Given 3 days in any beer friendly drinking European city, I am likely to locate a pub I designate as my local. In a city like Prague, where beer drinking is culture and there are literally 1,000 pubs to choose from, that meant one pub near the Park Inn Prague is the only pub I returned for a second visit during three days in the city
Stranger in a strange land
As an American tourist in Hospůdka U Vorare, I think I was a winter oddity. Foreign tourists walking into the pub an hour before closing is probably far more common an occurrence in summer. The bar counter itself only had a few seats and they were occupied with guys hanging close to the female staff at the bar, while tables upstairs were mostly couples and more traditional musical decor of posters and instruments adorned the walls.
The downstairs of U Vorare is where I found my desired ambience of a few tables separated by enough space as to feel spacious in a brick and mural walled windowless space of the basement. A relaxing setting for drinking beer, eating a hamburger, and hearing the sounds of conversations in another language, a language I don’t understand and can easily tune out of my English language mental monologue when I desire, occasionally brought back to reality when spits of laughter burst from Czech speakers. Laughter is an attention grabbing sound in any language.
Good Beer, Good Music, Good Murals
Two reasons I returned to U Vorare for a beer as my last stop before returning to Park Inn Prague each night. First reason, their primary beer on tap is Svijany, a Czech lager brewed in a little village about 50 miles northeast of Prague, where a brewery was established in 1564.
Svijany is also the beer served in Uisce Beatha, my Bratislava local pub, a little Irish pub I discovered last September and declared my local after a great conversation with the Slovakian bartender about hiking destinations in Slovakia. He is the guy who truly piqued my interest in visiting the mountains of Ukraine. Over our Christmas vacation I returned to Bratislava with Kelley and she felt the place was her local pub too in Slovakia. On my solo trip in Prague, drinking a Svijany in the basement of U Vorare made me feel like Kelley’s spirit was there with me enjoying our local Prague pub.
The windowless basement offered many windows of perception to souls of the city including a window to my own.
The second reason I enjoyed hanging out in U Vorare with a Svijany beer were the murals on the walls. Gazing at murals chilled my adrenaline with a beer buzz after a long day exploring the city with long walks across Prague.
U Vorare beer, murals and music provided sensory stimulation in a tavern basement cellar surrounded by the company of urban locals, all foreigners to me.
Conversations happened all around me in Czech, although patrons left me to myself and my attention gravitated to familiar rock songs playing through basement speakers and images on the walls to gaze at.
“All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be.”
U Vorare Prague is I place I could Breathe.
U Vorare is a place I could break out of the isolation of being a stranger in a foreign land.
Alone, never lonely in the company of friendly strangers, or at least ambivalent ones to my presence.
Raise a pint before bed and greet the welcome rest of sleep.
With the last pint of the night in Prague.
My candlelight snuffed out, back into the winter night air of Prague and a short walk to my hotel bed.