Monday, 1 February 2010
My husband and I had been walking around Vyssi Brod and needed a coffee. We walked past the many Vietnamese shops on the town square with their usual assortment of cheap goods and their owners calling to us in German to walk in. And then we came across the Cafe Alpenrose (Alpska Ruze).
We wandered in and were immediately struck by the weird 'bohemian' decoration and architecture. It felt like one of those arty hippish cafes of my 1970s youth. Much of the furniture was homemade, with bits of old furniture combining with mdf, and was individualistic (to say the least). As well as excellent coffees and cakes, the shop sold wicker baskets, wild honey, koh-i-noor art products, Czech porcelain and crystal. They also had some booklets for sale on places to visit. They were quite frankly cheap to look at but dear to buy. However the booklet suited my research needs for the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society visit, so I bought it. "You want this!" said the owner, chuckling as I handed over the money.
I went back the other day and took this photo for the blog. I was on my own and sat and watched the punters. "Gruss Gott," said a painfully thin Austrian lady as she came in.
"Gruss Gott!" came the reply. Her small son and husband followed. The little boy was into everything in the cafe, asking his frazzled mother to buy first a book, then a rubber, then a pack of pencils. As more punters walked in it became clear that this was very much a German or Austrian haunt, not a word of Czech to be heard. But then I suppose Vyssi Brod historically has always been a German-speaking town.
At the end of my visit I wandered into the toilets: wonderful. They looked like they were built into a thick stone wall or a cliff wall. I left the cafe, as I had on my previous visit, with a smile on my face.