These picturesque amphitheatre of volcanic rocks are the result of a lava stream which emerged 30 million years ago from a depth of 30 km, forming pentagonal and hexagonal columns up to 20 meters in length. It constitutes one of the oldest natural reserves in Europe and a good aperitif to explore the natural wonders of nearby “České Švýcarsko” (Czech Switzerland) national park.
Before WW2, the northern, southwest, and western border regions of Czechoslovakia were inhabited principally by German-speaking people, which left a peculiar signature in the typical flint roofs, triple wooden arches and decorated facades of the country houses, and a plethora of magnificent bourgeois villa. The area was particularly rich due to mines and advanced glass factories, where some of the best examples of the “Bohemian crystals” were produced, mostly for international markets.
Following the infamous Munich Agreement of 1938, Nazi Germany formally annexed Sudetenland and these technically advanced military structures were untouched. Some bunkers were partially destroyed by the German army training in preparation for the invasion of Northern Europe, but in most cases they remain nowadays in pristine conditions. Some bunkers are almost chewed away by the forest as in a bohemian Angkor, some (like Hůrka, Bouda, Hanička fortresses) are wonderfully preserved as museums. But that´s the story for our next reportage “Bike, Beer & Bunkers in the Eagle´s mountains”.
Another interesting spot but with a totally different look is Křinický pivovar in Krásná Lípa, a new and stylish brewery-restaurant which brews an interesting array of Falkenštejn-brand beer, from the classic pilsner, amber to coffee-tasting dark, Stout and a variety of seasonal brews.
Their peculiarity is to offer a wide range of beer specials, from strong American-style lagers to top fermented beers like weizen, stout, saison, pale ale. It is impossible to try them all, also because (unfortunately) they do not offer beer tasting and the staff is not particularly helpful in recommending choices.
So the best way is to grab some small beers, go for a walk around their mini-farm (beware the black swans, the male is very protective!) and bring home some more bottles with the funky tomcat logo, as we did. Stay tuned for more Cook & Meet gourmet experiences!