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Easter Sunday. The Embassy closed. My husband announced that “we” (including son Jeremy, girlfriend Elise and diplo-dog) were going day-tripping to Točnik to see one of the many castles in the Czech Republic. The fact that it was not only Easter, but the 3rd day of Passover, meant that I just wanted to crack the door, drink Elijah’s wine and take a nap by the fire. Steve, however, intends to visit every castle before we leave Prague in 18 months, and because there are almost 2000 castles and chateaux country-wide, I dragged myself out the door despite the tenuous weather forecast to help him knock one off his bucket list. It wasn’t until then when I asked Steve to put my backpack in the trunk, that we discovered the 2 kilo side of bacon — bacon that had been forgotten in the trunk for over a week, and which we bought during a shop for a diplomatic reception that we self-catered (bacon-wrapped dates intended).

Trunk bacon [truhngk bey-kuh n]

noun.

  1. A metaphor for my state of inertia when it comes to blog writing. I wake up or end most days with innumerable ideas about blogging, and then I don’t. Similar to a side of bacon that sits in the trunk of one’s car for several weeks just begging for someone to do something about it.
  2. Cousin to “pocket sausage”. A term coined to define the activity of keeping sausage in ones pocket for a quick emergency snack (A.K.A. Jeremy’s slope-side snack food on recent ski trip)
  3. Distant cousin to “pocket pickle”. See “pocket sausage”.

    Pocket sausage un-pocketed

    Pocket sausage un-pocketed

So what do you do with bacon that has been sitting in a truck for one week in Spring-like weather? Well, three of us argued that it should be trashed immediately to avoid food-borne illness. Jeremy pointed out that it was cured and sealed, and being in a castle state of mind, argued that in the Middle-Ages we would be blessed to have found such a treasure.  Diplo-dog was well prepared to rip though the vacuum pack and end our ugly discussion so that we could get on with the drive. We compromised and put it in the freezer.

Točnik Castle proved to be a quick 45 minute drive from Prague, which sits higher than it’s sister castle, Žebrák, further down the hill. A two-for-one castle visit!! Točnik was built as a luxurious residence for King Wenceslas IV after a fire at Žebrák proved it unsafe. It was ultimately sieged by Hussite armies, deserted in the 17th century, and now finally in the hands of he Czech government for preservation.Točnik-2

I was going to have to drag my lazy self up that hill with my Lexi who was sporting an injured paw received the evening before in a digging incident. As blood trickled from her nail during our ascent, I could not help but think of the 10 Plagues. OK, maybe that is a stretch, but Jeremy did have a rash on his hand (I will exaggerate and call it ‘Boils”) and the sky started to turn an ugly shade of black. And then there was HAIL…..!!!!!

Hail.....!

Hail…..!

And WILD ANIMALS.

DSC_2965Točnik-5 Točnik-4

There were sheep and goats EVERYWHERE. Visions of shank bone for the seder plate in every direction. And bears. BEARS! Very biblical. Lexi was enraged and picked a fight with a goat. The goat was nonplussed until a swift buck of horns through the fence sent Steve running with diplo-dog in tow. The bear also took it in stride as Lexi barked like a lunatic attempting to defend me.

Having managed to hike to the the top without encountering pestilence, frogs or locusts, I gave up worrying about my 1st born. For the moment. While not the “promised land”, we were still able to capture a few nice images before descending…

Točnik-Group photo Točnik-panoramaTočnik-3

We returning to Prague a few hours later with a pair of castles under our belt, a deeper appreciation of history and holiday legend, and nothing left to do but discuss the fate of the bacon.