Over the weekend, we headed over to the Czech Republic for a beautiful Czech wedding. Gina’s bestÂ friendsÂ Jani and Milan were getting married and we were both invited!Â (Although I was nearly un-invited due to some Facebook comments gone awry).
We left Freiburg late on Friday evening, with an epic 6 hour, 650 km drive ahead of us toÂ PragueÂ to stay the night. The driving went really well, with no troubles, with Henry the Navigator working well, andÂ Claude the Auto doing awesomely. We arrived into Prague just before 1am, and headed straight to bed, as we had some more travelling to do in the morning, as the wedding was in a town, located the other end of the Czech Republic called Znojmo, a good few hours trek from Prague, through woodland, andÂ extremelyÂ sleepy Czech villages.
We departed 9am sharp, and our destination was TvoÅ™ihrÃ¡z, located at the foot of the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands,Â where the groom, Milan is originally from. We arrived to a very happy Father-of-the-Groom directing us where to park. We parked Claude, and said “Ahoj” to everyone.
To my surprise, there was a traditional
CzechÂ Moravian (! Iest wouldn’t know the difference) band playing some awesome music. It was really fun. The wedding was in three parts. The reception came first, this was located here inÂ TvoÅ™ihrÃ¡z – just behind Milan’s parent’s house, where we were fed with a nice buffet, drinks, and sweet CzechÂ Moravian music. I managed to get the band to pose for me, whilst in the middle of playing a song:
After filling our bellies full of goodness, we all caught the bus for about 15 km South to the Town of Znojmo. Here on the trip, I got my firstÂ encounterÂ to the Czech locals, and their drinking songs. Everyone, including Gina, were happily merrily sining in Czech as we twiddled over the hills towards Znojmo.
We arrived at a brewery. This, I thought was epic. I knew the Czech wereÂ renownedÂ for their ability to drink, but to have a wedding in a brewery – I thought this was incredible! I was, however, wrong. Located just behind the brewery, was this wee Registry Office, where the ceremony would be taking place – but as we arrived, there was another ceremony in session, this resulted in everyone going to the view point just behind it, over looking the
ThayaÂ Dyje River, and the Dam. The valley wasÂ beautiful, really pretty views to be had. Jani & Milan was taken away by the photographer of the day for some snaps. Compared to a Welsh wedding, the bride and groom were happily allowed to see each other before theÂ marriageÂ - which I thought was pretty cool!
We headed inside after the previous ceremony had finished, where the service lasted about 15mins. Again, a massive contrast to a Welsh service. It was all in Czech, so I didn’t catch a word of it. It consisted of some poem readings, and the drunken dude (Uncle maybe?) being funny, and happily drinking a full bottle of wine at the service (picture below).
After the ceremony, we all went ahead and took our time to congratulate the new Husband and Wife, individually, by going up to the front of the Service room, and shaking hands, and kissing. This then, followed by something new to me – throwing rice at the Bridge and Groom as they exited the Service Hall:
From the service, we headed back out for some more Wedding photography, this time: group photos. The bus then took us to our final destination – somewhere up North ofÂ TvoÅ™ihrÃ¡z (the place we first arrived to) –
but the name of the place has escaped meÂ Horni Dunajovice. Here we were going to be fed, and entertained for the evening. A moreÂ MerrilyÂ bus twiddled up and over the hills, with a LOT of drunken singing and cheering. We arrived safely at around 4pm.
We sat with Gina’s VolleyballÂ friends, and I was able to communicate a wee bit with her friends, as they spoke a little bit of English. The food and Beer came out. For starters we had traditional soup. Then came the main meal – and boy it was yum! I had Beef and Dumplings in some good sauce, and Gina had some fried vegetables. I’m a huge fan of the Christmas Cookies that Gina has made over the last couple of Christmas we’ve been together – they are epic – and to my surprise, it’s a traditional thing to bake a massive batch of similar cookies for dessert too!! I was over the moon! Good times. (I hope Gina doesn’t mind me posting a pic of the food here).
The stage was set, with a full on live band, and the first dance was ordered. Milan and Jani hit the floor, for a few twirls, then the whole party got up to join them, resulting in throwing the Bride and Groom in the air! The band was pretty good, they played a lot of old Czech songs, and some popular pop songs. Milan’s dad had some seriously epic moves – air guitar and air duck walk!!! Really impressive.
And that was it for us. The band carried on playing through the evening, but as we had to travel back to Prague that evening. We decided to leave at around 7pm. The drive back was pretty epic,Â unfortunatelyÂ for Regi, as we had all sorts of bad weather against us, but Regi did awesome job driving, and took us home safely.
We arrived safely in Prague just after midnight, and went straight to bed. We had another early start in the morning, as I had to drop off Regi at the airport, as she’s off for a few weeks traveling to the mountains of Tajikistan with a friend – on a well earned, and deserved break. I then, had the epic task of driving all the way back to Freiburg, by myself. To my astonishment, I noticed that the highways, were completely empty of Trucks! It’s a rule here, that on a Sunday, no trucks are allowed on the Highways. This made the journey much easier, and safer.
But, one thing that made the journey even better. I got to have some of my favorite Czech sweets. Kofola and Tatranky! They are both super awesome, such a shame no where else sells them, but it makes getting them from them even more fantastic!
It was a great weekend, I really enjoyed myself, and it was a good trip, seeing the back and beyond of the Czech Republic, places that I’d never ever see if I was a tourist there.
Thanks to Jani a Milan for the lovely day!