In a vacuum .. radio waves travel at the same speed as all form of electromagnetic radiation .. that is 299,792,458 meters/sec. But human beings do not live in a vacuum. Wherever we are .. we are surrounded by stimuli .. both positive and negative. When negative stimuli is perceived ..it travels from its source to its destination .. the sensory cortex .. at a mere 100 meters/sec. But regardless of its relatively slow speed .. this unpleasant sensation registers as something we call pain .. and as humans we are conditioned to do anything and everything to avoid it.
The power of a radio signal depends on the magnitude of its electrical field in relation to the position of the observer. Mathematically, this power is expressed in millivolts/meter .. but more often .. the connection is described as “strong” or “weak”. For an observer in motion, the connection is always subject to change .. as the distance becomes too great .. the connection will cease entirely.
Contrary to “science” .. and the definitions of connection speed, strong or weak .. I find my own “connection speed” to a person, place or event is virtually instantaneous. And, if I can refer you back to the “wow factor” I described in Adventure 32, Ty Vole!, I do believe my reasoning and the empirical truth of my claim is justified within the parameters of the “wow factor”. Of course, the most convincing and final factor of my equation is Love.
Need proof? Think of someone you “love” more than life itself; your children, your spouse, your parents .. or maybe an exotic vacation you spent that “wowed” you beyond words .. your first sky dive .. and how about the taste of your favorite food or just how much you love riding your Iron Horse? All variable factors in the equation that covers a range of emotions, and even incorporates some of your “senses” .. sight, smell, touch, sound, even taste. Many of which have that “secret ingredient” we call adrenalin. That moment with an adrenalin blast confirms the “wow factor” and moves that memory up the ladder commensurate with the degree of “wow”. Author’s note: Childbirth sets the bar .. but just a tad over “near death experiences”. The only difference is that one is derived from happiness .. the other fear. Adrenalin is adrenalin .. but we all know love & hate is often just a coin toss.
Back to your experiment: Now close your eyes and just think of ONE of your examples that flashed within the thought … and they’re immediately with you. If you get good enough at it .. some will even talk back to you .. and you will get “goose bumps”. They ARE real .. and so is the connection to your most precious memories. “Distance” does NOT diminish the immediate connection .. nor the strength of which you “feel” the presence of that moment. “Strong” or “weak” does not apply .. the strength of your Love always remains a constant.
So, once again, I get to share moments that are always real to me, friends and loved ones who are forever with me in an instant .. despite being thousands of miles “away”, literally and figuratively. Time and distance are NOT relevant factors in my life .. ever. So why should I even consider them in my equation? There is an old adage that says “absence makes the heart grow fonder”, and maybe “time” is an integral factor in that premise .. but the one that says “out of sight, out of mind” is just an outright lie that some fool tried to convince himself of, and probably out of guilt. Yet he still suffers …
Every time I think of Lucie, I always feel the connection to her cousin Jana & niece Lucie, Blanka & Rene, Filip, Dasa & Mira, Petr & Klara, Iva, Lada & Klara, Irena & Ales, Ivana, Evka, Eva, Jana & Vladimir, Tomas, Lubos, Bimbo, Vojto & Eva, Alena & Mira, Verka & Regina, Gerd, Honza Jr. & Sr. & Petra, Olina, Radek, Honzo & Mikaela .. and too many more of my European “family” to mention here. But they know who they are and what they mean to me .. and we will forever be as close as the “speed of thought”. And the great part of that “connection” is that every simple thing that I really enjoy .. with daily reminders of places or events .. brings them into my life once again .. immediately. I can linger on that thought or jump to multiples any time I desire .. but the quickest way is to see a “picture” that was captured at the moment .. and it multiplies my ability to incorporate many of the emotions and senses that are associated with that thought. Maybe that’s just another reason I don’t like “distractions” while riding Bosco .. and prefer quiet “contemplation”. I’m sure I’ve hit that “moment of truth” with many of you already .. and that was my point. Now enjoy that “feeling” with me as I share more of my “wow” moments in Europe.
One of the last “surprises” Lucie planned for me was to visit a world-famous brewery, resort, hotel, chateau & medieval restaurant out in the middle of nowhere, in a little village called Détenice (phonetically pronounced Yéta-Nítsa), about 69 km from Prague. We loaded up a van with a small group of friends and it took us about an hour to get there. It’s called the Zámecky Pivovar Détenice. http://www.krcmadetenice.cz/en/ If you go to their website and check out the history of the Medieval Hotel you’ll be astonished. We’re going back to its sandstone foundation started at beginning of the 14th century .. and still a vital part of the current structure. I’ll let you read about the mistress held in a cell at the bottom of the watchtower .. and her “secret” magical brew that still remains a part of the brewery’s selection.
“The château was the first of the estate to be reconstructed, which was then soon followed by the brewery. Within the brewery is the Beer Museum, where you can taste some delicious and original beer. In 2003 the Medieval Tavern opened, the first in the Czech Republic, and as soon as you walk in you feel as if you’ve been transported into the Middle Ages. The construction of the Rustikal and Medieval Hotels followed and opened in 2009, The Medieval Hotel is listed amongst the “Unusual & Unique Hotels of the World” (Wait ‘till you view the rooms of that on their website!) They also have a wine cellar, stables and an annexed yard which hosts regular summer Knight tournaments.”
The Détenice brewery has an eventful history and offers a variety of authentic period features consisting of the malt house, barrel making room, brewing house, laboratories, hop garden, lager cellars, fermentation room, ice house and, last but not least, you can even discover the secrets of the historic cellars. One of the most prized parts of the brewery tour is the demonstration of 18th century “Beer of Love” brewing, which strictly follows the original recipe and ingredients. The original Brewery House was partly converted to the now popular Medieval Tavern while other historic parts became the Beer Museum.
The first evidence of brewing at the Détenice estate dates back to 1307, during the rule of Beneš of Détenice and Wallenstein. The legend mentions a marauding knight, Artur, who raided villages with his gang around Stará Boleslav, beating everyone who stood in his way, with the only exception being virgins. He always would stay in a village until he had depleted all of it’s supplies while the poor virgins had to be fully at his and his rabble’s disposal, virtually becoming their slaves. Every full moon, Artur would ask one of the virgins to brew beer according to his secret recipe. This was the magic “beer of love”. To keep the recipe secret, he had one of his followers cut out the innocent virgin’s tongue. The magic beer was said to bestow superhuman sexual desire and increase the instinct of violence.
In 1307 Knight Artur and his cruel companions reached the area of the Détenice estate, after Artur’s first big defeat. He unsuccessfully crossed his sword with Beneš of Dětenice and Wallenstein, who cast the bleeding Artur, after his defeat, into the Dětenice dungeon. The whole of Artur’s vicious gang was beaten to death. Beneš of Dětenice was a powerful man who knew very well about Artur’s magic potion. Because of this, he kept the villain alive. Beneš longed to own the recipe for the magic beer of love and therefore he had Artur tortured cruelly until the marauding knight gave his secret away. This was not the end of Artur’s punishment for all of his wrongdoings, as he was later buried alive by the powerful Lord of Dětenice.
The beautiful virgin daughter of Beneš brewed the beer during a full moon in front of the Dětenice rampart, following the secret recipe, and everyone who drank it felt a strong sexual desire and therefore it was used from that time as a potion increasing potency. Truth or fairytale? The answer may only be given by the walls of the old cellar, or the chateau in Dětenice. All I can verify is that we drank the hell out of it that night, but it didn’t seem to faze me in the least .. maybe because I’m just one of those guys who’s had “superhuman sexual desire” since I was nine years old. Thanks for the genes, Dad! I will admit, we ALL had an incredibly FUN night .. and “thank you, again, Blanka” for volunteering to be our designated driver before we stayed well into the night. (She got her “grog” down early)
From the moment we stepped into the tavern we were transported back into the Middle Ages! You “immediately” feel the ancient energy radiating from the vaults and old stone walls. Every sentence shouted out by the clamorous staff and tones of medieval songs from the numerous musicians make you “feel” as they must have felt in yesteryear.
We claimed a huge stone table with wooden benches near the open “kitchen” .. a fire pit where everything was prepared .. no electricity, candles and torches everywhere .. we were in the Middle Ages. The local specialty is meat roasted on the open fire and other unique dishes that are hard to find anywhere else. The place is rather huge, with rustic beams and wooden floors .. everything “authentic”.
Everywhere you looked had something going on .. lovely “wenches” who catered to you needs, while being quite verbally abusive. Dancers, musicians, dueling swordsmen .. even dueling with fire torches. Beggars pleading for leftover bones, music seducing you to dance (actually, forced to dance on the tables by the wenches), and most incredible of all were the fire dancers and flame performers who blew fire from their mouths ten feet into the air! You had a hard time deciding what to watch as you chowed down on the incredible food .. and more grog!
The place was packed, and with all the people milling around and the candles/torches burning for light .. not to mention the open fire pit where the food was being prepared .. the place was a literal “oven” .. and before long I was soaked in sweat. As I wandered around the place investigating every nook & cranny .. I was amazed at all the authentic detail .. even the stone sinks and urinals in the john! There were multitudes of skulls and bones, much like the “bone church” in Kutna Hora (Adventure 31 – Bones) and torture devices that made you “feel” the pain.
Talk about “feeling the pain” .. one of the fakirs convinced my two friends, Filip & Petr, to engage in a Medieval “torture game” .. where each would place a finger into a wooden clamp and then take turns cranking up the pressure on their “opponent”, one twist at a time, until one “tapped out”. The pride and competitiveness of my friends led them to smashing each other’s fingers until they were completely white! The fakir removed the device and called it a draw .. then I saw the ONLY thing that was NOT authentic Medieval as they brought a funky little bowl filled with ice water so my friends could immediately soak their smashed appendages. What a game, huh?
Blanka was “removed” from our table, under protest of course, stretched on a table and flogged, then strung up on a “rack” and tortured with open flame torches searing near her bare stomach. Of course, they wouldn’t intentionally harm or burn her, and by knowing that she put on one hellova show with her screams and resistance. The rest of the patrons were completely captivated by the authenticity of the “Priest” driving the demons from the “witch”. She was so cool about it .. and it just made our “night to remember” one of those “wow” moments that we will all forever re-visit in an instant.
“Love” binds us forever .. and my Czech family understands that fact .. as their culture taught them from an early age that our limitations and joys begin in our Hearts. But as Anaise Niem once said, “Love never dies a natural death .. it dies of blindness .. and errors .. and betrayals .. it dies of weariness .. of witherings .. of tarnishings.”
I hope some day you get the chance to travel back into the Middle Ages .. and become a part of Dětenice. And that you always remember the words of Anaise Niem.
Until next time .. ride smart .. ride safe
and the Adventure continues …
Note: In America, the Fire Marshall would have had a kniption-fit the moment he saw all the open flames. So if you really want to enjoy yourself .. you have to leave the country.