A few summers ago I was interrailing with my good friend. So, two years ago today…
Brno, Czech Republic, 8.8.2014.
Breakfast is included in our ~14e hostel (Hostel Mitte). In every way this is a nice hostel; clean, large bathrooms and sturdy bunk beds that do not creak. It is a nice hostel in a nice city. Brno is the second largest city in Czech and it is very cosy. At least the centre. The outskirts not so much. However, Brno is just a base for us, we are here to see the stalactite caves in Moravian Karst.
From Brno, we take a train to Blansko and then a bus to Skalní Mlýn. There are five caves open to public (over 1100 all together) located on that area but only 2 are close enough to walk to. The largest cave, Punkva cave, is already sold out for the day so we are left with Catherine cave. Tickets are ~2e and an admission to take photos another ~2e. Not bad.
It is chilly (7-8˚C) and damp in the cave. Stonewalls are lighted with electric lights. Our guide speaks Czech, but we got a leaflet with a brief summary in English. Anyway, I’m more interested in the surroundings. There are speleothems everywhere. Catherine caves have unique stick-shaped stalagmites; beautiful speleothem decorations and interesting formations (the witch). Also, the main dome has an amazing acoustics which we get to experience when ‘He’s a Pirate’ goes off. All this is hidden inside the cave.
When we exit the cave we have to wait for the bus for two hours. It is hot and long trousers stick to my legs, so when we finally get back to Brno we wander into stores where the air condition beavers away. My umbrella broke last week and I finally give in to my stubbornness and buy a new one. Bit strange day to buy an umbrella as it is sunny and +30˚C but how could I keep on daring the weather when the thing only costs few euros! Maybe it is going to be sunny for the rest of the trip now that I have it.
We have to move our baggage from Hostel Mitte to another one where we are staying tonight. It takes a lot longer for us to get to out new hostel than we thought. A long way, terrible urge to pee, too hot, backpack weights a tonne and the hip belt crushes my bladder. This is how a toast must feel in a toaster.
Somehow we manage to get to the hostel and get our strength back. We walk back to the city centre for a dinner: ~5e pasta arrabbiata (need more chilli) and ~5e pina colada. The evening is smiling.