I love long weekends, who doesn’t? And on this particular one, we decided to visit a local town called Pardubice. We live in Hradec Králové, and being only twenty minutes apart these two large towns have a bit of a local rivalry. Like most Czech towns, Pardubice has interesting and beautiful places to visit. It can be easy to miss these, as some parts of this town are quite industrial but it is certainly not all the same.
We started our day at the chateau and it is a wonderful example of renaissance architecture. It is surrounded by gorgeous grounds, has a museum and many exhibitions always running. It also has quite a collection of peacocks, which can be see throughout the grounds.
Pardubice also has some lovely parks and one in particular has a very modern feel, with a nice design and natural-feeling children’s playground. My kids love places like this and we always have to drag them away, not literally.
But we had to leave because we had been waiting until 2pm to go to our next destination. This has been on our to-do-list for a long time. It is the new eco centre in Pardubice. A little unusually, it opens from 2pm-9pm daily. We paid our, very reasonable, entry fee and spent over one hour walking around the inside and outside of the centre. Inside there were animals and some exhibitions. And outside were more educational, interactive displays and exhibits. We will certainly be going back, because there is much more to do. There are organised activities where you get to pretend you are, for example, a scientist or explorer and conduct experiments. These take around 2 hours to complete and it was already getting late, so next time.
The next day we went to a different area, in search of fairytales. These are very popular in the Czech Republic and there are many traditional ones, both old and modern. The first place we visited was another chateau, in Staré Hrady. This has been transformed into a wonderful day out for both children and adults alike. There are three different tours that you can do, and this time we chose the tour of the cellars. There are very interesting exhibitions throughout the cellar. The tour took around 45 minutes and when it was finished we had time to walk around outside, look at the animals and enjoy some shooting. We also drank some medovina, which is a warm honey-based drink. Perfect to warm you up, on a cold day.
The final job for the weekend, was to begin preparations for halloween. This is not such a special holiday, in the Czech Republic, but children like to prepare jack-o-lanterns and maybe dress up for school. But no trick or treating, they will often do that type of thing during other holidays, such as Easter. But Easter in the Czech Republic is something which requires it’s own article!
© Neil Hayes and neilsworldofenglish