“Rising above the village of Karlstejn, 30km southwest of Prague, this medieval castle is in such good shape it wouldn’t look out of place on Disneyworld’s Main St. The crowds come in theme-park proportions as well, but the peaceful surrounding countryside offers views of Karlstejn’s stunning exterior that rival anything you’ll see on the inside.” — The Lonely Planet
Sounds great, right? Well … The Lonely Planet let me down on this one, but I’m still glad we visited it anyway.
Because of the size of the castle, its accessibility, where it’s located and the landscape, it was impossible to get a good view of Karlstejn. So it could’ve looked like a beautiful medieval castle on Disney’s Main Street, but I’d have no idea. Additionally, the inside was barely occupied by furniture and historical items, none of which were that interesting or ornate.
And yet, I’m still glad we went and think it was worth the trip. Our tour guide looked 18 at most, and spoke English with a heavy Czech accent. It wasn’t until halfway through that Lance whispered to me that “Jane the Virgin” nailed the accent — and I burst into laughter. “Jane the Virgin” is a TV show we watch that has a Czech immigrant who spoke just like our guide. After that, the tour was much more interesting purely because of that silly connection.
It was also worth visiting because it was interesting to hear about the country’s history and learn about it’s people from it’s past. Lila really struggled at the end, and Lance wrangled her the best he could. We gave each other “the look” (what have we done?!) several times.
The village itself was cute but kitchy and obviously geared toward tourists, though I doubt any spent the night because of its proximity to Prague. We shared a slab of fried cheese (yum!), a sausage, some fries and an ice cream cone and I cursed the fact that we hadn’t found any more gelato since our stint in Innsbruck. And then we drove to Prague in time to turn our rental car in by 6 p.m.!