Warm Welcome in the Czech Republic

Trip Start Mar 02, 2010
Trip End Oct 29, 2011

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Moravia,
Wednesday, October 12, 2011

We only spent one night in the Czech city of Olomouc ('olla-moats') but it was very nice. We met our CS host Nela at the train station and she took us back to her place just to drop off our stuff, before taking us on her little mini tour of the downtown sights. Olomouc isn't a big place. It’s a lot like Kingston, actually. She said it has about 100,000 inhabitants, with an extra 20,000 students during the school year. Her and her boyfriend are both students at the university there.

The most notable sight is St. Wenceslas Cathedral, a huge gothic monster hidden down a cobblestone lane and around a corner. Also notable is the town hall, which has an astronomical clock on one side that used to have religious icons on it but was replaced with 'ideologically pure workers’ (as Lonely Planet puts it) during the Communist era. Also within the town square is a huge (really huge) monument for the plague. Well, that’s what Nela told us it was for, although the LP says it was actually a different column that was for the plague, and this one was just a religious monument. Either way, it was an impressive structure. [editor's note: After looking more into this, the large, Unesco-listed column in the middle of the square is definitely the Holy Trinity Column - sorry Nela! The plague column is in a smaller square around the corner.]

  After our mini tour, Nela took us to a restaurant for traditional Czech food. For under $20, Nick and I each got a huuuge plate of heavy, European food (potato pancakes, sausage, pork, chicken), and a 0.5L draught beer. Not too shabby. We had read about the famous Czech knedliky (dumplings), and since we didn’t get to try them at dinner we ordered some for lunch the next day. Unfortunately they were kind of a let down! But my cabbage and sausage soup in a hot crusty bread bowl more than made up for it!

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