Winter travels in Eastern Europe - Olomouc Christmas market, beer spa, food, cold

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December 19th 2016
Published: January 29th 2017
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2016 17 Eastern Europe winter tour

We drove our car 3,300 km from Minsk, Belarus where we are teaching to see the cities, Christmas markets and quiet snow covered countryside of Belarus, Poland, Czech Republic and eastern Germany. The majority of our 3 week tour was spent in friendly Czech Republic. Our first stop in Olomouc for three nights turned out to be our favorite city because of its lack of other tourists, awesome Christmas market, spiced wine, and beer spa. This quaint old town feels alive with locals filling the two main squares. We loved the sculptures around every corner.

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Wet and soggy OlomoucWet and soggy Olomouc
Wet and soggy Olomouc

But that didn't keep us from enjoying this amazing city in northeastern Czech Republic. We felt like the only tourists in the midst of busy locals.
Olomouc - The best Christmas market in Czech RepublicOlomouc - The best Christmas market in Czech Republic
Olomouc - The best Christmas market in Czech Republic

It was a nice surprise to enjoy this market so much. It has an authentic feel with the right mix of food and drink stalls, handmade items, and other goods. Local shoppers were enjoying a day of fun. So were we.
Warming upWarming up
Warming up

With the delicious hot spiced wine found in the markets or even better at the local wine store where they shared their recipe.
Beer spa at Svatovaclavsky PivovarBeer spa at Svatovaclavsky Pivovar
Beer spa at Svatovaclavsky Pivovar

We soaked away the cares of the world in a dark beer bath, sipping suds that were refilled with the ringing of the little bell. Oh, the life.
Olomouc astronomical clockOlomouc astronomical clock
Olomouc astronomical clock

This amazing clock was destroyed in WWII and rebuilt by the communists who replaced religious figures with a parade of everyday people in the socialist realist style. At noon the 6 minute procession begins with the iron workers moving their hammers in time with the bells, followed by the parade of everyday people supporting the communist party line. The surprising finale is a delightful rooster crowing.
Olomouc astronomical clockOlomouc astronomical clock
Olomouc astronomical clock

Socialist realism style of art on parade at noon.
Wine in the Czech Republic instead of beer?Wine in the Czech Republic instead of beer?
Wine in the Czech Republic instead of beer?

Yes, especially in the eastern provinces of Moravia. Here we are at the delicious Restaurant Vila Primavesi eating an assortment of grilled meats with red wine. We especially enjoyed the crisp and fruity white Czech wines. The white wine also made a wonderful hot spiced wine. The western provinces of Bohemia are beer country.
The king mural - OlomoucThe king mural - Olomouc
The king mural - Olomouc

With his selfie stick.
Olomouc city wallsOlomouc city walls
Olomouc city walls

We strolled through the park at the base of the city walls. We spent the rest of our time inside the walls.
Wealth of the churchWealth of the church
Wealth of the church

It made the royalty jealous.
Olomouc town model - the Bishop's townOlomouc town model - the Bishop's town
Olomouc town model - the Bishop's town

Our small hotel was just below the cathedral.
Olomouc - The tortoise scultpureOlomouc - The tortoise scultpure
Olomouc - The tortoise scultpure

This crazy sculpture for a landlocked northern country has a tower topped with coral and dolphins. The icy cold didn't help the image.

19th February 2017

King mural
with a selfie stick----ROFL!

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