So, as you can see our next stop on our winter European vacation was Budweiser in the Czech Republic! Before I continue to tease you with pictures of delicious beer let me recap our journey so far . . .
Last we left off was in Vienna (point M), and Schonnbrunn Palace. After only two nights there it was time to head north to the Czech Republic! We were staying the next couple nights in Prague (point C) and decided to stop by the original Budweiser Brewery (Point B) on our way : ) Before leaving Austria we stopped to get a good view of the famous Danube River:
The story behind this brewery is quite interesting. The Budweiser we know in the United States was named after this one. The founder traveled to the Czech Republic to learn about beer making and loved the Budweiser beer so much that when he came back to the states he named his beer Budweiser. Of course that has also lead to many lawsuits over the name but I don’t need to get into all that here.
Before entering the Czech Republic we had to buy a toll sticker for our rental car. The rental agency said that we could only drive our car in Austria and Germany with no problems. Because Czech is in Eastern Europe we had to get a note from the rental car company saying they approved of the car to be driven in the Czech Republic, and we then had to purchase a toll sticker while on the highway at a gas station. It sounds more complicated than it all was. The woman at the gas station before we entered Czech knew no English and we knew no German or Czech so we pulled out the rental car paper and pointed to the section about driving in Eastern Europe. She immediately knew what we needed and gave us our sticker!
The Budweiser Brewery is located in Budejovice Budvar. It’s a small town and the brewery seems to be its major attraction. We didn’t make it in time to do a brewery tour but the restaurant was open and we were really hungry! Thankfully they had such delicious food and the best potato pancakes I have ever had in my life! At the bar you could try different kinds of beer, not just their famous lager. All the beers of course were delicious and I have to say that the original Budweiser lager is much better than our American version. Plus the awesome glassware helps!
After this small detour we continued on to our hotel in Prague. We stayed just outside the main touristy area in order to save money. We ended up taking the tram to most places and found public transit to be easy to use. The area we were staying in though was great – it was in the Smichov part of Prague. There were barely any tourists and the local pubs were amazing. We found we fell in love with this area as much as we fell in love with the main city center. We stayed at the NH Hotel in Prague. The rooms were spacious albeit a bit dated. The lobby was lovely and the breakfasts each morning were delicious – buffet of eggs, breads, fruit etc.
We arrived at night (snapped this the next morning). When we arrived believe it or not we were hungry again for dinner! We saw that just three blocks from our hotel was a main street full of bars, restaurants, a mall, and grocery store. We found an awesome bar called Plzensky full of bohemian character! It was packed, but we were able to share a table, grab a beer, some dinner, and watch part of a hockey game!
That’s the artwork of Prague’s famous artist Alphonse Mucha who had major contributions to the French Art Nouveau movement! I totally fell in love with his artwork while in Prague. Ok enough about Mucha, back to the pictures . . .
Our waiter was seriously the Czech version of my brother – so friendly, helpful, and full of humor! At one point we told him we wanted to move from our seats to the bar area to watch the hockey game and his response was “Of course! Anything is possible!” in his awesome Czech accent. Of course Scott and I took that as some sort of sign and for the rest of the trip our motto for Prague was “Anything is Possible!”
So stay tuned for more posts about the land of possibility!