Sunday, December 19, 2010

Trip to Trebon for the Christmas Market

On Saturday, we headed to Trebon (famous for it's fish ponds and where one of the Rzmberk Castles are ....see our many earlier posts) for it annual Christmas Market.  Such markets originated in Medeival times in Germany and then spread throughout central Europe. The ones in the Czech Republic are the most famous and authentic, so people come here during December from all over Europe and the world to enjoy them. They're not like the typical American markets....a bit quieter, with a festive and authentic air.
We were looking for authentic Czech handicrafts, since most of the Prague markets didn't have very many local hand-made items.

Driving to Trebon from Ceske Budejovice is always a pleasant trip (~30 km). Today it was bright and sunny and the snow glistened, along with occasional patches of fog in low lying areas.

The Rzmberk Castle entrance looks a bit cold even in the sun....
We parked at the Institute of Botany where many of our hosts work (even on Saturdays!) and then walked to the Town Square, because it was too crowded otherwise and snowy!

First we met our host and some of our friends from Schrems, Austria, a sister city of Trebon, Czech Republic. We chatted, had coffee and breakfast snacks in the White Horse (Bílý Konícek)...the oldest building in the Town Square, built in 1544.  
Notice the festive wreath hanging from the chandelier of Bohemian Glass.
We also feasted on Trebon eggtoast which was rye bread, toasted and buttered and each slice was topped with scrambled eggs and grated local cheese.  Fantastic!  Then we also shared a piece of garlic toast...again, fresh hot rye bread toasted and buttered. Then one takes a fresh clove of garlic and rubs it into the toast (like a morning Bruschetta).  Again, very tasty and warming!

Then, we headed out into the Town Square and traversed about, chatting with the vendors, meeting some new friends, and seeing what there was. Turns out, it was the most authentic Czech Market that we've been to in the entire country!

Here a vendor sells a variety of nuts:

We find locally grown White Mistletoe, Viscum album (we also saw it growing in South Moravia, near earlier posting!). Here's Neil holds a sprig of Christmas Mistletoe or


Even festive bells were made out of the Mistletoe.
Then! What do we run across but a couple of treats made locally here in Trebon:  the famous Badeoblaten Spa Waffles or wafers (left) and Brusinka (right) which is cranberry liquer! Our host bought us some to take home for the holidays. Of course, we had to have some right then and there in the Square...helps warm you up, of course!  It is heavenly!
Fresh made gingerbread fish!  Since carp of course are the local product, what better to have than gingerbread in the shape of fish!
Local cheeses, smoked, sheep cheese, some are pickled in jars with peppers and onion (very tasty, we might add!):
The local spice/herb vendor.  We had to stop and purchase some more spices.....needed more paprika, dried sliced garlic, and most importantly, fresh cardamon!
Doesn't the spice vendor look warm?! It was bitterly cold....
Homemade baskets were everywhere. We have purchased quite a few lovely ones here that are so useful:
Then there was the sausage vendor with numerous types made in the French methods to try and purchase. We bought one of the Provence herb, a wild mushroom, a wild boar, pheasant, bison, and stag. Quite tasty.
You can look at their website:
Now all we need is a little wine and cheese!

which just so happened to be next door.... French cheeses galore, along with Czech as well. All so tasty. We bought a few types to pair with wine and sausages, as well as some authentic French Foie Gras!!

We kept going around the market, bought some locally made socks (oh, so warm and beautiful),  Bohemian glass and Moravian wines (one can never have enough!).  After about three or so hours, we were quite cold and laden with boxes and bags, so we headed back to the car to put everything away, and then headed into the Institute of Botany where our colleagues graciously had Earl Grey tea or coffee, snacks, special Bohemian bread (VANOCKA [vah-notch-ka], braided Christmas bread)...

Vajecny...egg nog spiked with Czech distilled liquor. It is made in the city Jindřichův Hradec (see our earlier posting about our visit to the Castle and the Rondel back in August) which is ~35 km east of Trebon!

Of course, we have managed to find this in the stores so we could enjoy more of it!

And then, hours later, a lovely drive back as the sun was setting. Here are the wet meadows near the Rzmberk Pond in Trebon where we harvested a lot of Phalaris earlier in the season.

Disclaimer: This blog is not an official University of Minnesota or Fulbright Program blog. The views expressed are my own and not those of the Fulbright Program, the U.S. Department of State or any of its partner organizations, or the University of Minnesota.

1 comment:

  1. what is the base of the cranberry alcohol? is it vodka? yum!