Saturday, February 11, 2012

Praha, Czech Republic

Prague: home of the famous astronomical clock, Franz Kafka, goulash and dumplings, Alfons Mucha, and really good beer. This was the final stop on my rendezvous in Eastern Europe, and I learned so many things about Czech history and Soviet occupation. The old King Wenceslas, the largest Medieval castle in Europe, and the Golem all have their mark on the city of Praha. 

Like I said, there was a lot of goulash and dumplings. I kind of made it a point to have goulash once a day, but because the weather is so cold, that's pretty much what you want after a day of trekking in sub-freezing temperature. What is goulash? It's a very hearty stew that will warm you up all over. In Prague, most of the goulash I ate was beef-based and more like a gravy sauce than a soup. The dumplings, or knedliky, are doughy bread-like side dishes that are meant to soak up the thick gravies and stews. It takes getting used to, but I must admit the Czech dumplings grew on me. 

Other things that I ate: the largest pig knuckle I've ever seen, Bohemian sausages, fried cheese sandwiches, mulled wine, grog (hot rum), and Czech dark beer. Dark Kozel was probably one of the best things that happened to me. The first glass I had tasted like liquid chocolate; it was love at first sip. What I would give right now for another mug of dark Kozel, even if it means wylin' out with a bunch of teenagers in a cellar. 

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