Scott's travel journal of his experiences in Germany and Czech Republic for the winter holiday 2008.
Yesterday we left Olomouc after watching the astronomical clock chime in 11:00. We traveled to the city of Brno. Brno is the second largest city in Czech Republic. One of the many interesting things to see in Brno is catacombs beneath the Capuchin Monastery. These catacombs contain the mummified corpses of monks, abbots, and other notable locals from the late 1700's. A natural ventilation system has preserved the bodies in mummified form. Unfortunately these catacombs are closed the 2 weeks we are here. Sure enough to open in late January. Brno is a relatively easy city to navigate with a car except if a main road closes for construction. This was the case during our visit. The closing of said road was synonymous with closing every avenue in New York City. Regardless we eventually found our destination and were able to enjoy the city and culture. We found our first vegetarian restaurant in Brno which helped us to temporarily step our of our quest for the best Czech vegetarian pizza. This morning we visited Spilberk Castle for an early morning stroll. Spilberk Castle was built in the early 1200's and was occupied by the Nazis during the reign of the Third Reich. We had a great time in Brno and left late this morning for Prague.
A side note about our time in Brno. We generally find a nice cafe or pub late in the night to get some coffee and of course cheap beer. Well we found a quaint bar in downtown Brno and as we were stepping in the door an older French man was leaving and he was totally loaded. He stops, speaks a little french / gibberish to Jess and I then proceeds to fall out the door, down the steps, into the street, and hits his head on the side of the cab that is there to drive his drunk-ass home. Never a dull moment..
We arrived in Prague this afternoon, checked in to our Hostel and set out on the town. Prague is by far the largest city in Czech Republic and is VERY different then the rest of the country! I ask questions is Czech and people look at me the way they would if I said the same thing in the US. We actually receive a bill here in a folder instead of pay-on-the-spot checks when going out. Prague is also FULL of travelers for the New Years celebration. I would argue we have not seen a Czech citizen outside of uniform since arriving in Prague and the visitors are ready for a party! Jess and I are enjoying Prague but have grown accustomed to the smaller towns and Czech country atmosphere over the past week and Prague is a little bit to posh for us at the moment. Tomorrow we have an early morning agenda then we will figure out where is best to spend the New Years celebration. So far today we have visited Charles Bridge, The Old Town Square, astronomical clock (not as good as Olomouc), and St Wenceslas Square. As we walked around St Wenceslas Square we noticed that a few Christmas markets were still set up and one of the was selling Tej. Tej is a spiced mead. I picked up a glass for $3 (expensive in Prague!) and enjoyed a nice Tej at a Christmas market. St Wenceslas Square appears to be where the big New Years celebration will occur. Though the whole city is alive! Tomorrow night I will try to update the blog with pictures of our New Years celebration before the New Year hour arrives for the east coast US.
Some more side notes regarding Czech. When Jess and I are out at a bar or cafe at night a man carrying flowers will come to our table (and other tables) and try to convince me to buy flowers for Jess. The flower guy will go from cafe to cafe trying to pawn off all the flowers he did not sell that day in his shop.
Happy New Year!!
St. Wenceslas Cathedral in Olomouc
Astronomical Clock at Horní náměstí in Olomouc
Steets and Cathedrals of Olomouc
Moravia is Very Foggy
Brno Freedom Square
Petrov Cathedral (St Peter and Paul) in Brno
Špilberk Castle, Brno
Charles Bridge, Vltava River, and Prague Castle
Astronomical Clock in Stare Mesto Prague
Prague Old Town Square
We Found a Spiced Mead, tasty!
Henry's Bell Tower in Prague