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We spent about four lovely days in Prague, but any visit to the Czech Republic has to include a smaller city, somewhere ELSE. That’s true for anywhere, I think. The biggest cities are always beautiful and lively, but everyone knows that New York is not the entire US, Paris is not all of France, and London isn’t small-town England.

So we picked Olomouc (Ol-uh-MOATS). We picked it mostly because (I’m slightly embarrassed to admit) it’s famous for a certain kind of smelly cheese, called olomoucké tvarůžky. And I wanted to try it. It’s also a cute university town with an old medieval center surrounded by lovely forests. So it’s legit, past the weird cheese.

The city is the ancient capital of Moravia, the eastern section of the Czech Republic, known for it’s beer and slivovice, a plum brandy. It rained heavily the few days we were there, but we still managed to wander the town, enjoy a cafe, and have a good time.

Olomouc is also famous for having it’s very own astronomical clock, like the popular one in Prague. This one looks drastically different, since the Soviets reconstructed it after WWII in the Soviet Realism style. You can find little homages to Lenin and other party heroes in there, even their birthdays next to the traditional saints’.

The other famous monument in town is the Plague Column, which is the biggest and best example in Europe. I’d never even heard of a Plague Column, but apparently they were common across the continent, built as “thank-you” for surviving the devastating plagues. You learn so much traveling! Olomouc’ column is huge, built in 1716, and even has a chapel built into the bottom. I suppose if my town survived the plague I’d be pretty ecstatic too, and encrust anything I see with gilded copper.

And yes, I got my cheese. It was pretty good, and very smelly. My life is fulfilled. Although, I didn’t think it through because we also ordered another local specialty, garlic soup, at the same time. I’m lucky Jesse loves me, because that combination on a hot day was pretty intense! That’s true love, friends.

Smelly cheese and garlic soup.