Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Best of Travelife 2012: Our most interesting Sunday was at the medieval Czech village of Kutna Hora


Reflecting at year-end on the wonderful TRAVELIFE that was in 2012, this is part of a series of blog entries that will look at the best aspects of our never-ending, and never-endingly eventful travels. 

This year was so full of indescribable and inspiring experiences -- and we're certainly looking forward to an even more amazing Travelife in 2013

Happy holidays to everyone
from all of us at Travelife Magazine.

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LUCK IS ON OUR SIDE

On this particular Sunday last June in the Czech Republic, living a TRAVELIFE, we reached the ancient town of Kutna Hora just before lunch.



Our driver took the country roads, rather than the highway from Prague, so it was a very picturesque drive. And just our luck, when we got here the town was fully booked because of a medieval festival today, but we'd snagged rooms at the best place to stay, at the very top of the town.

I literally had the most wonderful hotel room in the whole town, and you'll see a photo of my pretty dramatic terrace below. It was a beautiful evening and I sat outside for hours with my Mac, working and admiring the view almost until dawn. 


The medieval festival at Kutna Hora 

The townspeople undertake a medieval parade and drama

ALL DRESSED UP 
AND HEADED FOR THE TOWN SQUARE

Kutna Hora's medieval festival happens about twice a year and today was one of those times.

What a wonderful sight it was to see the entire town dressed up in 13th and 14th century costumes, and to experience everything related to those times, just as we are in this most picturesque of Czech towns. It was truly a trip back in time to see this authentic medieval lifestyle in this medieval town.


Everyone was out and about in 13th and 14th century costumes today...


Kutna Hora is beautiful and a must-see anytime you find yourself in the Czech Republic; but on that day, with the medieval festival going on, it was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Scroll down to read more about our medieval adventures in Kutna Hora....




BACK TO THE PAST

We tried our hand at different medieval games including jousting and falconry, and sampled various local foods all in one go. I travel all over the world all the time, but I have to admit that the Czech food I had there was an entirely new experience even for me.

One of the stands was selling homemade bread spread thickly with pork lard -- as in no-holds-barred cholesterol-busting pork lard in a bottle -- and then sprinkled with onions.

One of the elderly Czech ladies told me this snack reminded her of her childhood, as this was a favorite snack in Czech homes during the Communist era. I kid you not: it was literally plain bread spread thickly with lard and then sprinkled with onions.

Bread with pork lard and onions.
Who would've thought that that would be delicious?


FOOD FOR THE GODS

Of course I just had to have it, even if it might have killed me.

The lady selling it actually took the bottle of lard straight from the fridge, and as she was spreading it on the bread, all I could think was: "Wow. Double whammy. A ton of cold, cold pork lard. Talk about an instant artery clog."

When I finally got my piece of bread with lard and onions, I said to myself: "Here goes nothing."

There goes the lard -- lots of it...


Then I bit into it.

What an interesting, and actually delicious taste. The onions went very well with the lard, and the lard was actually delicious. Of course I had to hike up the hill afterwards to hopefully burn all that cholesterol off, but it was certainly good to try this old-fashioned Czech dish at least once.

Then the man in the next stall gave me a cup of warm honey. Yes, he told me it was honey with herbs so I gulped it down after the bread and lard. What he forgot to tell me was that it was something like 20% proof.

Wow. That's a lot of alcohol -- but somehow it went down very well after all that lard.



SURREAL BUT NICE

I spent the rest of the afternoon puttering around all the stalls, trying the food and doing bits and pieces of shopping as many of the townsfolk had put out stalls to sell home-made crafts and delicacies.

I put my headphones on to some of my favorite music and got lost in my own world, while exploring this other very old and fascinating world.



I do some of my best thinking when I'm walking around by myself with some music on. And on that afternoon in particular, it hit me that my Travelife is really so wonderful but surreal.

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to Prague via Amsterdam
Special fares available

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I couldn't believe I was in this medieval UNESCO World Heritage town in the middle of nowhere in the Czech Republic with a whole town in costume, and just a few days before that I was having sushi in Tokyo, climbing a mountain in Sri Lanka and walking the beach in Kota Kinabalu 

And then it was Israel, Jordan, and South Africa as well, along with a host of other places too many to mention even in a Travelife.

Living the Travelife in Kutna Hora
How surreal, how amazing, how very much a part of my philosophy of living in the moment, every single minute of every single day.

My terrace with a view


And here's what was on my iPod
as I sat on my terrace
in Kutna Hora all night:

Sara Smile
Hall & Oates

Stay Awake
Ronnie Laws

Tiger in the Rain
Michael Franks

To Have But Not To Hold
Madonna

Without You
Michael Franks

And just like that, another day ended in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.




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