Showing The Way

Tanya and Momchil at U Lasiku.

We've traveled to Croatia with them, to Bulgaria with them, to Germany, Austria, and the United States with them, but until a few weeks ago, we'd never been on a humble bike ride in Prague with them.

I'm speaking of our great good friends Momchil Blagoev and Tanya Kancheva, Bulgarian natives, now American citizens, and two of the loveliest people you will ever meet.

Tanya suggested we all go on a bike ride to Únětice a few weeks ago. It was a splendid idea. The weather was fantastic, our kids were away, and Daisy and I were free that day.

And we'd get to show them the proper way from Prague 6 to Únětice, along the river through Sedlec and Roztoky, and then along the forest path to Únětice.

We'd show them a few of our favorite places: Tiché Údolí, one of the most beautiful streets in all of Prague; Hospůdka Zvířátka, a shady little pub on Tiché Údolí that's home to rabbits and cats and birds and lots of thirsty cyclists; U Lasiku, a charming café/bar in Únětice that is home to Únětická  on tap, as well as tall half-liters of lemony Maisel's Weisse and some of the most delicious home-baked tarts, both savory and sweet, you'll ever taste;  and of course Únětický pivovar, home of some of the Czech Republic's best beer.

Daisy, Tanya, and I and a few beers at U Lasiku in Únětice.

Daisy and I in Únětice.

Carrying our bikes over the train tracks between Sedlec and Roztoky. We can see and hear the trains coming, and this gives us access to the abandoned road into Roztoky. No cars!

Along the way, we met a few familiar faces.

At the brewery, we said hello to Robin Bond and his wife, Julie, whom we first met when they adopted Maddy, one of the many cats we found homes for when we lived in the nearby village of Černý Vůl.

(We'd placed an ad for Maddy on, never mentioning that we lived all the way out in Černý Vůl, not wanting to discourage prospective takers, and who should answer the ad but Robin and Julie, who lived about 500 meters away from us in the village! Kismet! Maddy is doing great, by the way.)

I also had a chance to say hello, finally, to Max Bahnson, the fabled "beer philosopher," noted blogger, and author of "Prague: A Pisshead's Pub Guide," with whom I'd been communicating on Twitter and Facebook for ages but had never actually met. He was having a few pints with a friend at the brewery, which produces one of his favorite beers.

It was a great ride, notable for its unusually high pivo-to-kilometer index. Let's do it again soon. We'll bring the kids next time.

Length of ride: 31 kilometers
Average speed: 14.2 kph
Maximum speed: 37.3 kph
Pivo Index: 5
Distance ridden so far in 2013: 100 kilometers

Maddy then...

and Maddy now.

Robin and Julie in a photo taken at U Lasiku in the fall of 2011, shortly after they took Maddy home.

Feeding a cat under the table at the brewery. I wouldn't be surprised if there was some familial connection to Maddy.


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