12 grudnia 2016

"In the shadow of a war can young life shine?" / Austerlitz 1805 ENG

fot. Petr Riedl FOTO
The thing I like about Austerlitz reenactment is it`s place and time: dark, gloomy December, field covered with mud and mist over the Pratzen plateau which seems to lead us, reenactors 200 years back in time...


As soon as I entered the place we stayed, I had to end sewing my ball gown. There was so little time to do this but I also met so many friends there and it was so cheerful, I almost forgot about the dress! During our way to the castle it was too dark to sew, so I just gave it up and had it undone. Fortunately the ball also appeared to start later so we (me and my friend Mery, with whom we both started this insane napoleonic adventure in Waterloo 200) had some extra time to build up our ball appearances from zero... to (empire) hero xD To speak the truth, it wasn`t my best look but nevermind - we managed to get dressed on time and skip into dances. On that most beautiful, impressive ballroom (I love it, really!) I met so many of my Czech friends, I almost regreted there wasn`t enough time to talk with everyone a bit longer. Although I love to dance, I danced only 3 times - partly because of my train, and partly because there was almost no soldiers! From the one who was at the ball we got to know that many of them drink in tavern so we decided to go there and find my favourite czech voltigeurs. But going there we got lost in the maze of saloons and so we ended our ball talking with cavalry officers and gentlemen.

fot. Evren Petrik
It was time to go. The clock on the tower showed 11 pm and all the guests started to leave. And so did we. But, travelling there with our kind soldiers, we didn`t have any clear plans of the way back ;) So we did what would every camp follower in 1805 do: went to the fireplace and asked some soldiers for help (in fact we just wanted a taxi but none of us speaks czech). As the night fell darker, the town started to get empty. One of the last places opened was an inn I stayed in August. We entered and noticed a gentleman from the ball with few soldiers there. They helped us and so we managed to get to our place. Almost all of the polish infantry soldiers were already sleeping before the battle, so I just did the same:  laid my pillow on the rifles, then my head on that pillow and followed my friends in sleep.


The next day - the day of the battle started with an early march to the battlefield. The weather was soft and nice (what we wouldn`t say about the muddy ground): pale, December`s light danced between dark, empty branches of friut trees. We were joking all the way and I gave the soldiers my napoleonic era recipe (soon on the blog!) cakes I baked for them at home. As the infantry entered the battlefield for their exercises, I enjoyed the walk with one of the vivandieres. We decided to go up the Santon hill to the chapel, which sits on top. Although it was my 4th Austerlitz (2nd as a reenactor), I have never been there so I was really amazed with the view from the top. Soldiers looked like some tiny toys moving into the shapes of squares and lines. We heard all the commands so clearly!
Because the exercises were getting long, we went to Tvarozna village that isn`t far from the battlefield, to watch the bivouacs and make some historical shopping there. Soon after I bought myself tiny tin soldier, we heard some horses and noticed Napoleon himself with a stab moving to a battlefield. He stopped and made a sign for me to walk up. I approached, he kissed my hand (omg) and we talked for a while. It was so nice he remembered out meeting in Jena!


After some time in Tvarozna, the battle finally started. I sat down on the top of a straw heap and watched the battle, drinking a hot coffee mixed with medovina (hot, spicy alcohol honey) which kept me warm and alive. I couldn`t see my infantry friends well but few times some cavalry actions happened just before my eyes. I noticed the 2 number on their mantelsacks and realised there were also my friends from 2nd Lancers there! Just after the battle ended, I run to Tvarozna hoping the tiny horses on horizon, wchich I believed are my friends` move there. On the path, beneath so many people and tired soldiers - all moving to the village I found my friend - the Soldiering Mery, exhausted after the battle. We both decided to go to the village because of commander`s advice to take some transport to our accomodation there. 

We didn`t find a transport but we found our friends from french 33 regiment. They were talking about the place they are going to - the Old Post. And they promised me there is everything - lost lancer regiment, Napoleon, great place with fireplaces and tavern and of course they are getting there. We just needed to go up the hill with a church, then ca. 7 kilometers by the cabbage field OR make our driver to change his course. I felt much encouraged with that place! But as we achieved destination we realised driver did not change the course - we are just near our accomodation, further away from the Old Post. With Mery we left sad soldiers in that place and tried to go to the place we stayed. I was running up the hills to look how much way is before us and so soon we arrived. Mery was too exhausted to go on but I had enough strength to do some more things and, of course I was madly curious about the Old Post! Our soldiers who were going to Slavkov to watch fireworsk agreed to take me to this mystery place, even if no map showed it...

Soon we stopped by the tavern named the Old Post. From the outside it looked empty and closed and just in the moment I thought I can go to Slavkov as well, it opened and showed it`s 19th century inner. I found there my voltigeurs lost at the ball! And I wanted to search for lancers but the uhlans commander appeared, stopped me and asked with whom I am here. I tried to speak but of course I don`t know czech so it was just a silly mumble. Then, sudddenly the door opened and lancers` lieutenant went out, leant at the door and just watched my awkward moment with smile. We both exchanged few words and I entered the tavern. Supprisingly there were no lancers there but uhlans invited me to their table. I felt extremely shy while they offered me so many dishes and sweet treats. I had to refuse them one by one minding the sad cotent of my purse. They treated me like their guest, of course but I didn`t want to overuse their hospitality as I was, in fact a stranger lady who doesn`t speak czech and so can not speak her mind. The alcohol brought to the table stopped my moment of awkwardness. Everyone got two glasses - one with a dark rum and the other with kefir. They explained me it is called hulanskij spuk and it`s their original ceremony. After a speech of the commander they climbed onto a chairs and put one foot on the table. After command they drank rum from the first glass, then kefir from the second. In the last step they put tiny glass to a bigger one and sat down talking as a while ago. The commander tried to explain me what happens when the lady drinks 3 spuks but I couldn`t understand. 
Suddenly one of the sabers which were sticked in one of the bars on the ceiling fell down with a huge noise. They put it up and in that moment a second spuk appeared. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a musician from the lancers. "Help!" I whispered  "They want to make me drunk!", "So do we, miss" - he laughed and went further his way. The uhlans commander just ended a speech, they all climbed chairs again, with one foot on the table. "Hulanskij spuk - drink" - sounded the comand. They drunk rum and so did I. "Hulanskij spuk - drink down" - even if the kefir helps for that hot burning rum, little miss Marta felt dizzy enough for this night. "And put the glasses down" - I didn`t even want to know what would happen if they brought third spuk! But in that moment the whole lancers regiment finally appeared. They noticed me but I was still a guest of uhlans so I just asked their commander, if I can go to my friends. He thanked me to be their guest, which was very kind of him and, as I noticed undrunk half of my spuk I drank their health and went to my friends.

fot. Petr Riedl FOTO
Soon lost french 33 soldiers appeared and before I realised how they managed to get there we all moved upstairs to get the bigger table. There was Napoleon there. We exchanged bows but I stayed with my friends as he was sourrounded with his stab. I spent the rest of the evening with a nice company of lancers and infantry and soon before the night my friends came to pick me up to our accomodation.
The next day was spent on the journey home and collecting memories of the fairytale Austerlitz 1805.

6 komentarzy:

  1. Jak zawsze wyglądałaś przepięknie i bardzo autentycznie. Twoja delikatna uroda świetnie pasuje do strojów z początku XIX wieku! Pozdrawiam

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    1. Dziękuję! Cieszę się, bo to w końcu jedna z moich dwóch ulubionych epok :)

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  2. Nie sądziłam, że kiedyś to komuś powiem - do twarzy Ci z armatą :D

    Czy sama piszesz/tłumaczysz wpisy, ktoś zaprzyjaźniony czy zatrudniasz na etat? :D

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    1. He he, dzięki! :D

      Sama, ale tłumaczenie całego wpisu zajmuje mi ok. 2-3 godzin, więc robiłam to dotąd tylko 2 razy... No i wiadomo, są niedoskonałości, ale tego się nie ominie :P

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  3. aż wspomniałam armatę widzianą sprzed
    3dekad - szkoda, że nie prezentowałam
    się tak uroczo wtedy...

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    1. Dlaczego? Myślę, że było równie ładnie :)

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