30.12.2015 – MELNIK – CZECH RAVELLO

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THIS TIME WE ARE GOING TO CELEBRATE THE NEW YEAR IN PRAGUE! BY SOME MIRACLE WE HAVE MANAGED TO GRAB TICKETS FOR THE „NEW YEAR EVE IN OPERA” (SILVESTR V OPEŘE) IN PRAGUE. THE PROGRAMME FITS 100% IN OUR REQUIREMENTS – IT INCLUDES AN OPERETTA DIE FLEDERMAUS BY JOHANN STRAUSS; FOOD AND DRINKS – “ALL INCLUSIVE”; OFFICIAL WELCOME OF NEW YEAR WITH A GLASS OF CHAMPAGNE, MIX AND MINGLE WITH ACTORS AND SINGERS AND DANCING ON THE STAGE ACCOMPAGNED BY A SWING ORCHESTRA.

WE HAD TO BOOK OUR ACCOMMODATION IN MELNIK – A VILLAGE SITUATED AT ABOUT 40 KM FROM PRAGUE, AS THE PRICES OF HOTELS IN PRAGUE – THE CAPITAL CITY OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC – HAVE GONE THROUGH THE ROOF IN THIS PERIOD (3 WEEKS BEFORE NEW YEAR). WE WERE NOT ABLE TO FIND ANYTHING BELOW 160 € PER NIGHT, BUT IN MENTIONED ABOVE SMALL TOWN WE HAVE BOOKED A REASONABLE ROOM WITH AN EN SUITE IN AN INN FOR 32 € FOR A DAY.

WE LEFT OUR HOME ON 30.12.2015 AT AROUND 9 AM HOPING TO REACH MELNIK AT ABOUT 2 PM CHOOSING THE UNTYPICAL ROUTE. INSTEAD OF RAMBLING THROUGH THE MOTORWAYS I SELECTED SLOWER, SHORTER BY ABOUT 100 KM ROAD. IN THIS WAY I AVOIDED THE SYSTEM OF VIGNETTES PAYMENTS BYPASSING SPEEDWAYS, WHICH SAVED US ABOUT 100 PLN OF PETROL AND OF LIMITED-ACCESS HIGHWAY FEES COSTS.

         THE FIRST STOP WAS AT ABOUT 12 PM AT A FILLING STATION WITH EXCEPTIONALLY LOW PETROL PRICES. THIS WAS AFTER TRAVELLING 160 KM. JUST WHEN I WAS GOING TO PAY, I HAVE DISCOVERED THAT DO NOT HAVE MY WALLET – I HAVE LEFT MY JACKET WITH ALL MY DOCUMENTS, CARDS AND THE CZECH MONEY AT HOME. WE DID NOT HAVE ANY OTHER OPTIONS – HAD TO TURN BACK AND HEAD HOME. THIS WAS ONE FOR THE ”SENIOR MOMENTS” – WHICH DOES HAPPEN FOR US – ‘THE RECYCLED TEENAGES” MORE OFTEN THAT WE WOULD WISH FOR. FOR SOME IT HAPPENS MORE OFTEN THEN FOR OTHERS – THIS IS KIND OF „YOUTHFUL” DISTRACTION – NO SURPRISE THAT IT IS SAID THAT AGING PEOPLE BECOME MORE LIKE CHILDREN.
          I WAS REALLY MAD AT MYSELF, SO I PUSHED THE PEDAL HARD TO THE FLOOR AND SPED HOME. OUR PET WAS TOTALLY MISTIFIED – THE OWNERS FIRST LEFT HIM WITH FOOD FOR A FEW DAYS, THEN CAME BACK AFTER A FEW HOURS „HMM.. STRANGE – I HOPE THAT THEY WOULD NOT TAKE AWAY ALL THE GOODIES THEY HAVE GIVEN ME BEFORE?”
         WE HIT THE ROAD AGAIN AT 2.10 PM AND REACHED MELNIK JUST BEFORE 8 PM – AFTER FIVE HOURS AND FORTY MINUTES. WE HAVE STOPPED THREE TIEMS ON THE WAY, TWICE TO GET PETROL AND ONCE TO WASH CAR. OUR INN – “HOSPODA U BENISKU” WAS WAITING FOR US PATIENTLY; AFTER SETTLING INTO OUR ROOM, WE WENT DOWN TO FIND SOMETHING TO EAT.

WE HAVE ENDED UP WITH: “UTOPENEC”, THREE SCHNITZELS, A BEEF TARTARE WITH THREE THICK TOASTS AND WASHED IT ALL DOWN WITH TWO LARGE AND TWO SMALL JAGS OF BEER. AFTER ALL THAT WE WENT FOR A WALK IN MELNIK – A SMALL BUT PICTURESQUE VILLAGE – LOTS IS HAPPENING THERE.

UTOPENCE

UTOPENCE

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ALL HISTORICAL PLACES ARE OF COURSE CLOSED AT THIS TIME OF THE YEAR (AND DAY), BUT THE BARS AND WINERIES WERE STILL VERY MUCH OPENED. WE HAVE POPPED IN TO A FEW MORE INTERESTING LOOKING PLACES TO ASK IF THERE WERE OPENED FOR THE NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS – MAJORITY WERE „ZAVŘENO” CLOSED, BUT WE HAVE FOUND A FEW WHICH WERE GOING TO KEEP THEIR DOORS OPENED. THE THREE PLACES THAT WE HAVE FOUND MOST INTERESTING WERE A BAR „NOČNÍ BAR DÍRA” AND TWO RESTAURANTS: “U CISARE” AND „CHATEAU RESTAURANT”.
WE HAVE BRIEFLY VISITED THE OLD TOWN CENTRE AND POPPED IN A BAR „DÍRA” FOR A NIGHTCUP  (JAGERMEISTER). COOLISH, GOOD MOOD PUB, WHICH LOOKED A BIT LIKE AN ITALIAN TRATTORIA OR AN ENGLISH PUB. THE MUSIC WAS GREAT TOO –  BEATLES, PINK FLOYD, LED ZEPPELIN, GRAND FUNK AND SIMILAR, AND SMOKING WAS ALLOWED THERE!! IT WAS A BIT DARK IN THERE, WHICH HELPED  CONCEALLING OUR AGE 😉 . PRICES WERE AVERAGE. 🙂
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WE HAVE RETURNED TO OUR INN AT AROUND 11 PM – WE NEEDED A GOOD SLEEP BEFORE THE NEXT DAY’S CELEBRATIONS OF NEW YEAR EVE.

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