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!