“Czech”-ing out a few harvest festivals in Moravia. And no, the pun never gets old.
It being harvest time, towns all across Moravia, the state just across the Austrian border are hosting festivals to honor the grape, and so to the little town of Bzenec in the foothills of the Carpathians we pointed the wagon first on Saturday.
Medovinky (Lebkuchen) almost too gorgeous to eat. Slabs of Czech nougat, sweet enough to make one’s teeth ache just looking at it. Bowls of Smažený sýr (smoked cheese) ready for the grill and a dollop of berry sauce (yum!) Bramboracky, the Czech potato pancake. Handcrafts and pony rides, too.
And of course, burčák. Just €0,39 equivalent for a taste of the Czech Republic’s name for Sturm.
Or €4,30 for a to-go bottle.
But that wasn’t all! Among the vendors were those selling American-flag adorned bandanas and…Donald Trump masks? Oh, and a random guy in the park with boa constrictors.
Meanwhile, Clayton Theodore gets some love.
The entertainment was hometown Americana; little Czech children in costume performing songs that everyone in the crowd seemed to know. Except for the two of us, of course.
With a fresh Bramboracky and a shared Czech white, we sat down to enjoy the music.
Who doesn’t love a Babushka playing accordion?
As for the other two festivals we had hoped to attend? Well, “Festival” can mean anything from six vendors and a moon bounce to lanes of artisans and food trucks, and everything in between, so we have learned to temper our expectations. Generally, however, most have no entrance fees; on occasion there is a modest charge of a couple of Euros (equivalent).
At the “Wine Festival” in Velke Pavlovice we stopped after leaving Bzenec the entrance to the festival area was a whopping 200 Koruna per person (€8). Wristbands were distributed, a general indication that one would be able to sample the wines, gratis. Our main objective however was to sit for lunch.
In short, we were cheated. The entrance fee was just that, nothing more. The “festival” included six wine vendors, two “food” stalls (spiral potatoes and sausage), a couple of artisans and a stage. There were additional costs to sample the wines, too! In fewer than five minutes we had surveyed this poor excuse for a festival and returned to the wagon, feeling rather sour about having wasted both time and money. Not to mention the hangrys had begun to set in.
A painted chapel along our route.
Our hope that the final festival of our proposed plan, a cheese competition in Mikulov would offer something interesting to nom was dashed when en route the zero percent chance of precipitation became a downpour that settled into actual rain. Sigh.
Clayton Theodore enjoying the last morsel from our lunch at the Golden Arch Steak House along the A5. I shall just end this post on that note.