Village of the Damn…Lovely.

 

As part of our fascinating trip to the Hunters Ball the other week we stayed the night in Sinead’s colleague’s wife’s parent’s house (That’s got to be a grammar fail right there) in the quaint little village of Hrabova. On the evening we arrived to go the ball it was dark and we didn’t get to see much except some fences and trees appearing out of the pitch black darkness. We got home from the ball and hit the hay in an upstairs room, fast asleep as soon as ours heads hit the pillow.

The following morning I opened my eyes to the sight of clouds slowly drifting past. There was a VELUX window right above the bed that had escaped our attention the evening before. It was magical. We sat there for what felt like hours watching the sky sail past.

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And then I summoned the energy to get up and have a look out the window at the view of the horizon……._DSF3152 _DSF3156

Daaaaaamn that’s a nice view! After a delicious breakfast (Seriously, awesome hosts) we went for a stroll around the village with Iva and Jirka.

_DSF3169The village of Hrabova is has a population of just over 600 but they must have all been hiding/hungover from the ball on the morning we took our stroll. There wasn’t a soul to be found except for the odd tractor or random lady working in her garden. So far on our jaunts through the Czech Republic we’ve primarily visited larger towns, places affected by modernisation and the hustle and bustle that we call life in 2014.

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A traditional smoking oven for preserving meat. Yeah you won’t find one of these in Ikea.
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Wood, every house has an absolute boatload of it, ready for a harsh Winter if it ever comes.
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Stop. Not a bad idea. This place makes you want to just stop, sit down, chill out and think “Yep, life’s pretty good”
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The local Fire station complete with trophies proudly on display in the windows above. Trophies won at various competitions throughout the region.
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This? Yeah I……don’t know what this is. Delightful? Certainly. Creepy? You betcha.
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Most damaged bicycles get thrown in the bin but not here. Step forward improvised wheel fountain of magical splendor.
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This drainage system running through the town freaked me out a bit when I first saw it. I’ve had a recurring dream for years which bears a striking resemblance to this scene. Perhaps a sign that I’m on the right path.
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This was unexpected. A former outdoor public swimming pool. Reminded me a little of the pool on the outskirts of Kabul in Afghanistan just without the diving platforms.
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The local football arena where local derbies are fought. There’s something great about tiny local sporting facilities, sure they don’t have the pomp and spectacle of their larger urban cousins but there’s a great sense of toil and hard fought victories etched into the tiny dugouts and spectator benches.
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This symbol that was etched on many doors throughout the village is the sign of The Three Kings and means a blessing for the building and protection from evil.
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Christmas may be over but this tree is clinging on to the festive spirit with all its might.
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The Evangelical Church constructed in the late 1920’s.
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Jirka tells us about the tradition of newlyweds drawing these little pictures on the road. Graffiti with a bit of love. Another tradition that’s just so different from what I’m used to.
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These old trailers look like they’re from an old circus or travelling entertainer of some sort. Every garden has something new and interesting to see, not that you should be looking into people’s gardens of course.
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“Next week’s dinner, coming through, outta the way people I’m walking here”
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A most impressive wood fortress.
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This handsome fella looks a bit sad. Probably because of all the chickens walking past just beyond eating distance.
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“You’ve got to help us, we’re innocent, we’ve been locked up here against our will and framed for…….battery” I’ll emm….get my coat.
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“Well the boss said he wanted an eye-catching logo……”. This is the logo for a company that produces cooked meats sold throughout the Czech Republic. Hilarious 🙂
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Majesty destroyed. A dead bird of prey lies between the tracks at Zábřeh train station.
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On our way into Pardubice station, nope I didn’t sneak into the driver’s cabin, the last carriage on the train wasn’t connected to a locomotive so huzzah! photo opp.

This place was truly refreshing, it hadn’t been touched by the hands of corporations and commercialism, or at least if it had they had been sure to keep it well under wraps. If this was an Irish town of equivalent size there’d be a Spar, a Supermacs and of course the obligatory Chinese take away, blow ins from other lands that are now a familiar site up and down the place I call home. But not here. It’s still the good old days in Hrabova, where food is grown, reared, prepared and eaten without walking out the front door. Sure there is a shop in town, it’s not the 1800’s or anything but there’s still that sense of tradition that I just find completely fascinating.


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