Plzen: day one and a half

So, today was my first full day in the Western Bohemian city of Plzen. As I said yesterday on Facebook, it may be a big city, but it has that homely, laid back feeling. My day really started at lunchtime, where I went to the steakhouse adjacent to my hostel; after living off of sandwiches and sausages for the last two weeks, a steak and beer hit the spot! One thing I noticed was that a medium sized steak plus a fairly large beer ran me just under $6. What a deal! After that, I headed off into town to try and catch either the Pilsner brewery tour, or an underground tour led by the good folk at the Brewery Museum (beer is a very important aspect of Plzen, as I’ll explain later). I didn’t make it in time to catch either, but fortunately the former had several tours going on later in the day. Thus, I had about an hour to kill. I chose to spend this by hanging out in the main square, which definitely was a lot, lot, lot less crowded than Prague’s. In a way, I liked that-I could walk around at a more leisurely pace. From there, I finally made it to the Pilsner Urquell brewery, which turned out to be amazing! I actually got a student discount, which I will say is amazing when traveling through Europe, and saved a few dollars. The English-tour lasted about 90 minutes, and was super fascinating. Our guide totally knew his stuff, and we learned about how massive the brewery really was: they can pump roughly 285 million gallons of beer a minute. Impressive, right? Just being able to see the equipment used was extraordinary as well! The most interesting fact concerned the brewery itself. Apparently post WW1 there was a mini city within the actual city, replete with houses, schools, and a fire department, all around the brewery. Serious business indeed. Finally, the tour concluded with everyone (over 18) getting a free beer straight from the tap. Like, this was the purest form of Pilsner beer one can get, and this type cannot be bought anywhere else except this brewery. Amazing way to spend the day, I say!

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8 thoughts on “Plzen: day one and a half

  1. 285 million gallons of beer a minute? Er, that figure seems a tad too high. They could fill Lake Michigan in a week at that rate, I expect. (The breweries in Milwaukee might want that consignment, I bet.)

    • It’s a massive brewery. Though I might not have heard the guide correctly and may have got “million” confused with “thousand”; people were talking when he was, so that could be why. Either way, it is an impressive amount.

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  3. This city is my home, so I’m glad you enjoyed it, even though it sounds like you haven’t really seen anything from the it, aside from the brewery. Which is a shame because there are lots and lots of interesting stuff here, aside from history there’s a science center or various artworks on the houses around the center, for example. It’s also one of the few cities that were actually freed by Americans at the end of WWII. The tower of the church in the Main square is the tallest in Czechia and provides a nice panoramatic view of the city. The synagoque (sp?) near the Main square is the third largest in the whole World. Ah, I could seriously go on for ages. Btw fun fact about the brewery – it’s close to the main train station (since you said in your other article that you were traveling by train, I asume you’ve seen that) and during WWII the Alies wanted to bomb the station to stop trains from going to Germany (as we were ocupied by Germany), but since both the station and the brewery are so huge and close to the river, they’ve ended up bombing the brewery instead. There’s still a joke going that, in the end, that hurt us more than if they actually did hit the station, haha 😀 Oh btw the big crossroad in front of the brewery gets closed for a few days every year when the brewery makes this musical festival thingy.
    Well I better stop now, good you enjoyed your time here as well 😀

    • I do feel bad for not getting to see too much of it, yeah. I did go to the Patton Memorial as well as walking around town, taking in the sights. Sadly, didn’t get a chance to see the synagogue, much to my chagrin.

  4. Pingback: Plzen as an alternative to Prague | Travel perspective, tales, and advice

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