By Courtney Hall
If you’ve been stationed in Germany, you probably noticed that your Exchange stocks crafts and art from neighboring countries. One of the best finds is the Polish pottery aisle. Everything comes from Boleslawiec, Poland– a town that houses pottery factories, which is also a moderate drive to Prague. Both places happen to be a fantastic weekend trip for a military family stationed in Germany.
Gera, Germany has a fantastic woodland zoo. The zoo is spread out through a vast forest and, even though it’s right off the road, it doesn’t feel like it. It’s inexpensive and definitely worth the stop. If you’re staying over night, the City Partner Hotel Gerwuerzmuehle is a clean and very affordable hotel with a fantastic restaurant. Try the traditional Thüringen pork–delicious!
Boleslawiec is just a hop over Poland’s western border. It can be a day trip, but if you want to spend more time in Boleslawiec, the Blue Beetroot Hotel is a Traveler’s Choice 2017 winner. When you enter the town, you are surrounded by pottery–I don’t just mean pottery shops. Pottery is the town’s life blood, so pottery is nailed to the outside of buildings for decoration, pottery decorates yards, the middle of their roundabouts, it’s everywhere, and it is completely beautiful!
The town has shops down almost every street and some streets are nothing but pottery shops. Know what you what you want to spend, because it is too easy to spend more. The artists are so talented and you can find anything from plates, bowls, serving dishes, Scentsy holders, pitchers, holiday decor, ring dishes,and even ceramic chandler covers– to name just a few. Leave a little extra money for lunch at Restauracja Opałkowa Chata for pierogies, potatoes, and pancakes with jam.
The Archibald at the Charles Bridge is a wonderful hotel in a prime location. Try to get a room facing the Vltava River. You will not be disappointed. Make sure you see the astronomical clock in Old Town, Old Town itself, and Prague Castle. Prague is such a unique and beautiful city, but I think one could spend their whole day on the Charles Bridge. The views are so serene!
An hour away from the Prague lies the town of Kutna Hora, where the famous Bone Church sits, and creepy as it is, it’s definitely worth a visit. It’s one of the Czech Republic’s 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It’s estimated that the church houses the bones of 40,000 people, all of whom were lost to the Black Plague. After the Bone Church, we went over to St. Barbara’s Cathedral. This gorgeous Gothic cathedral is beyond words and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.