17.07.2013 - 17.07.2013 28 °C
This morning included a sleep in for all of us, a welcome change to the routine after several busy days. As Ben was needing a rest and Hannah elected to stay home and draw, it was Abby and I who ventured into the city this time. We elected to stay outside Prague for two reasons: we felt we would appreciate the country’s change of pace and it was a lot cheaper to stay a bit outside of Prague. We drove into the city in the afternoon, found our favourite ‘park and ride’ lot and headed for the metro. It’s a snap to get into the heart of the historical district and we can make it there from our home in 40 minutes. Prague has a nice metro option that lets you ride anywhere for 30 minutes for only a dollar (fifty cents for Abby) so it’s hard not to go that route. Today’s visit to the city included meandering around the streets, visiting shops when they called loudly enough to us. When I said I wanted to poke my head into the Church of Our Lady before Týn, Abby rolled her eyes and said ‘Another church?’ I told her I would be quick, and I was, just staying long enough to take in the many beautiful gilt baroque altars and Tycho Brahe’s grave. I, too, am becoming satiated with baroque and just on the eve of going to Vienna, which is poor timing! Maybe I have a few more baroque buildings in me yet.
The first stop (real stop, in Abby’s mind) was the Gastronomy Museum, an eclectic collection of write ups, still life kitchen models, pictures and culinary equipment traversing the history of eating and cooking from our first ancestors up to the present day. There were big gaps in the spectrum but one could still glean interesting tidbits here and there. Abby particularly liked all the information on the prehistoric world (even though she’s considering relinquishing her carnivore heritage once we get back to Victoria). I enjoyed seeing some of the interesting utensils and reading the intriguing quotes about gastronomy: “The discovery of a new dish confers more happiness on humanity than the discovery of a new star.” “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.” “A host who cannot carve is equally shameful as an owner of a library who cannot read.” And one just for Ben: The characteristics of good beer, according to Czech brewer František Ondřej Poupě are as follows: “It must quench the thirst and replace the missing moisture in the body as well as be filling, but it must not cause wind or constipation. It must strengthen even the fatigued body, excrete urine in ratio to the delight, also with semolina to prevent stone formations, encourage bowel movements and a warm stomach and not chill as many beers do.” I’d say that’s a tall order! Ben would say let’s have another one to assess it again. At the end of the tour, we’re able to taste a tiny meringue and have a very tiny glass of mead. I didn’t care for either while Abby took a strong liking to both. It just shows the effect a father’s drinking genes can have on a child.
Since we still had some kronos in our pockets, we chose to extend our culinary experiences by having a real sit-down dinner. Going on the recommendation of someone on the internet, we stepped into a smoky Czech restaurant. Abby selected the goat cheese gnocchi while I went for a more traditional Czech dish, slices of beef covered in gravy and topped with cranberry jam and cream. It was served with sliced bread dumplings. Both dishes were delicious and we were quite satisfied with them and a salad. It’s very fun trying the dishes of various countries as they combine foods and flavours in ways you wouldn’t necessarily consider yourself. Abby and I enjoyed our ‘mom and daughter time,’ I very aware that this was something to be cherished and hopefully still scheduled once we get back home. With that, we concluded the evening, reversing our route to get back to our homebodies.