Walk in the Woods to a Brewery

It’s mid-summer and we have grown weary of many things. The COVID news is perpetually bad. The numbers in Prague and the Czech Republic are growing daily. And somehow, as if we live in one of Stephen King’s dystopian novels, not only are we forced to hear Donald Trump’s voice every day, what he says has bearing on the world’s events. What hell is this?

Anyway, we decide to escape it for the day by walking through nature. I love nature. I mean, sure, I don’t really like wasps or hills or the sun or cows who have a bit too much attitude for future steak or rocks or not being able to have pizza at a moment’s notice, but nature’s great. What makes it better is that we are enjoying nature in the Czech Republic, which means that all along the places where people enjoy nature there are pubs filled with pickled cheese and tank beer. And best of all, we’re not only hiking through nature, we’re hiking through nature to a brewery.

But still, we’re in nature. I find a wee difference in the mentality between stomping through the nature of my local park and stomping through the nature outside of the city. I know it’s a short hike and not the K-2, but that doesn’t matter. We are walking outside of the city. We are in the haven of wild animals and the elements. Our ears become more attuned to the sounds of nature, our hands become more sure, and our eyes narrow against the sun (or, more accurately, the sunblock).      

The walk is from the small village of Roztoky to the smaller village of Únětice, where we will stop for lunch and beers at the brewery of my favorite beer. The day is hot, but there’s a lot of shade. It’s flat and along a pleasant stream. We have seen two lizards (or possibly one very fast and dedicated lizard), several ducks, three airplanes, another X (oddly), and a horse. We believe that we have been in tune with nature enough to enjoy beers and fried steaks free of guilt.

Hector the Lizard

By the time we reach the village about 90 minutes after setting off, I feel like Gus McCrae leading a band of Texas rangers through hostile land. I am sweating and swigging on occasion at my water bottle. We bite into a pistachio granola bar and when Burke asks where we should go, I point with my titanium walking stick to a sign that says: pivovar (brewery). We follow it until we’re crossing a bridge over a brook with the brewery in sight.

In my best outdoor guide voice, I say: “Oooh, they have those nice little misty things to cool us down. Oh and remember, we need to google the closest bus stop for later.

Shangri La with Beer

We sit outside in the brewery’s garden. Nature has been defeated for the day, aside from the pesky wasps who seem to like my guláš. We take some pictures and slurp down some well-earned beers. Excursions like this one are relatively common for Czechs. They ski, hike, canoe, rock climb, and their trail often ends at a pub. It gives an awful lot of insight into why the Czechs love their outdoor sports. It’s perhaps the best possible reward for a walk in the woods.

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