Saturday, December 5, 2015

Krampus: Keepin the Kiddies in Line Since Ancient(ish) Times

Ever since Christoph Waltz (the gem of Austria) did an entertaining and extremely funny interview with Jimmy Fallon (seen here), and now that a Krampus movie is about to hit theaters in the States (and elsewhere), a lot of friends and family have some questions about this mythical figure. My first year in Austria, I asked people about Krampus after I started seeing hilarious (in a dark-humor sort of way) chocolates and various other sweets with a "devil" on them. Instead of learning the backstory about this dark figure I learned that it is common for young men to dress like Krampus and beat people on a scale from bruises\welts to brain damage. Since people are not fond of themselves or loved ones becoming irrevocably brain damaged due to intoxicated and anonymous individuals playing dress-up, in most villages people have to register so that they can be reported for too much violence. There are, however, still some smaller villages that have a more "it's traditional to maybe die or become permanently maimed" attitude towards the whole affair so maybe you should ask some locals before strolling around after dark on 12/5.

Here are some real Krampus customes from a town in Tirol. (picture from www.meinbezirk.at)



From what I have gathered about Krampus, he is simply the dark-side to Santa's kindness. Good children get toys, bad children get beaten with a chain/whip and possibly taken away from their homes forever. Very ying and yang and also terrifying. Here is the wiki about him if you are still curious. In recent years Krampus has become much less traditional according to locals that grew up with him, but for a foreigner it certainly highlights some of the differences in our cultures. On a side note, the lyrics to "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" take on a sinister tone once you realize Santa Claus'll be bringing his dark buddy with him.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Törggelen! A food and wine fall feast!


 A brief history and background:

Törggelen (pronouced turckle-in) is an autumn tradition in Südtirol (South Tirol, Italy), but also a tradition in (North) Tirol in Austria as well. South Tirol was in Austria until 1919 , this province is 2/3 German speaking but everything is usually bilingual in German and Italian, as such South Tirol and North Tirol share many similar traditions. Törggelen begins in early October and lasting until late November or early December Apparently, after the new wines were 'turned' the winegrowers would walk to the next winegrower to have him taste the young wine (which is why this is more popular in Südtirol as there are hundreds of wineries there, it's slightly warmer and sunnier than on the Northern side of the Alps in Innsbruck). Now, typically small restaurants, huts, guest houses, or farms host groups for the feast traditionally served with red wine, sausage, sauerkraut, and roasted chestnuts.

While our Törggelen experience took place in 2015 the roots of this tradition were still be apparent. Eight of us traveled to Klausen, Südtirol, Italy, a small town of 5,000 in order to have a better and more authentic Törggelen experience, than what would be available in Innsbruck (which would be great, I'm sure, but a little more touristy and expensive I think). The extra travel (about 80 minute drive) proved to be worth while as our experience was one we'll always remember. Additionally, the drive through to Alps to Italy was filled with spectacular vistas.

Our restaurant (Hienghof) was step atop a hill with a vineyard, which can only be reached by a narrow and windy road, featured a homey and comfortable aesthetic and familial atmosphere.  As soon as we were seated and comfortable we were offered red wine, water (still or sparkling), and apple juice. Our table took the lot and soon after our beverages arrived we were brought home-made bread. We were then asked about appetizers and had a choice of three, two soups (Gerstlesuppe and
Sauersuppe) and a pasta (Schlutzkrapfen).

 I took the Schlutzkrapfen and Dr Husband took the Gerstlesuppe. Both were good but I preferred my pasta. We drank wine from blue mugs (Krüge) and before we knew it our main course arrived. The main course consisted of sauerkraut, pork ribs, pork sausage, and blood sausage. It was served in a large iron tray. We stuffed ourselves with food and wine and Kahlua helped clean up anything which fell to the floor. After the meal (and seconds) we were given options of schnapps to try to go along with the Marillenkrapfen (it was a long fried dough filled with apricot jam, the other version is very much like a donut). I had a dark-nut schnapps and another with an orange color while Dr Husband took the blackberry schnapps. The schnapps are considered a digestive to help with heavy meals. I am not sure if that is how it works, but you certainly feel better after one or two ;)

Overall it was a very special experience and we are looking forward to trying it again. Especially because we were too early for roasted chestnuts!


Fuji Sushi in Innsbruck is Awesome!




I try not to get cravings for things not from here because it will ultimately end in at least a little disappointment (even our burri-feaux are just "pretty good"). This weekend I was feeling indulgent and a little sad Halloween isn't really celebrated here despite there being a growing number of trick or treaters and Halloween decor in stores. I wanted something I hadn't had in a very long time, something foreign, like me living in this Halloween-less land... I wanted sushi.

I'd been met with "ok" sushi in Innsbruck and Vienna before, so I kept my expectations in check when Dr Husband found a restaurant by Googling "am besten sushi in Innsbruck." We walked over a mile to a very small and modest restaurant situated in the same complex as a police station. The sign out front was partially erased and listed an "all you can eat" menu as well as some sushi specials. With some skepticism, we walked inside.

The first thing I noticed was the conveyor belt full of different foods in the center of the small room. There were a fair number of patrons, always a good sign, but the different conversations and constantly moving food were definitely overwhelming.  We were seated in front of the belt and asked what we wanted to drink. Dr Husband asked for a menu, which was very helpful as it bought us some time to get our bearings. It turned out that the conveyor belt of food was all you can eat, for a very reasonable price. We decided to go for it, and ordered teas to drink.

The food was awesome and surprisingly varied. I had different types of maki and nigiri sushi, fried chicken, fried rice, stir-fried chicken and veggies in sauce, and a ginger-based salad. Additionally, I tried Dr Husband's stir-fried beef and veggies in a sauce. He also had a friend corn dumpling which he said was good, but I did not try. We were so pleasantly surprised by the food and value that we were already talking about how we couldn't wait to go back again. The staff was all very nice, and the value to food quality made us very happy overall.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Padua - Land of Old Cathedrals





The morning after our Opera experience was late and leisurely since we did not get home until after 12:30. The hotel we were staying in (Hotel Verona) is much more luxurious than our usual accommodations. It had a separate kitchen / small living room area in addition to the bedroom and bathroom. When we finally dragged ourselves out of bed to procure some sustenance, we stopped by Pizzeria Doga, a small pizza stand for lunch. We both got Panzerotti, a small calzone-like creation, while definitely not healthy, was delicious and restorative. I had the spinach and Dr Husband the pepperoni it was exactly what we needed to fuel our trip to Padua.

Luckily we had assigned seats on the train as it was quite full. We arrived in Padua an hour later excited to see what the "oldest" city in Northern Italy looks like. Turns out the area next to the train station is quite modern and not very remarkable. Boldly we purchased tickets for the streetcar and attempted to navigate the new town to find out hotel. This didn't go quite as smoothly as planned, partly because we got off the streetcar two stops too early, and partially because our hotel is not close to a main street. Nevertheless, we were able to find it and get checked in.


Unfortunately for us, and Hundie, our new hotel room was maybe half the size of the one we stayed in the night before. It was difficult to walk around the room because the bed took up most if it, and it was not even a queen size bed. With us, the dog, and the suitcase, it definitely felt pretty cramped. Nevertheless, the we were determined to explore Padua, home to the second-oldest University. That first day / evening there we explored the two main piazzas in the city center, one of which is boarded by the Palazzo della Ragione, 800 years old!


We were able to get cheap drinks at various locations which helped to lucubrate our exploration. Time got away from us however, and we soon realized most restaurants were either full or they were closing. Luckily, there was a very nice restaurant (Trattoria Al Prato) that was still seating people and we were fortunate enough to get a a delicious meal there. We got two antipastas (beef tartar and prosuito) and two prime piattas (tagalioni and ravoli) and split a bottle of Merlot (it's okay, even the Italians drink French wine). It felt relaxing and romantic and Dr Husband got the benefit of the view of the Prato della Vella. We were happy to be on their covered patio as it had begun to rain. There was no English menu and our server didn't speak any English but as would learn pointing is a very effective means of communication.  After dinner we returned to our shoebox so that we might rest for our trip to Venice the next day.



The next day we journeyed to Venice (see here) but returned by the evening where we turned in early because exploring Venice is exhausting. The next morning we slept in and decided we'd rather spend a day leisurely sightseeing in Padua than returning to Venice. We got two croissants and cappuccinos at a nearby cafe where we took bar service so that we didn't have to pay a table fee. I would describe ordering breakfast at an Italian cafe for bar service as orderly chaos. There must have been some sort of system in place but I could not understand it. Luckily, Dr. Husband was not a novice to the cafe ordering system so he seemed to know what to do. Then we took turns going into the Abbey of Saint Giustina since dogs and "scantily" clad women were not allowed. Dr. Husband claims he saw a women get yelled at because you could see her shoulders. I can neither confirm nor deny this, but I wouldn't be surprised. This abbey is massive. If the goal was to intimidate and force the perspective that you were small then the goal was achieved. Additionally, there is a small basilica attached on the side with lovely paint and stonework.





While the abbey was colossal and awe inspiring, the grandeur of the Basilica of Saint Anthony cannot be understated. There was a long line of catholic pilgrims there to pay homage to Saint Anthony whose remains?? are in the attached Chapel of Saint Anthony. There is a saying - if you've seen one cathedral in Europe you've seen them all, This is absolutely not true for the Basilica of Saint Anthony. The Byzantine/Islamic style of the interior domes which were painted dark blue with gold stars was so captivating for me that I stood there looking up for an indeterminate amount of time.





After exiting Dr Husband, Hundie, and I went to a nearby cafe to have second cappuccinos and a famous canoli (not technically a desert from Veneto, but I digress). Feeling better with more sugar and caffeine we went again to the city center. There we walked around while I delved deeper into my new found admiration of campari spritz and Dr. Husband tried some of the Italian craft beer. When it was time another meal we headed to the fish market street stand a few feet away where Dr. Husband picked out some seafood similar to the cicchetti we had in Venice with the exception of the the two people speaking zero English. The fresh fried calamari and scrimp scampi were delicious.




Next we went to the Padua Cathedral. As Dr. Husband would say it was the least inspiring but still impressive of the three cathedrals located in Padua. A block away was a more college-aged bar where the weekend of campari spritz continued, but this time with a side of sandwiches. Earlier we had stopped by a local craft beer store which came in handy for enjoying the Prato della Vella in the twilight - a common and traditional practice for students and others in Padua.

Overall it was a delightful and pleasant day in northern Italy's oldest city. It was the cherry on the cake of a lovely vacation in the Veneto province.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

It's Easy to See Why Shakespear was Inspired by Venice






I don't think I need to make an introduction for Venice. Everyone and their Granny knows what and roughly where (hint: Italy) it is. Since I have now been there, I can say with some credibility: there is definitely a justification for this fact. Stepping out of the train station after getting out of a crowded, late-running regional Italian train, made all of my previous annoyances for the last 45 minutes whisk to the back of my mind as two thoughts rushed to the forefront. 1) Wow. 2) Ho-lee sheeeeet.

While there were hundreds, if not thousands, of tourists milling around I could only focus on the Grand Canal spread before me. The canal is wide with many taxis, buses, and private vehicles, all boats of course, loading and unloading passengers and generally going about their business. The buildings on the far side featured domes, had white paint with blue and gold accents, and were generally very well maintained. There is absolutely no doubt that the wealthy merchants of the past built this city to show-off and impress.





When I finally regained motor-skill function we began to make our way into Venice... overall first impressions were: this place is beautiful, and wow this place is super crowded. While the Venetian city planners of old had definitely succeeded in making the city beautiful and impressive, there skills in accommodating thousands of tourists daily, and making it easy to navigate all the twisty canals and alleys, the only way to travel terrestrially, were seriously lacking. Luckily for us, we have some "international" data on our phones so we were able to get around ok, but this really isn't the type of city to just "get lost in" because that seems to happen very naturally ....with or without a map.





We are also fortunate to have gotten advice from people that had been to Venice before and warned us about the very expensive and non-traditional food found close to all the major tourist destinations. Since we are the sort of tourists that prefer to get to know a city through our bellies, this proved to be invaluable information because we were able to experience authentic Venetian cuisine in an inexpensive and diverse manner, cicchetti. Cicchetti are small plates usually enjoyed with a glass of wine while standing at the bar instead of sitting at a table. The diversity of cicchettis varies from establishment to establishment, from small fish on bread to tiny octopodes in tomato sauce.




Here is a list of places we went with a general idea of what types of cicchetti they served:


Cantina do Spada - traditional Cicchetti Bar, prawns, octopus, fried cheese, sardines (above)



Cantina Do Mori - sliced baguette with fish (left))



Osteria Antico Dolo -  fried and cheese based dishes (below)




Most of these restaurants and/or cicchetti bars are close to the fish market, which we strolled through between food/drink stops. The multitude of fish and tentacled sea creatures of various shapes and sizes was as impressive as it was fragrant... which brings me to my next point. While Venice is famous for its canals, gondolas, and beauty... it is also famous for smelling a little, say, fishy. When we were there it was not especially noticeable, but I have heard from several sources that it can become unpleasant especially if it is hot out.



Next we went to the worst kept secret in all of Italy... St Mark Plaza. While the plaza itself is spacious and absolutely incredible, the narrow allies to and from the plaza are packed with people. This includes the famous Rialto Bridge, which features many shops and eating establishments including a Hard Rock Cafe. The sheer number of human bodies was overwhelming, but they were there for good reason. The Venetians of old certainly knew how to make an impressive plaza.






Unfortunately we were unable to go into the St Marko Basilica, as the line was hundreds of people long, and Hundie was with us meaning we would've had to taken turns going in as animals are generally not allowed in old, well preserved cathedrals... go figure. Instead we headed toward the water where we found an array of artists selling paintings, drawings, and etchings of Venice. We ended up purchasing two oil paintings on canvas, which I think make really lovely souvenirs.






After exploring the more touristy section of Venice for an hour or two (or maybe 45 minutes, who knows?) we went back to the cicchetti bar Cantina do Spada, where we enjoyed smalls plates and drinks until it was time for their afternoon quiet hours (around 3 pm until they reopened for dinner at 7 pm) when we slowly meandered (read: got semi-lost occasionally) back to the train station to return to our home base, Padua. The reason we stayed in Padua was because hotels were literally 1/3 price of staying in Venice. A 22 minute train ride is a small sacrifice to make in order to have more money for cicchetti and wine. On our return trip, we splurged the extra 2€ each for first class tickets.. which proved to be well worth the price as we were guaranteed seats (you are lucky to get 2 sq ft to yourself in 2nd class... it is very crowded), and we were all very tired by the end of the day.          






Sunday, October 4, 2015

Ole timey entertainment -- goin' to the Opera

Three months ago...
The first stop on our tour de (di, die? all of these languages are confusing) Veneto Region of Italy was Verona where we decided to be über cultural and take in an opera. The Super Cultural Thing took place in the open air Roman Arena where people had been entertained for hundreds of years. I don't know for certain if people died there, but in my mind it definitely happened (ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!). In the weeks leading up to the Opera, Dr. Husband became increasingly paranoid that there would be blood rain, while I became increasingly obsessed with doing the Roman thumbs up/down motion having Italian wine. While he would be proven to be correct, the five minute rain really didn't add too much time to the OMG SO CULTURAL OPERA, plus it allowed me to obtain an over-priced adult beverage at the Arena.


We (I) decided to see Aida (pronounced eye-ee-da) because the story-line and sets looked more interesting than that of Don Giovanni (one of the most popular Operas of all time), and as the Opera was in Italian I thought this would be helpful to keep us engaged. Now before I go any further in my description of this performance of Aida, I want to say that I love musicals and musical theater. Love it. I once got 9 out of 10 points for my team at bar trivia answering questions about musicals. I’ve been sitting through musicals/ballets/plays since I was old enough to sit upright by myself (BTW why is The Nutcracker considered a children’s show?? ). And while I may not always be  into going to the theater or ballet in general, you can bet your bottom dollar that I at least appreciate the performers and their craft. Back to Aida.

 
First of all, it was like 4.5 hours long. That is just…. rudely long. Then it made the mistake of being in Italian, which I don’t understand. All of the action took place in like 5 seconds, and there wasn’t much happening in the acting department. If we hadn’t looked up the plot again to read as we watched, I would have just thought a lot of people wandered on stage and started singing at me aggressively. At one point (SPOILERS FOR THIS EPICLY LONG 350 YEAR OLD OPERA) Aida is supposed to be seducing the main guy Heckifiknow, and they were just sort of standing next to each other hugging occasionally. 
 
I know most guys are easy, but c’mon. Maybe next time show your ankle to really get the juices flowing. Anyways, the sets were really cool, and the costumes looked pretty neat but the length in addition to the woman sitting next to me that would bite the air occasionally (some sort of tick?) made the experience less than stellar. I think Don Giovanni is more popular because it’s 40 minutes shorter. I’m glad we went, and I am definitely open to going to the opera again. Provided it’s shorter, and I’m at least semi-aware of the music in it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Getting Rosy-Cheeked in Rosenheim: A Tale of 'Maß'ive Beers





As people in the Northern Hemisphere are aware in September fall begins. Along with cooler temperatures and turning leaves there are festivals to celebrate this time of year. One of the most famous of these fall festivals takes place in Munich and is known as Oktoberfest. However, since we know people that have worked and gone to Oktoberfest and heard their tales of drunkenness and people using the whole tent as a bathroom we decided a smaller festival might be more to our liking.

With a little research and talking to some other locals we discovered the Rosenheim Herbstfest (Autumn Festival) in Rosenheim, Bavaria, Germany. Our journey began bright and early on a chilly Saturday morning. When we arrived at the train station we found that there were already people, clad in Lederhosen and Dirndl, celebrating the Rosenheim Festival. The train ride was almost like going back in time to college on Spring Break, all around us there were people drinking all assortments of wine and beer  as well as taking shots before 9 am. Needless to say, we were not sure what to expect when we made it to our destination. It turns out, our destination looked more like a County Fair than a mecca for drunken debauchery. In fact from the outside (and inside) of the beer tents everything had a quaint appearance.



We found a table at the Auerbräu beer tent (one of the two) and ordered our first Maß of beer for the day (1 Maß = 1 liter). With our second Maß we moved to a different section as we knew one of the waiters working at the tent and decided it was necessary to order some food. I got the Schweinesbraten (roast pork shoulder) while Dr Husband got the Schweinshax'n  (roasted hind pork leg/knuckle), both served with a Semmelknödle (bread dumpling), potato dumpling, and Sauerkrout/Cabbage salad. Our food arrived and spirits soared as we realized how delicious it was. With food in our belly we decided to explore some of the fair / visit the other beer tent.





We randomly decided to go on the Spooky ride which had more cheese than spook. Satisfied that we had experienced the fair portion of the festival, we made our way to visit the other beer tent, Flötzinger Bräu, after all we needed to be well informed if we were going to recommend this place to other people. This tent featured a large band playing traditional Bavarian music. Occasionally people would stand up in their seats and raise their beers and begin singing along to the songs. We don't know why or what the songs were about, after all it was drunk singing in German, but it seemed important to them.



After taking in what the tent had to offer, we went back to the original tent for a traditional large, soft pretzel. It was also very good. Since it was getting closer to evening and we were still capable of making coherent decisions, we headed back to the train station to go back to Innsbruck. As we were going into the train station, we saw a wave of people arriving, some walking straighter than others, so I think we made the right decision. As an added bonus, we were able to take the fast train back which saved us close to 40 minutes on the return.

Overall it was a very pleasant experience, and I would recommend the Rosenheim Herbstfest. An important note would be that we only heard people speaking German while we were there, and we did all of our ordering and paying in German. The servers were friendly enough that I think pointing to what you want on a menu would be fine, and I'm sure most of them knew at least some English, but it was definitely worth mentioning. We will definitely be returning next year!




Friday, August 7, 2015

Things I've Learned about Moving and Living Abroad

    Because yesterday was our official one year anniversary of arriving in Innsbruck, I've decided to look back on the things I've learned in the past year.


The world is both bigger and smaller than you expect
While the sheer number of languages and customs in Europe makes my head spin and reminds me how culturally sheltered I am, the media (movies, tv shows, music) consumed here is (and has been) largely American/from English speaking countries. One of the most surreal experiences of my life was going to a New Year's Eve party in Vienna where a cover band played all kinds of music... and I recognized every song. It's so strange to me that I've come halfway across the world and people will make The Big Bang Theory references to me. That being said, the language barrier is thiiiick and the customs here are super different.

Your life cannot be lived to meet other people's standards
I care about what people think about me. I know that's not the cool or confident thing to say, but it doesn't change the fact that it's true for me. This can be crippling when you move to a country where openly staring at someone is not considered rude, you don't know the language at allllll, and you're concerned about what people "back home" think about your joblessness. I've had to learn to adapt and not make external validation so important to me as well as not take everything so seriously. So what if for a while this year "successful" to me meant getting everything we needed from the supermarkt and not crying that day?  Along those lines....

You need to do what makes you happy
As long as that doesn't mean hurting anyone or anything,of course. When we first arrived, I really wanted to dress more "European" and stylish to fit in more. I'm not European or stylish so this was basically an exercise in futility. It sometimes weirds me out when people stare at my T-shirts (which are mostly beer related), but I just tell myself that they're trying to read it and move on. I do many activities "for fun." I run (slowly). I read books about teenage ghost robot wizard werewolves. Sometimes I write. At this point, finding something to feel joyful about is everything to me.

Language immersion is (probably) a myth
I had to add the probably because Dr Husband and I are not truly immersed in the language here. We speak English to each other, and most coworkers, colleagues, friends, and servers (although we now usually order in German) speak to us in English. We are taking classes, and we've gone from knowing 0 German to being able to speak terrible, simple German and write awkwardly phrased emails/texts to people. So progress is progress. But the notion that by simply living in a foreign country you will somehow learn the language by some sort of osmosis needs to die. Especially if that country is German-speaking.

The thing we miss the most is normalcy
Friends and family are always on our mind here. However, sometimes, out of tiredness or laziness, you just want what you know. You want the store hours to be more convenient. You don't want to have to think so much about words and translations. You want a delicious American fast food pizza. You try to focus on what you have now instead of what you're missing... but it's hard.

Europeans don't hate Americans
In general. Obviously not speaking the language makes some people very annoyed. Also not acting like a jackass helps too.

That's all I can think of for now. Thanks for reading! Having this blog as an outlet has been really great for me this year.  Cheers!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Prague: Race Day!






  I woke up on race day morning eager and nervous. It was finally time to do the thing I'd trained for months in the snow, ice, and sleet to be able to complete. Pre-race jitters set in while I was eating a smallish breakfast and prepared my body for a really long run (hint: so much vaseline). I packed my running supply belt (read: running fanny pack) with my race fuel of choice, gummy bears, then we headed  to the starting line! Unfortunately the start wasn't right outside of our hotel like my only other marathon experience so in order to run 26.2 miles (42k) I had to walk.  After a short metro ride, we followed the crowd to find the line up.



Because I am far from being an elite, or even "fast" runner, I put 4:30:00 as my projected finish time. While this is far from being a great time, it is certainly respectable, with an avg. pace below 10:17 min/miles. In most American marathons this pace would place you slightly behind the middle of the pack for line up. So you can imagine my surprise when I while searching for my corall, I walked right past everyone. That's right. My "respectable" might as well have been a casual stroll in Europe.

  
   I got one last good luck kiss (from Dr Husband) and pet (from Hundie) and took my spot at the end of the line. I shared some smiles and thumbs-up with my fellow slow pokes when a slow classic music piece started. "Ah. This must be the Czech National Anthem,"I thought. It was very dreary sounding, but given the somewhat depressing history of the Czech Republic it made sense to me. In fact, I was pretty sure I had heard that song in a WWII movie as people are being led into concentration camps. "Hopefully they will play something upbeat for the start next!" I thought. But then I noticed the line was moving forward. "Oh no!" I thought. I wanted something much happier to put me in a better mental state for the race. But alas, I could only picture super sad WWII images as I began my marathon.



    Then I ran. I don't remember much about the race, other than thinking about how much fun I was NOT having and the realization I would not come anywhere close to my goal despite being on target for over the first 20 miles. It was difficult. It was heartbreaking. It was impossible. But I finished. Teary-eyed, the first thing I told my smiling, cheering husband was that I didn't PR (personal record).  My official chip time was 4:52:19 which is far from terrible and better than not finishing, but I took it pretty hard (especially when I was on my target pace until mile 22). Here is a cool video Volkswagen Prague Marathon put together for me: video.



    While I was contemplating my intelligence and foot-falling-off-ness. Dr Husband visited a beer garden and a castle on the other side of the city. He got some cute pictures of him and Hundie so it seemed like they had fun sight seeing. He was definitely in a good mood when we finally met up at the finish line. Since the marathon finish bag consisted of A) water and B) sparkling water, I asked Dr husband to get me some food and a beer. He complied, and I sat on Prague's ancent historical old city center and ate a sausage and drank a beer while segways circled around me. It was a pretty surreal experience. Luckily, I had the presence of mind to request for my picture to be taken, and I think it's a classic.




    Not too long after that, we walked/limped our way on to the metro and then back to the hotel. I climbed the stairs (maybe on all-fours), then descended the stairs to take one of the most cleansing showers of my life. After that I laid in bed until Dr Husband started to sober up and decided he wanted more beer. So we ventured out to a super local bar (Dr Husband held up two fingers to order beers) (Restaurace U Vodárny). Czech beers must have some curative properties because I started feeling better almost immediately. Then we fulfilled my promise to myself by going back to Beer Geek where I tried a number of their beers. After some time there, we went to a restaurant (Vinárna Palečka) nearby where I had one of the best burgers of my life. I'm not just saying that because I ran a marathon, either. Dr Husband tried it, and he was super jealous of my tasty tasty dinner.





    Then we went back to the hotel to sleep an prepare for our journey back to Innsbruck. Which was mostly uneventful except for the super nice breakfast and coffees we got from a local coffee shop! Then we walked/limped around for a bit until making our way to the train station and back to Innsbruck.

Edited to include the names of the bar and restaurant we went to after the marathon and to make the 4:30:00 marathon pace correct. I highly recommend the burger from Vinárna Palečka if you are in Prague! It was delicious!