27 Jun 2011

A lovely day

After finishing my visit to Úětický Pivovar my original plan was to take a bus to Prague and find somewhere to have lunch. The day had turned out to be a too nice for that so I changed my mind and decided I would walk to the nieghbouring village of Roztoky, following the romantically called Tiché Údolí (Silent Valley).

At the beginning of the walk, while I was still going through the village, I lamented having forgotten my MP3 player at home, but once I had left the houses behind and, following the creek, entered the forest I realised it was actually for the better. Had I been listening to any of my favourite music I would have missed the singing of the water and the birds, which, together with my footsteps, were the only sounds to be heard.

A truly beautiful walk, incredibly peaceful, relaxing. Even though I've been living here for almost a decade, I'm still surprised that you can find this kind of places right next to a major city, or even in it.
After enjoying a few kilometres in the company of my thoughts, Roztoky started to appear slowly. A couple of weekend cottages first, then the ruins of what used to be a restaurant and, next to it, the shell of an abandoned hotel that soon were followed by houses. It was only then that I realised how thirsty I was (and a bit hungry, too), so I went in search of Hospůdka Zviřátka. Just as I had feared, it was closed. A shame, it looked like a lovely, little beer garden from the outside and I had very good references of it.

I had no other choice then than to follow the road towards the train station. I still walked at forest pace, admiring some of the mansions along the way (rich people back then really had good taste) and I couldn't help to think how nice it must be to live in that neighbourhood. Meanwhile, my thirst was growing and the sun was stronger. I swear to you that by the time I go to Nádražní I would have been happy to drink almost anything I would have been offered. Fortunately, I was greeted by a sign of Rychtář that announced Pizzeria Capri.
It wasn't even 2PM and the place was absolutely empty and with a rather sad air in it. I sat at the bar and ordered "pivo". I think I was given a desítka, it tasted like heaven. I considered ordering another one, but for some reason I was afraid that the waiter will start crying on my shoulder so I paid and went on my way.

I went to the bus stop. I was lucky, the 350 was about to come. My plan now was to get off at the next stop, Sedlecký Přívoz, and from there take the ferry to the other side of the river. I'd been wanting to see that part of the world for quite some time and today I still plenty of it.
I've always liked crossing rivers, there's something almost mystic about it. You can't feel it when you cross by car or tram, you can when you cross a bridge by foot, but doing it at water level on a boat with a lazy spirit is magic.

The bar by the pier was closed, so I faced South to go to the other ferry. It was very hot already and there was no shade in sight. There were, though, a few pretty girls roller blading, who made the walk more pleasant.

Halfway between both ferries I noticed a place called Hospůdka Sluníčko. If it hadn't been for the geezer sipping a beer looking like he didn't know what a problem was I would have thought the place was closed. It turned out to be a terrace a couple of metres above the river and looked quite nice from the path I was walking. I convinced myself that it was a good time for a technical stopover and not even sign promising Gambáč would dissuade me.
There are places the beer brand matters very little, and sitting in the shade, overlooking the river and the forests across it, without suffering the noise of cars, even this little loved desítka tasted just fine.

Time wasn't so plentiful anymore, so as soon as the glass was empty I got back on the road. I wanted to get to the other ferry with enough time to have a beer before crossing.

The green and white umbrellas of Koloniál can be seen from the opposite bank of the Vltava and I had always wondered what sort of beer they announced. For some reason, the colours suggested me Ježek, but it was a great, and pleasant, surprise to find out it was Bohemia Regent (is there another place in Prague that has this brand on tap?).
There was plenty of people, or at least plenty for a Wednesday early in the afternoon, I can't even imagine what this place must be like at weekends. I ordered a desítka (served in a plastic cup, unfortunately, but I hadn't minded much the Gambáč before, so I wasn't going to make a fuss about the container of this, even better, beer) and looked for a place to sit. I was lucky, there was a free table right under an umbrella.

I put the beer and my book on the table and took out my mobile to check what time it was. I always carry it in silent mode and  when I'm walking I usually don't realise when someone calls me or texts me, which was just what had happened somewhere between getting off the boat and this beer. Good news, very good news. My students had texted me to let me know that the lesson at five had been cancelled (and paid for). My mood, which was already very good, greatly improved. A few pages and half a litre later I went for another dose of desítka, this time together with a klobása. The sausage ended up being a tad too greasy, but If I hadn't mind the Gambáč before, nor the plastic cup, I wasn't going to mind a minor detail like that, at least not on a day like this. One of those almost perfect days.
Na Zdraví!

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4 comments:

  1. Cafe V lese, krymska 12, has regent, served in beautiful regent glasses too :)

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  2. Great tip! Thanks a lot! I must go check that place out.

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  3. excellent choice of literature sir! There have been many trips to pubs of late where a couple of pints in I have had the urge for a klobasa......nachos simply doesn't cut it as beer food.

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  4. Thanks for sharing, what a lovely post!

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