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.
Warming upWith 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 PivovarWe 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 clockThis 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.
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.