A Saturday Wine Festival. One of my favorite things to do in the fall season (here in Czech) is to attend the many wine festivals & autumn markets around the city. There’s nothing better than people watching & walking around the chilly leaf-ridden streets with a cup of steaming wine or Burcak (young wine, which is only made in Czech or Moravian vineyards). It’s also just as satisfying to stroll through the wooden market stalls with their smokey smells of kielbasa & the sound of skewers sizzling on large pans; reminding me of campfires in the fall with my family - both nostalgic & bringing me to a place that I never thought I could be.
A Train Ride to Kutna Hora. Taking day trips out of Prague & into the Czech countryside is another favorite thing of mine to do in autumn. The hilly landscape of bright orange, red, & deep green hues is made even more pronounced by little villages that are far away from the big city. Kutna Hora was especially beautiful to visit in the fall, with leaves covering the cobblestone streets & creating a romantic backdrop for our walk from church to church. We visited the Sedlec Ossuary first (which is a chapel decorated with over 40,000 human bones), & while I’ve heard many great things about the church since we first came to Prague, it definitely gave me an unsettling, creeped-out feeling. Afterwards, we ate at a tucked away pub that was nestled into a hillside & ate some of the best schnitzel & mashed potatoes that I’ve tasted in Europe (even including Germany). & when we were full on good food, coffee, & beer, we made the trek up to the grand cathedral on top of the village & explored the sanctuary inside; looking around for a few minutes before racing back to our train - a perfect getaway with friends.
A Walk Along the Vltava. The wind was whipping our faces & stinging our cheeks when we stepped off the tram into the cold. We were bundled up pretty well: me in my winter coat & oversized wooly scarf & thick mittens, & Dan in his usual layer of one light jacket & a hat. The boy never gets cold in this weather, in any weather; a detail about him that I've come to know well. We were headed down to the river’s edge, Naplavka, where the weekend farmer’s market was open & bustling. Fish stands packed with ice that smelled like lake water, hot & savory dishes cooking on outdoor grills, flower stands with cartons of wild bouquets & buckets of roses, bakeries with pastries & bread & sweets of all kinds - these were my sights, my smells. We lingered at a few stalls - a ceramic booth, a burger vendor, a wood carver - before walking back up the hill to a warm lunch of soup & salad. Most weekends we steer clear of the crowds & tourists, but a stop at the market (albeit, a quick stop) is always worth our time.