Unfortunately my European odyssey has nearly run its course. I am about to do the smell test on my clothes and separate them into: “rotting corpse” and “probably could wear again and not cause offense”. Barring a burning fuselage tomorrow I will then head back home, not before reuniting with a recent acquaintance, Hong Kong.
It was six months ago I was deciding possible destinations, staring at the permutations of flight and accommodation possibilities on my computer screen. I am estatic it worked out without major incident. There were times I walked past the same place in the centre of Prague for the third time in a five minute window, swearing at my phone’s map and failing sense of direction. There’s the lack of free Wi-fi at critical times but in realilty these are first world problems. Travelling is also a constant reminder I need to brush up on my languages other than English.
When I woke this morning I worked out I still had CZK900 left and my goal was to pour it all into the local economy and my stomach simultaneously. For those fumbling for the latest FX rates in the local rag, this is approx AUD $60. Over here that is enough for 3 meals, some sneaky local cafe treats, 6 to 10 beers, a coffee and enough left over for the airport transit.
Since the trip to Kutna Hora a couple of days ago I have been poking around town. Venturing here and there, basically soaking up the experience of being in a foreign land, knowing it will be a while before I am back.
Now there is all the chatter about the glamorous Czech women (and rightfully so) but this one is for the females in the audience. Walking over the bridge today I saw the man pictured below. Word on the cobblestones is that he is the Czechia version of Wild Men Afloat. They call him Kotvu over here (translation is “The Anchor”). Don’t ever say I don’t provide any eye candy ladies.
On the first day when I was up and down the thoroughfares and laneways I discovered the Letna Beer Garden. It was closed that day but the return of the sun meant the kiosk had reopened. The same view that I marvelled at on the first day. Sure it’s in a plastic cup but the view more than compensates.
The sun also bought with it the dogs. As I have mentioned they are everywhere but there must be a law that two citizens can’t share the same breed? The diversity of canines would make a petstore owner jealous. Only in Europe do you see a dog with a baguette in its mouth.
There was still a local delicacy I had not tried until today, svickova. Beef sirloin in a cream sauce served with bread and bacon dumplings and decorated with the head-scratching combination of lemon slices, whipped cream and pomegranate sauce. There is a reason why it is adored here, because it is great. The bread dumplings soak up the gravy like a bathtowel. Pair this with some local beers and it won’t be long before you are making bad life choices.
Soup was a dish I hadn’t seen up close and personal in Prague, yet it is on every menu. Even though I have all my teeth and am capable of chewing I still love soup. This love shows no boundaries, a pumpkin or potato soup gets my little heart racing as much as a hearty pho broth. The selection for today was a minesteone with parmesan.
The Czechia dezerts (as they say here) are mostly tradtional. Heavy on sponge and cream but my favourites were something that was a Ferrero Rocher on steriods, the Puncovy.
Dissected for forensic analysis.
The Kremrole (a Czech take on the Italian cannoli but with marshmallow)
and a coconut and sweet cheese slice, Rez Tvarohovy.
Other selections which were sampled but were not as enjoyable as the other three.
They also have their take on chocolate bars here. Sure there are the foreign imports, Kit Kat, Snickers and Bounty but on the store shelves they battle it out with local favourites. Note that like the cakes these were not all consumed in one sitting.
The Shock gets the name from the sheer amount of caffeine jammed into it.
This Fidorka is a round Bounty with wafers.
Kastany must translate to “marzipan and chocolate”.
The best of the bunch was a Lion Bar. More European than Czech specific it is nearly a replica of the
Chokito thst you should be familiar with. Only difference is tge nougat has been replaced with pointless caramel.
In summary lots of wafers, marzipan and liqueur. Nothing as good as Turo Rudi.
As my local pub (Lokal) was bursting at the seams with patrons I opted for the cafe across the street. The menu was not in English but for some reason the words “ham, cheese and tomato” were. There was an option of 1Pc of 2Pc. Thinking 1Pc was an open sandwich I chose the 2Pc. Ended up with two.
And here is breakfast or a late night snack. I don’t know the name over here. A baguette with ham, tomato, lettuce, hard boiled egg and brie.
Let’s reconvene in Hong Kong shall we?