Saturday, January 7, 2012

Central Europe 2011 Part II, Czech Replublic

We kicked it down to Prague for the next week.  Oh Prague.  Those copper-topped buildings, and cobblestone streets (murder on your feet but so pretty to look at), pints of delicious Czech beer for less than $2! Bridges and rivers and palaces!  We saw The Marriage of Figaro, performed by the Czech National Opera, in the same opera house debuted Don Giovanni in.  Beautiful.  We spent our last coins on two champagnes during intermission, instead of dinner.  La Vie Bohem!! After the opera, we went out dancing, and learned that we were just too old for it, at least for that club.  We tried.  We spent several days exploring the streets, the sights, the many cathedrals, and fighting the cold air by drinking our weight in hot wine.  We ate heavy Czech food, too much sausage and cabbage and dumplings, but the perfect amount of delicious pilsner. 

wine at the palace vinyard

on the Charles Bridge

John Lennon wall

We took a day trip out to Kutna Hora, a mining town about an hour train ride away, where we took a tour of an old silver mine (!!!).  Incredible, but maybe a little wetter and drippier than I had expected.  (Andy loved every second of it, I was creeped and ready to be out after about five minutes of the 90 minute tour.)

On our way down to Austria, our train had a stopover in Czesky Budjovic, which just happens to be where the Budvar brewery is (Budvar is the 2nd largest Czech beer brewer after Urquel), and so we decided to extend our time in Czech Republic by extending our stopover and getting out into the town.  Like so many other things on our trip (Guggenheim closed for a changing of exhibit, Josefhov sites all shut for Yom Kippur, funicular railway out of service) our timing was off and it wasn't a work day, so I didn't get to see any machines in action, but the beer was delicious.  We hung out in the pub to kill time before our train, and tried all the beers we could drink.

 (I LOVE how things are made)

 Fun fact:  When Anheiser Busch was coming up with a name for their beer, they chose Budweiser because  the Czech's Budweiser Budvar is synonimous with "good beer."  

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