Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Oktober Reise, Day 6: Prague and the Sharks

Yesterday: The Train to Prague

Friday, October 7. After a lazy (but deservedly so) day in Prague yesterday, it's time to see the sights and drink the beer. The plan is to go across the river and up the hill to Klášterní Pivovar Strahov in the old monastery. But Paris needed to get new less-painful shoes first, so Mario and Ana went ahead while we went shopping. As it happened, there was a Foot Locker not too far away from the apartment, and the employees spoke pretty good English, and Paris got what she needed.

A fifteen-minute cab ride got us from Staré Mêsto to the imposing Strahovský klášter, home of Klášterní Pivovar Strahov and their Sv. Norbert beer since 2000.

All four beers I had were excellent: Amber Lager, Pale Ale, Antidepressant Dark Lager, and Antidepressant Brown Ale.

There were quite a few more beers on the menu, but I got filled up on their excellent pivovarský guláš.

We made our way down the hill on foot to work off that rich meal and make room for lunch (beers), and we were treated to spectacular views of this old city.

We found U sedmi Švábů along the way and slipped inside for a quick beer. Mine was a Beránek Weizenbier Nefiltrovaný, which was served way too cold, but it made a good base for the topinka.

We passed the Nový královský palác along the way. No longer a home to royalty, this week it was being used for an informal meeting of EU heads of state to discuss the war in Ukraine. (This explains why the whole area was swarming with cops.)

We continued down the hill all the way to the Karlův most, stopping for a Staropramen at the Rasiam Restaurant under the bridge's west end. At the bridge's east end, we could turn right and walk a short distance to the apartment, or we could walk a bit further to the Prague Beer Museum. Guess which one we picked.

The Prague Beer Museum isn't a museum at all, but a bar with about 30 beers on tap. They have three other locations in Prague besides this very convenient one.

The Bernard 12° Tmavý Ležák was a pretty good dark lager. The Náchod Primátor Weizenbier 12° was an excellent Hefeweizen. The Únětický 12° was a good Pilsner, and the "house beer", Real Deal Ale 13°, was a very tasty IPA brewed by Permon.

There's time for one more brewery and (no surprise) it's not far away. You'd never find Pivovar Staré Město without knowing where it was. It's below ground level on a tiny side alley between Betlémská and Náprstkova streets.

The Lager was excellent, the Single Hop Lager was OK, and the Amber Ale was oxidized beyond recognition.

And now, the point of the entire trip.

The San Jose Sharks were playing the first of two games against the Nashville Predators in the 2022 NHL Global Series. The Sharks are our team; Paris and I met at the games way back in their first season at the Cow Palace in 1991. We've been to hundreds of their games, including the overtime win in the 2016 Cup Final Game 3. Thanks to Paris, I got to play in the 2008 Shark for a Day fantasy camp. I even got a mention in the May 16, 1994 Sports Illustrated as "the loudest person in the loudest section" of the building.

Here's our Hockey Room at home — minus all the sweaters and signs that we hung up — where we watch the games now.

Paris and I took a cab from Pivovar Staré Město out to the O2 Arena, arriving in plenty of time for the skatearound. As you can see, our seats were way the hell up in the corner, just where we like to sit.

I got one picture of the player introductions too...then my phone battery died. Too many beer pictures, I guess.

The fans were about evenly split between Sharks and Predators, with a whole lot of Americans having made the trip. And the crowd was fun and into the game, but they were obviously soccer fans, singing songs and doing the wave during play.

As for the game itself, Nashville scored early, then hometown boy Tomáš Hertl tied it up mid-first. After that, it was all Nashville, and the Sharks lost 4-1.

We took a remarkably expensive cab back to the apartment and called it a night.

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