05 June 2011

Beating the Heat in Olomouc

It was hot during our stay in Olomouc. Very, very hot - at least for early June. It seems too hot for the peonies and roses to be so fully in bloom, as they are. We visited the botanic garden's "rozarium," bizarrely - sovietly? - planted in cement blocks. Two people sat in the shade and this woman toured the grounds with her summer umbrella. Before and after the garden, we drank iced coffees, cobbled together with ice and espresso by some particularly game baristas who had only ever made an ice cream variety.
As we sat at an outdoor table, under an umbrella, we saw a little girl leading her mother down the sidewalk wearing only sunglasses, a tank top, bathing suit bottom and crocs. "What pool is she going to?" we wondered allowed, sweating. When finished with our lunch, we walked to the square and saw the little girl, now wearing even less (tank top in mom's hand) splashing around in one of Olomouc's six baroque fountains. We felt it was more appropriate to post a photo of some more clothed children (in a more modern fountain).
Near the outdoor market, which was half closing and half closed, a few men displayed the sad effects of trying to cool down with too many beers. They sat slumped up against the train station turned casino, which touted slot machines and air conditioning. This little boy led us in the more admirable route of ice cream consumption. I'm pretty sure he's spooning his cone with a lollipop.
I guess the cool kids prefer grape to grain in this city. Groups of two, three or four, ducked down into the cooler climates for a glass of white. All around Olomouc are "vinotekas," which are basically wine shops with a table or two and a tap. Moravian wine is big here and the wine shop/bars seem to attract the college aged crowd.
We decided to do the honorable thing and escape the heat by visiting a museum. The Archdiocesan Museum was a labyrinth, which we were directed through by seated older women in each and every room. They would put down their crosswords, stand and point us in the correct direction. The more suspicious or bored ones would follow us around as we checked out the impressive collection (which included this completely over-the-top bishop's carriage). It kept us out of the heat for a good long while...but we still envied that little girl in the fountain.

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