When the good people of Prague built their bunkers it was to protect themselves from the atom bomb.
But they were way ahead of the game for lockdown too.
Maybe it was prescient that I spent a couple of hours in a nuclear bunker in Prague this time last year as I’ve been confined to something similar for most of the last year.
And I’ve often thought the food would be better in that Czech bunker too!
I have become good friends with the Czechs over recent years on their many visits to Dublin and also on my trips out there.
And it was little surprise that they were one of the earlier destinations off the block to run a Beer Zoom session.
While early summer saw long tables laid out on the Charles Bridge for the locals to feast.
Like the rest of us though that proved a false dawn and we’re all doing our eating and drinking back indoors now.
Mind you the wonderfully resilient Czechs have been getting on with it, fuelled of course by their water of life, their beer.
Beer, of course, as they have long known isn’t just for drinking, although they do plenty of that.
They consume more of it per head of population than any other country in the world.
But it is also the centrepiece of a Beer Festival in Zatec where among the competitions is the biggest beer belly contest… I’ve been practising during lockdown.
There is an astronomical clock there too themed around beer.
In fact Hoptown Zatec is so engrained (sorry) with beer that they have a Hops Museum there.
And they have a history of foregoing water in times of drought to make sure that the beer harvest doesn’t suffer.
The one beer pleasure I have missed out on my visits to Czechland, and just another reason to go back soon, is a beer spa.
While unbeknown to me then there was a Beer Spa in town.
The First Beer Spa is the place to go where you will recline in a royal oak whirling tub filled with brewer’s yeast, varieties of hops, malt and peat extract.
While bathing you can drink unlimited dark and light beer which the experts tell us will hydrate us (we’re not arguing).
They insist it will release tension, fatigue and stress, wash out harmful substances and regenerate our skin.
Only here for the beer
Other spa towns boast beer spas, and all I can think of is that the Czechs had heard of my reputation before my first visit to their country, with Jesenik in Moravia standing out.
Now I know what you’re thinking… if I mention Prague and the Czech Republic she’ll know that I’m just going out there on the lash.
Well, the answer is take her with you. They do a double bath in the Novosad Harrachov Beer Spa in the apron of the Krkonose.
If you’re only staying in Prague (and I’d recommend you veer further afield) then ZOTO Beer Spa is where you want to go.
While going underground again the Sladovna Beer Spa in Cerna Hora has a rich selectio of beer procedures.
And sip my Strahoven beer and dream of getting back out to the Czech Republic for a spa weekend.
Now that should fool her!