Sunday 10 April 2011

Life in Frydek-Mistek, Czech Republic

Despite the first month of my time in this part of Czech Republic being completely ruined by being almost immobile thanks to my ankle, its not too bad here. Unlike the other parts of Czech, as a forienger you get to experience what it is like to really live as a Czech person. Frydek-Mistek is a town in Northern Moravia, that exists due to a number of factories nearby the biggest being a car plant. People here are lucky in that it is very close to the Beskydy mountains (which are really big hills or baby mountains). The Beskydy mountains are very nice to walk through and are predominantly covered in spruce forests, however in spring some wild flowers appear. 

Near F-M there are also some lakes, which I didn't get to explore this time but have enjoyed on previous occassions (whilst visiting the in-laws when we lived in Brno). As with a lot of Czech countryside areas, there are numerous bike trails that show you different things and nature as you explore them. 

F-M actually used to be two separate towns that were on either side of a river, and as with Buda and Pest (hence the name budapest), they joined together to become one town. From appearances Frydek appears to be the posher half, as it has the chateau or castle sitting above the banks of the river. This castle is quite interesting to look explore and these days is predominantly a museum, or a place for chamber music recitals. Frydek town square is also interesting with its traditional Czech building styles present, it is larger than Misteks, however personally Misteks is more interesting. Mistek town square is small and quite and has a covered arched walkway that is really enjoyable on the hotter days to sit under. 

Nearby to F-M are a number of interesting little villages and sites to see, whcih makes F-M also a good point to use a base if you have a car or are using the bus system. An example is Stramberk. This cute village has part of a ruined castle at the top of the hill, and rebuilt in 1902 a replacement lookout tower for the one that was destroyed. You can go to the top of this tower today which gives you great views over the countryside and onto the Beskydy mountains. In the past this place used to be important for religious pilgramages, and the old houses built to support that are still standing today and agreat example of architecture from that period. Another interesting thing is the baking tradition to make Stramberk ears. When the turkish left the area, they left behind a bag of Christian ears, which these days they imitate in respect to those that fought against the turks. The ears are yummy.

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