Most people know the Czech Republic for the beauty and history of Prague, and the beer. We’ve still never been to Prague, but we did get to spend a few days in a town in Czech where the plazas are open and beautiful, the history is plentiful, and the sidewalk café’s wafting smells of delicious traditional Czech food and beer are rather irresistible in both their charm and flavors.
But first, the pronunciation.
If you look at the name Olomouc, you might think it is pronounced something like “Oh Lo Mowk”.
But (if I’ve finally gotten it right), it’s pronounced something closer to “Awl Uh Motes”.
(English could use some phonetics/consistency. After a week of trying to pronounce it right, it still took me like 5 minutes to figure that out, and eventually I had to ask Carrie what I was doing wrong to convey how to say it. Anyway…)
The days we spent in Olomouc were wonderful. Ivo’s tenants were out for the summer break, so we stayed in his rental flat (his tenants knew), and had great walking access to everything in the city. Ivo toured us around a couple of days, taking us to the three obligatory must-sees of every old European City:
The remains of the city wall
In walking around, we saw the cathedral where Ivo was baptized (our being in Olomouc gave him an excuse to actually confirm this with the records office), saw the town clock while it chimed the noon hour (a boring but quaint 5 minute chimes show and obligatory tourist must-do), and of course stopped at little cafes for great meals.
I have never known Carrie to be much of a fan of blueberries in the US. In fact, I think I’ve heard her use the word “icky” to describe them. But in Czech Republic and Slovakia (which ARE two separate countries), I think (at least during this time of the year) a new love for blueberries has been created
It’s raspberry and blueberry season here in this part of the world, and Czech blueberries are organic and GMO free. (The Czech Republic has banned genetically transfigured food. I don’t know if knowing that fact makes the blueberries so good, or if they actually are just that good. However, the sweetness and flavor complexities of the blueberries here amaze me as well.)
One day, Ivo took us to one of his favorite restaurants here in Olomouc where they had some great lunch specials, including a few different menu items with knedliky.
Knedliky is the word for bread cooked by steam, otherwise known as buns or dumplings. During our time in Czech, we had Knedliky with a few different things. On that day with Ivo, we had knedliky stuffed with the aforementioned blueberries. “Yum” doesn’t begin to describe the natural syrupy sweetness which lightly drizzles from the knedliky when you cut into it with the side of your fork.
It’s just a shame they were so filling. Between the Gulash with knedliky I got on my plate, and the blueberry dumplings Carrie got, we had to leave a fair amount of the knedliky on the plate. (But not to worry. The blueberries and blueberry sauce all got eaten.)
Lucia came to join Ivo from Slovakia for the last three days of our time there, and their friend Peter came for one night as well.
I will remember our 5 days in Olomouc as 5 perfect European summer days, spent working a few hours each day, and spent sitting in open street cafes with great friends, great beer, and great food.
“Wer sich an guten tagen richtig freuen kann,
ist er auch an schlechten Tagen besser daran.”
“Those who can truly celebrate good days
Are that much better off on difficult days.”