After we decided we wanted to go to the Czech Republic, Bill and I had to determine where in the country we wanted to go. I was actually kind of wanting to visit Brno, which is a city we hadn’t seen before. It got some great write ups that made it sound like an appealing place to see. Unfortunately, we were constrained by the brevity of Bill’s time off and the fact that we’d need to bring our dogs, Zane and Arran, with us. I did consider another visit to Chodovar, but again, thought of the dogs. Although Chodovar allows dogs to stay in its hotel, Zane and Arran do better in lower density populations. They aren’t exactly quiet.
I went to Booking.com, to look for appropriate accommodations near Chodova Plana and found a couple of possibilities. The place that won our business was Vila Verunka, a little freestanding house in Senec, a suburb of Plzen. I was won over by the fact that it offered free parking, free WiFi, and didn’t charge extra for the dogs. It’s not that I mind paying pet fees; it’s just that I’ve found that people who don’t charge extra fees for pets tend to be less nervous about them staying. They’re usually dog lovers who won’t freak out over normal things that dogs do. That appeared to be the case at Vila Verunka, too. The owners were very welcoming to our dogs, which I always love to see.
A lot of people like Air BnB. I haven’t tried it yet, mainly because their Web site makes it hard for me to find exactly what I’m looking for. I tend to be specific about what I want in a rental. Although Booking.com doesn’t seem to have as many properties as Air BnB does, its search process is easy to use. And, if I end up really hitting it off, sometimes the owners will just tell me to text them personally. Such is the case in Ribeauville. We’ve stayed at one guy’s apartment three times in the past year and he’s given us his number and told us to text him next time we want to rent from him. I’m sure it’s because he makes more money that way, but if I’m honest, I kind of like having our French friend Yannick on speed dial. 😉
I could tell Senec would be a suburban location. The price was definitely right, though. For three nights in a two bedroom house, we paid the Czech crown equivalent of 288 euros. Although we paid in the local currency, it turned out we could have paid in euros or even by credit card. We didn’t have quite enough Czech crowns when we arrived because Bill stopped at the border and changed money at an exchange– something he shouldn’t have done, because they’re very expensive. The owners were cool, though, and came the next morning for the money, after Bill had a chance to hit the bank. Apparently, that house is popular with business people. The owners asked us if we were there on business or filming something. They seemed surprised that we’d go to Plzen for fun, although if you’re a beer lover, it’s a must see place.
Below are some pictures of the accommodations. Everything was very clean and appeared to be new.
The living room. There’s a gas fireplace, which we didn’t use. I liked how carefree the couch was. Very durable material that didn’t embed dog hair. I will probably be in the market for a new couch when we move out of Germany. I’m going to look for one upholstered with that material.
The bigger bedroom. The mattress was a little hard, but the bed was nice and big. There were flatscreen TVs in both bedrooms. There’s also a single daybed in this room that could accommodate another person.
This property doesn’t have a shower. Instead, there’s a bathtub with a handheld sprayer. Also, the toilet is in a separate room. The sink is in the washroom with the tub and the washing machine.
Nice kitchen, although the microwave was in a cabinet over the fridge. Bill had to get it down when we wanted to use it, which was kind of a pain. We’re both short. It would have been nice if the microwave were on a cart or a table instead of a high cabinet. There is a coffee pod machine, so Bill went out and got a cheap French press because we don’t like coffee pods. Otherwise, the kitchen was well appointed, although lacking coasters. The water in this house is not potable, though. I think it may be because the house has a cistern, which means it uses rainwater. Our first German house had a cistern that we could turn on and off.
The toilet. There was a curtained off “closet” with cleaning supplies. No sink in the WC.
The other bedroom. Somewhat smaller.
Another view of the living room. There’s another daybed for another person to sleep on. Nice flatscreen TV, though there were no English channels. We watched the Winter Olympics in Czech, which was more interesting than it sounds! WiFi in this house worked great! No issues whatsoever.
The outside of the house. The picture doesn’t show how big the yard is. It’s fenced in and has a picnic area and grill. There’s also a swing set and the owners will rent you an inflatable pool for your kids. There’s also a very small pond, which was frozen over when we visited.
Another shot of the house. It backs up to a wooded area where there are trails suitable for walking your dogs. Otherwise, you can turn them loose in the large, fenced yard.
This house is in what appears to be a developing subdivision. There are several homes being built now. In the neighborhood, there are a couple of small markets and a restaurant or two. We didn’t explore much of Senec, although we did make a very cool find on Saturday morning. More on that in the next post. Here’s a hint, though… if you like old aircraft from the Cold War era, you might want to take a peek!