Plzen and pilsner
Trip Start Aug 24, 2012
70Trip End Ongoing
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Plzen is a town of 175,000 (yes, thats fairly small by European standards) and is home to the original pilsner beer. It's a little of the tourist trail uness beer is your thing, like Chris. We battled our way through the rain to find our hostel, getting a little lost but it turns out we were going in the right direction anyway. Our hostel is not the best! First there was no one there when we turned up - early admittedly, but every other hostel allows you to leave your luggage behind until the room is ready
At least the hostel wasnt far from town! We headed in via the universal Golden Arches for some warm-up food. The main square is called namesti republikly (Square of the Republic) and has been there since the 13th century. It is fully cobblestoned, surrounded by pretty coloured houses and the Chuch of St Bartholomew sits in the middle. Looking a little out of place are some modern fountains, one in each corner. I'm not sure what the significance of the gold-coloured fountains is, they look like giant taps.
Just off the square is the brewery museum. We didnt go for the museum though, we went for the tour of the underground cellars of Plzen. As you know, Plzen is the home of the original pilsner beer. Where better to brew, store and sell this beer than in your cellar, where it would be kept cool all year round
As part of the tour, a free beer was included at the Na Parkenau pub, attached to the brewery museum. Every table seemed to be reserved for some reason, so we parked ourselves at a couple of bar stools and had our free beer.
Plzen has a great English tradition here: Tesco's. We decided to pop in there and get some things to cook our own dinner - as usual it was cheap. Also turns out they were having a massive clothing sale with 30% off everything! Finally found Chris some gloves ($2) and I bought a new coat ($50). I really really wanted the red coat but it doesnt go with any of the limited clothing selection that I currently own so I went with the blue colour. I would have bought both colours but Chris told me I couldn't possibly pack them both in my backpack, and I have to admit that he is right.