Monday, 2 December 2013

Brno, the heart of Great Moravia - General Information

         Great Moravia was the scene of cultural rivalry between the Slavic and the Catholic world and epic battles during the 19th century (the so called “Battle of the  Three Emperors”).  Now Brno, the second largest city in the  Czech Republic, offers a quiet and pleasant atmosphere and is competing with the rest of the world for the best beer prize.  Strolling aimlessly down town will recharge your batteries and the same is valid for putting your feet in the fountains on a hot day.

St Paul Cathedral Brno on the Petrov Hill

           Food and Drink: The first thing that struck me was the fact that a pint had the same price as coffee. A friend of mine used to travel from Germany to the Czech Rep to buy beer, so that puts an end to the argument which beer is better. A peculiar type of pub can be found, where you and your friends can pour your own lager straight from the middle of the table. Heaven on earth, you say? Make sure you don’t skip the Starobrno brewery (close to the center), where ladies can be spotted to drink beer even at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Smazeny syr: melted yellow cheese was on the top list of my snacks. The local cuisine is known for the knedl (potato dumplings) and gulas (stew). Sadly, I am not into meat , therefore I cannot give my opinion.

         Transport: Two words - punctual and reliable. It consists mainly of trams and is said to be the best organised transport system in Europe.  What is unrivalled, compared to most of the countries I have been to, it runs every hour during the night. In case you are planning a longer stay, you can ask at the central station for the available day tickets and zones.
       Bustling night life and many expatriates are to be seen when the lights go out. The reason is many big companies in the IT industry have been established here.
     

Useful info: You will be prompted by the bank clerk to use the outside exchange (arab) kiosks. I assume they don’t charge commission and at the end of the day we should trust the word of professionals.  Oh, I almost forgot – take CZ Korunas for your cash, don’t use Euros.  
           

            Not to be missed in the region:


    Moravian Karst, Brno
  • Swimming in Lakes:  You have to take the bus to the outskirts of the city (Bystrc, stop “Přístaviště”). A pleasant walk will take you along the banks of the river. Swimming in the lake for me was really refreshing and the truth is I am a bit of a nature boy. Call me Tarzan but I didn’t wallow in mud only because of the crowd. Yes, I had a pint; I was in the Czech Republic, after all.  
  • Macocha Abyss: Sweet memories of the boat inside the cave and the echoing corridors. A bit claustrophobic though.   
  • Aquapark Vyškov: It was my first time. I was accompanied by my colleague - a guy two times older than me, so age is not a limitation. Besides, it is not a crime to feel the tickling water. You can imagine how we mixed with the crowd ,which was mainly kids and their parents.  
  • Castles: plenty of them in the area.-Špilberk
          and many more...

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