Easy in Olomouc

Trip Start Apr 04, 2007
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Trip End Oct 22, 2007


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Tuesday, August 7, 2007

We took the train trip from Vienna to Olomouc which turned out to be fairly easy and only required one connection change despite all of the ticket vendors saying 'Olomouc?... never heard of it'. We had heard that Olomouc was a quiet check city, less touristy than Brno and it was closer to Poland than Brno so it seemed like a good idea for a place to have some down time before we had to be in Poland.

Olomouc (Pronounced 'Olomoust') is beautiful and quiet. We arrived to almost deserted streets and found our way to our hostel, which was very highly rated through everything we read. 'Poets Corner' hostel was perfect for what we wanted. It felt like hanging out at a mate's place as soon as we arrived. We started talking to a few of the other backpackers and immediatly hit it off with a few people whom we spent the next few days hanging out with.

We walked around town for a bit and chilled in the hostel just chatting to people for awhile and then headed out with an Gina, American girl (lived in Japan) and Isis, an Aussie girl, for dinner at a place the hostel recomended as local and cheap. The food was great and it was awesome to spend a rare evening out. We continued on to a bar that was rumoured to have a mountain climbing wall inside of it. Once there, we got a little adventurous and decided to try 'Absinthe', a famed European spirit. The bar tender told us that the proper way to do it was as a 'flaming shot' but hadn't actually done it before, so we made a spectecal of ourselves at the bar lighting the shot on fire, melting sugar in it and burning our lips as we tried to drink it. Everyone had a good laugh.

We settled down to a table and some socializing and then asked about the famed climbing wall. We were shown to a room that was slightly not what we expected. It turned out to be a small square room that you climb around, not up. We all had lots of fun trying to climb all over the place and falling on the cushioned floors.

We called it a night and headed for bed, only to be awoken in the middle of the night by a loud crash. A guy in our dorm was apparently sleep walking. His girlfriend was calling to him in a half whisper 'get back here... get back to bed! What are you doing!' He hauled himself up into bed... but it was the wrong bed and the one above Dan, so with more shaking, creaking and crashing he eventually got down and opened the door to the room... at this point he sort of woke up and got back into his bed. Best (worst) part of all... he was naked.

The next day we headed out on a free tour that one of the hostel owners put on. We were joined by the same two girls who we had hung out with the night before. The tour was fantastic and took us into great detail and history about some areas of the city we may have not explored, or appreciated as much as we did with the information. At the end of the tour we set off for some 'famous' Olomouc Chocolate Pie and then to the museums that were free on Sunday's. We took a break at the hostel before another beautiful dinner out. The food was so cheap and so good we figured we couldn't pass it up again... and we were too lazy to cook.

Over the next few days we continued to extend our stay in Olomouc. We said goodbye to Gina and met two more girls staying in the backpackers. Nadia, from England, and Lauren, from Australia. Lauren and Gabrielle hit it off when they discovered that they were both social workers and had both done work in Canada. Lets just say they talked about some 'world issues' and told social worker horror stories. We spent the next few days hanging out and exploring Olomouc. One afternoon included a trip to a bar where they brew fresh beer on site, and another was a wacky trip out to a tea house where we got some 'zen' and worked on our yoga moves.

One night we all cooked dinner together. We each pitched in some items and Nadia made a beautiful veggie lasagna, with salad on the side and garlic bread. Gabrielle and I contributed fruit fondue to the dessert side of things. Isis was in to antique clothing and she had found a shop selling old 60's and 70's hippy gear. She shared her new wealth of dresses with the girls and Dan got the tennis outfit. Looking good!

We finished off our time in Olomouc at a hockey game. The seats weren't very full but there was a group of dedicated fans at one end of the stadium with drums and chants and the whole lot. You could hear them down the street and the provided heaps of entertainment for the entire game. The home team lost by one point, but it was a disputed goal because it was a shot that went way up high, bounced off the glass, into the back of the golies helmet and slowly slid in net. The last two minutes were intense and the whole game was rough hockey. Heaps of penalties but everyone played hard.

All in all we had an awesome time in Olomouc and are sad to be leaving. This is another place we could easily have spent quite a long time. The Czech Republic has suprised us in many ways, slightly letting us down with Prague but more than making up for it with the smaller, less noted areas. We're looking forward to meeting up with our friends in Krakow, but this will be a very sad goodbye.

All our best from the amazing Czech Republic

Dan and Gabrielle
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