Weekend II. Part II.
So this weekend is still in the first three weekends of the program, which means we aren’t supposed to travel. In this case, its because of a day trip to Kutna Hora. Hearing stories about the trip, it seems like Kutna Hora is really interesting – they went to a silver mine and a traditional Czech restaurant and a church decorated with the bones of 40,000 peasants. I, however, did not go. Instead, we went to Znojmo, to a historical wine festival (Znojemske historicke vinobraní).
But it was not at all what I expected – it was not a wine festival with traditional wine tastings like we have in the states. The wine was all young wines (90%+ were whites), called burčák. Imagine mixing white wine with grape juice, lemonade, and a bit of carbonation, and you’ve got burčák. It is pretty much indescribable, but very good. There is apparently about a 3% alcohol content, but you can barely taste it, and there were dozens, if not hundreds, of different winemakers selling their particular variety of burčák.
Znojmo is quite a beautiful city, and apparently the biggest drinking city outside of Prague. But it is also in the heart of Moravia, the Czech Republic’s wine region, and really close to the border with Austria. Its the town Anna went to high school in, and we unsurprisingly ran into people that she knew, namely a woman she went to school with, her husband, and two sons.
We pretty much spent the entire day drinking burčák, wandering around the town, and all around having a good time. We stopped at a few shows (including one with a snake charmer and Erin’s bed of nails), shot a bow and arrow, and the kids rode on a wooden horse.
In addition to the traditional-themed activities, there was a huge carnival, with rides outside every single entrance. Emma and I went together on a giant swing that went 30m high, from which we could see basically everything.
Filip made me try “Moravian sushi,” which was an old-fashioned rice around meat wrapped in grape leaves and covered with a pickle and horseradish. It was very interesting, but not particularly tasty…. But we also had frgál (pictured below), bramborák (a sort of potato pancake) and trdelník (warm dough coated in cinnamon). Traditional Czech foods, and for the most part damn tasty. (And fattening, probably, but let’s just not talk about that.)
I also wrote a short (3 sentence) report of what I did over the weekend for my Czech class, since I didn’t go to Kutna Hora. For posterity (and proof that I’m actually learning some Czech!), here it is:
V sobotu jsme byli na vinobraní ve Znojmě. Bylo nezké počasý. Ochutnala jsem burčák, bramborák, trdelník, a frgál s máken. Střílela jsem z luku a byla na kolotoči a v děla jsem, jak se střílí z katapultu.
(By the way, this doesn’t translate properly with google translate. It actually means, on Saturday, we went to an old-fashioned wine festival in Znojmo. The weather was nice. I tasted burčák, bramborák, trdelník, and frgál with poppy seeds. We shot a bow and arrow, and someone shot a catapult.)