I know I’ve been awful at updating this, but I suppose the actual podcast has been doing that for me. So what I’ll do here now is talk about the great trip I took this weekend to the Moravia region in the south of the country.
It was a trip through the school, and all it was, basically, was a trip to a winery — but there was so much more than that. We loaded up the bus in Prague Saturday morning, and started south to the region, but not without a few pit-stops. The first was in a town I still don’t know the name of to look at a small exhibit on the Czech painter Alfonse Mucha. I had actually seen a good amount of Mucha’s work a few weeks ago when I went to a Salvador Dali exhibit in Old Town, Prague, so this was all the much better because of it. You weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the exhibit, but that’s alright because the pictures wouldn’t have done it justice anyway. The “exhibit” was in a run-down old building, but had two huge rooms, each containing ten wall-sized paintings from Mucha, each depicting a different time in the history of the Slavic people. Mucha apparently felt he needed to tell the people’s story and god did he try. Every painting was painstakingly detailed and beautiful, which is why I was so surprised they were in this little town, and not Prague or Brno. It turns out, they have been trying to move the paintings for about five years now, but there literally isn’t anywhere in Prague big enough to host all 20 paintings, so they have stayed put.
The next stop was in a little town called Mikulov. We stopped and had a decent enough lunch, but then went on a terrific hike up a hill and grabbed this awesome view of the town.
To the left of the hill we could see a bit of Austria, as it was only about 10 miles away, which made the hike all the better. It was also here that my camera died on me, so there are no pictures of the rest of the trip, but I will paint a picture with my words!
So finally, around 7pm, we arrived in the town where we would be staying, and unloaded our bags into a nice little house that put us up fo the night. We then headed to the winery, which was less a winery per se, and was a bunch of wine fermenting in this guy’s basement. But, that being said, it was not a bad time. The owner didn’t speak any English, so we had a translator lead us through a wine tasting in the cellar of the house that lasted about an hour. There were five reds and five whites, all of which I enjoyed, but with my limited knowledge of wine I couldn’t really begin to tell you which wine was which.
After the tasting in the cellar, everyone in my group, plus about 7 or 8 Czechs, were led upstairs to a dining area, where we had some pretty good hams and sausages along with a few more wines, one of which was a very strong “dessert wine” that we likened closer to a sort of port. Everything was good, but, to be frank, we’re college students and we were told we would have a run on this place for the fee of the trip (about $55 American). Well, for better or for worse, at 9pm we were granted our wish and the owner came to each table asking the tables for two wine selections per table. He then brought out little pitchers of each wine to their respective tables and didn’t stop until 2am — or when everyone really couldn’t go on.
Somewhere in the next few hours there was an amazing smoked ham presented, dancing to Blink-182 (a running motif of my life), hair braiding, somehow implementing a drinking game out of the wine and plenty of laughs. I personally dipped out around midnight and made the walk back to the house with two other travelers on a nice little map drawn by our group leader/translator Geiger.
The next morning we all woke up with varied stories, but all agreed that it was an amazing trip nonetheless. What we didn’t know was that we weren’t quite done with this one. We grabbed breakfast at a little restaurant just down the road from the winery, at a place that actually ended up pretty nice. Breakfast may be a stretch though because a few of us — myself included — ordered chicken nuggets and fries, but man did those hit the spot at the time. We finished eating and were told we were going back to the winery and could make some purchases if we wanted to. Except on the walk there we saw a roller coaster.
Yea, a roller coaster. Out in the middle of nowhere. So, of course, we had to ride it. And it wasn’t so much a roller coaster as it was a roller-bobsled, and by that I mean there was only one person to a car, and the cars were shaped more like bobsleds. You were strapped in and taken up a deceptively long hill, and sent rocketing down the track at probably very unsafe speeds, actually controlling your personal speed with two brakes on the side of the car. So needless to say it was amazing.
This little detour took longer than expected, and made our driver mad, so we had to leave after that, making the four hour trek back to Prague.
I promise I’m going to be better about updating this blog more often, especially concerning my trip to Oktoberfest this weekend. But until then, you can always listen to my podcast (link up above) for every minute detail of my weeks here.