is now the largest fish producing area in the Czech Republic and our guidebook recommended stopping for lunch or dinner. We had thought about going for a short ride along the dikes between the lakes, but we didn’t think we had enough time and decided to go for lunch and then walk around the nearby lake instead. We chose a spot mentioned in our guidebook and headed in to ask if they could translate since their menu outside was only listed in Czech. Luckily the menu inside came in Czech, German and English so we could choose something we wanted rather than ending up with a mystery lunch.
The waiter was helpful and as he explained what the fish in the dishes were, he pointed to the stuffed fish on the walls of the restaurant. Not knowing our fish species we just nodded and smiled, but enjoyed looking at the décor as we ate. We didn’t know what the portions would be like or if they came with side dishes (picturing our fish in Italy which came with absolutely no sides…) so we ordered quite a bit of food. Anoop started with a fish soup which was very tasty. For the main course he had a pike with a creamy mushroom sauce. I had a “local” fish in a butter garlic sauce that came with potatoes. We had also ordered a greek salad which was huge and some bread on the side which was a tasty rye. Anoop had a beer as well which came in a ˝ litre mug while I opted for a coke since it seemed to cost the same as water. We both felt absolutely stuffed by the time we left! It was all delicious and the total including tips and tax was about $40 which we thought was great.
We decided that we should go for a bit of a walk along the lake to help digest a bit. It was quite beautiful out and we would have liked to have more time. However, since the days are a lot shorter now, we decided we had best head off so that we could drive more in daylight than dark. I’m not a fan of driving on unknown roads in the dark and would rather arrive in camp when light if possible. We had found a campsite listed as open online and headed off for an hour or so drive. We arrived just as it was changing from dusk to dark to a rather empty looking campsite. Anoop hopped out of the van to see if he could find someone or at least see if the washrooms were open.
Unfortunately, the campsite was closed although they said we could stay the night if we wanted to. Not having any water in the tank having drained it and preferring to have a shower and be able to wash dishes since we hadn’t the night before, we decided to head off. Not to mention, the campsite was in the woods in a remote location. Out came our recently purchased ACSI camping book and we found that the closest campsite that was open was back in Austria! It was pitch dark by now, but we decided to head back south for another hour or so. I found the drive rather tricky since the corners weren’t terribly well marked and the road was very up and down so when you came to the top of the hill you weren’t sure if the road went straight, right or left. All the while, the locals are blasting by while we hunted for roads signs pointing us the right way. Once we crossed back to the Austrian side, the roads were a bit wider and they had more reflectors, which helped greatly. We arrived at our campsite, were glad to find it open and settled in for the night.
We set off from Vienna after a bit of a late start since we needed to do some research online for camping in the Czech Republic, not knowing when we would next have internet. We found that it is trickier finding campsites that are open now that it is well into the off-season. Most campsites close at the end of October so we had to hunt a bit more. We had picked up an ACSI camping guide from a bookstore in Vienna on the recommendation of the campsite owner in the Wolfgangsee. In the off-season (not July and August), many campsites have signed up to be a part of a discount program. They offer a fixed rate of 12, 14 or 16€ per night including electricity. Since camping in Prague was listed as 28€ / night or so, we figured the guide (about 22€) would pay for itself quickly. The guide also lists when the campsites are open which is very helpful!