Friday, January 22, 2016

The Christmas market of Pilsner in the Czech Republic, home of Pilsner Urquell beer and a European Capital of Culture for 2015


The Christmas market of Pilsner in the Czech Republic

This is a much-delayed post about a spur-of-the-moment trip to city of Pilsner in the Czech Republic last month.

One day, there we were in Prague, living a #Travelife, and we had several days to just be on our own before our friends began arriving to join us for a pre-Christmas holiday in Prague followed by a Danube River cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest on AMA Waterways.


Scroll down to read more about the city of Pilsner...



AMAPRIMA:
EUROPE'S BEST NEW RIVER BOAT

Incidentally, we were on the AmaPrima boat of AMA Waterways, and it was recently named best new river boat by the editors of one of the foremost cruise review publications.

The AmaPrima really nice with great staterooms on the top deck, good food and some of the nicest and most hardworking teams I've ever encountered in years of cruising around the world.

WHAT TO SEE IN PRAGUE

The Christmas market in Pilsner

But on that particular day, I wanted to see something new as I'd been to Prague several times before, and we had a car and driver at our disposal to go wherever we wanted.

I guess we could even have driven to Venice if we wanted. Venice is something like ten to 12 hours away, depending on how fast you drive, and our driver certainly was willing.



Unfortunately, going to Venice would've jinked our cruise plans, so we decided to just stay with the idea of a nice and easy day trip out of Prague to a nearby destination.

So down the highway we went in the direction of Ceske Budejovice, another beautiful town, to see a castle with a nice restaurant, just for a relaxing day out in the winter in the Czech Republic.

GOING TO PILSNER


Midway to this castle, however, I suddenly had an inspiration.

"How about going to Pilsner instead?" I asked.

I'd been almost everywhere in the Czech Republic save for Pilsner and a couple of lovely towns in Southern Moravia, which is the wine growing region of the Czech Republic. Our driver was prepared to drive all the way to Venice -- so anywhere else nearer than Venice was a piece of cake -- and my companion didn't really mind where we went so it was basically up to me.

So we made a U-turn and headed for Pilsner, which is the home of the famous Pilsner Urquell beer. Pilsner was also named one of the European Cities of Culture for 2015.

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BEAUTIFUL CZECH TOWNS

In a way it's quite a typically beautiful Czech town with graceful candy-colorer buildings around a town square. But in another way, it has a charm that was more endearing than the average Czech tourist town.


We had great fun in the Christmas market in Pilsner's town square, sampling sausages and cheeses, buying Christmas ornaments and hand knitted woolen clothing, and watching a metalworker fashion sheets of metal into unique jewellery.

DINNER AT COTTO CRUDO
AT THE FOUR SEASONS PRAGUE


Then we returned to our hotel in time for a nice long dinner at Cotto Crudo, the Italian restaurant at the Four Seasons Prague and one of my absolute favorites in this city.

On this particular trip, Cotto Crudo was practically our kitchen, as we had breakfast, some lunches and also a couple of dinners here.



Cotto Crudo is the best Italian restaurant in Prague and generally one of the best restaurants in the city, and quite a nice change from Czech traditional fare after staying in Prague for a few days -- especially if you're not used to the heavy cream-based cooking of the Czech Republic.



That night, I had oysters, a vertical tasting of buffalo mozzarella and a dozen other truly good things, on just another wonderful day in my never-ending, and never-endingly wonderful #Travelife.


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