Trip Start Apr 01, 2008
Trip End Jun 30, 2008

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Flag of Czech Republic  ,
Saturday, May 10, 2008

He says:

It was the best of times, it was the...  Screw that it was simply the best day of my life.  Gaynor reckons she has never seen me so happy...

I am of course talking about my trip to the Pilsner Urquell brewery.  Drinking unfiltered, unpasturised and totally fresh Pilsner Urquell tapped straight out of the conditioning barrels in the caves beneath the brewery has got to rank as one of the best experiences of my life...

We regretfully left Prague yesterday morning and arrived in Plzen around midday.  We checked into our beer hall, which I have sinced found out is the beer hall where the first batch of Pilsner ever brewed was sent to be unleashed on an unsuspecting public, so it fits in very nicely with my beer pilgrimage.  Over lunch we decided to head straight to the brewery, a short walk away, thus leaving the whole of today to explore the city.   The brewery was great, our 'English guide' spoke next to no english, we got a tour of the modern section (opened last year at the cost of $500 million), toured the old section, got to taste and smell all the raw ingredients and best of all, at the end of the tour we all got 1 glass of the best beer I have ever tasted (I got Gaynor's of well, knew I brought her along for a reason...).  I also bought numerous souvenirs and stole a glass from the brewery pub (could have bought one for $3, but it just isn't the same).  All in all, a great way to spend an afternoon and it will be hard for the rest of the trip to stack up really.

Having drunk a 'few' beers it was time to put my money where my mouth is and indulge in the Czech speciality of roast pork knee...  Let's just say that will remain a one off experience, but what an experience it was, I was presented with 1.5kg of extremely fatty lump of pork, enough to feed a good sized catholic family (I may have also mentioned that I don't like pork).  It didn't end well...

Anyway, after a fitfull nights sleep, today we set off exploring the city of Plzen.  Unfortunately the Plzen underground (Plzen has a huge network of underground passages under the city centre built in the 15 century) is closed due to a burst water main and once you have looked at the city centre (about 3x4 blocks) there is not a lot more to be seen.  The town square and cathedral are very impressive, the parks are very nice to lie in on a spring day, but after that there is not a lot else so it's 4:00pm and I am sitting in our beer hall tapping out another travel blog while Gaynor has a nana nap upstairs (told you she wouldn't be able to handle it... ;).

We leave for Cesky Krumlov tomorrow, which should be interesting as we are being screwed by our hostel...  I don't think they have reckoned on a spurned Gaynor before...
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