The Final Journey I - Brno and South Moravia

The first stage of my eleven-day journey at the end of my EVS takes me to South Moravia, a region in the east of Czech Republic. I have an old friend who lives there, in a town close to Brno, surrounded by wooded hills and wild and romantic waters.

Thursday - Arrival in Brno

Brno, second biggest city of Czech Republic, is a four-hour trip away from Budapest by long-range coach. Thusly, I arrive in the city in the early afternoon and with the best weather and are greeted by my Czech friend there.

We spend the afternoon in Brno, strolling through the old town - a little like the one in Prague, but a lot less crowded - visit a few churches and eat ice cream. The park next to the cathedral, from where we can hear organ music during the whole afternoon, allows a great view over the city, including the tallest building in Czech Republic, which disappears completely behind another skyscraper when looked at in the right angle.

With the beginning evening we’re moving on to the actual destination of this stage: Tišnov, a town with about 10.000 inhabitants, about 20 km north of Brno and home to my friend and her family.

Friday - Fairytale Castle in the Rain

The second day doesn’t start as nice as the first one. Grey clouds are hunting each other over the wooded hills and everything is humid and warm. With t-shirt and umbrella we’re starting on a small hike through the forest, following a nature learning path to find Pernštejn Castle.

Pernštejn thrones above the hills like a fairytale castle and is sometimes used as filming location for just that. With our arrival at the Castle the sun comes out again for the first time that day - but we disappear into the Gothic castle for a tour before she manages to scare away the rest of the clouds

The afternoon passes by pretty fast, and once we step outside into the castle’s yard again it might not be completely dry yet but a lot less humid than in the morning. Before going back home we’re strolling a little through Tišnov and, besides seeing old buildings and narrow streets, I also learn a few of the horror stories the town has seen in its history. A few of these horror stories are actually written down in a comic book written by local artists.

Saturday - Gallow’s Hill and strong horses

Thanks to the local history lesson from the day before I of course wanted to visit the historical place of the gallow’s hill of Tišnov, now. So we started a small hike into the hills around the town, first to the foundations of the gallow - the only part left of the venue - and later to the observation tower above the town.

The tower isn’t overly old and partially financed with the help of the local community - all interested parties could buy bricks of the tower and let them be inscripted with their name. My friend’s family, too, have a stone with their name on it in the wall of the tower and the view over the area is truly fantastic.

After lunch we’re going out with her parents, driving a little more into the countryside. On our way we stumble over a horse-draw competition and stay for a while to watch them pull - alone but also in pairs - sledges with cement blocks usually used for the building of railway trails. The strongest single horse is able to pull 1.400 kg on it’s own - and instantly tries to eat his price.

After the competition we take a walk by the river, but the slowly worsening weather sends us back home after a short while. We finish the day with chocolate cake from the local café before I start packing my things for my departure on the following morning.

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