Tombs and bones – part II – The mystery of Brno

Once we were done with the preparation , we were waiting for the big day to come. And it finally came. My journey began from Student City, where I took a minibus number 5 to bus station Serdica. Vesi had traveled from Plovdiv by the night train and she was already waiting for me there. We took our tickets and we found the bus. When it was our turn to go up, the coordinator asked us if we want to sit in front. It turned out that the drivers prefer to use the back seats for a nap, and so we chose seats in the front of the bus. What a luck! We paid the half of the price of the ticket and still we were in the front. The trip started okay but it turned to hell. Because of the Easter holidays, everyone was leaving the country. The queue at border was crazy long. I have heard bad things about the Serbian border, but I wasn’t expecting  to wait there 7 hours. We were supposed to arrive at 2:00 at night in Brno, but we were there in the morning. At one point we were very worried because our plan was to leave from Brno to  the cave Punkva (Moravian Karst) at 9 am because we had reservation for the group at 11 am.

Well, we arrived at 8 in Brno and met Vesi’s aunt at the station – the kindest hosts I’ve ever had. We had a breakfast and left quickly.  Vesi’s uncle drove us to the Punkva and we even managed to arrive earlier and to join the group  at 10.30. The walk in the cave started on feet. But the best part came in the middle of the route when we got on the boats and the walk continue on the water! Awesome!

We went back to the town in the early afternoon and we decided that we had time to visit the zoo. Mission – to find a giraffe! It turned out that the zoo was much larger than it looked. It was situated on a hill and is a great place for a Sunday walk out. I suppose if Vesi was writing this text, there would be a whole paragraph dedicated to the zoo, but since I’m not a big fan of zoos, I will stop here. I will just say that we couldn’t see the giraffe. We left disappointed.

It was raining the next day, but that did not stop us to go for sightsseeing. We started with a walk through the downtown area, enjoying the splendid architecture of the buildings. At the same time we didn’t had much time, so we started our list with must-see sights .  Here how the disappointments continued. We went to the church St. James, known for his ossuary – the biggest after the Catacombs of Paris. It turned out, however, that it will not be open until the end of the month. Then the city mascot – The Burno dragon that is actually a crocodile – which is located at the old town hall, was removed for renovations. The Capuchin crypt where are stored the bodies of dead monks, was closed on Monday. We had just this one day at Brno and it seemed that everything was working against us. We were now very pissed off and we promised to ourselves that we’ll not leave without seeing at least one skeleton, so we decided that the next morning before to head to Kutna Hora, we’ll visit the crypt. In the afternoon the weather become colder. That did not stop us to go to the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul – the most impressive in the city. We climbed to the towers – it did not go without some drama from my side but finally I did it! It was worth  – from the top you can enjoy a great view over Brno. This afternoon we went to see also Špilberk Castle, situated on a hill. It was continuing to rain, but we didn’t mind. In fact, we concluded that the bad weather only emphasizes the beauty and mysticism of Brno. The evening ended with Czech cuisine- with dumplings made by Vesey’s aunt. This woman was taking such a good care for us that if we had to stay with her few days more, we probably would never want to leave.

The next morning we headed back to downtown to see what we had missed the day before. It turned out that we didn’t noticed an important detail of the architecture of the Cathedral of St. James – an angel. We also went again to the Capuchin Monastery. We were the first visitors of the day and we had the privilege to find ourselves alone with the dead. I can surely say that after the Egyptian mummies, this is the most creepy thing I’ve ever seen! Certainly worth returning!

However, this little stop changed our plan – we  had to be at the exit of the city the first thing in the morning and we were still at the city center. We were not sure how easily and quickly we’ll go out of the city and how long we will wait for someone to stop, so we decided to just take the first train to Kutna Hora. We had two options – direct train, arriving there at 3 or to change two trains and be there at 2. I was not too sure if we’ll manage to change the trains with no problems but Vesi wanted to arrive earlier in Kutna Hora, so we decided to risk it and buy a ticket for the earlier train. Fortunately or unfortunately, however, somehow we managed to miss it.

In general on the Czech stations is easy to oriented, and we were on the right platform, but the train, which arrived was not labeled properly . The train was traveling to Germany and none of the passengers knew the stops before Germany. While we were wondering if this was our train, it departured. We decided that we would catch the next train to Kutna Hora. This time a large sign “Kutna hora” showed us that we should take this one.  At exactly three o’clock we arrived at the station in Kutna Hora. What happened here, I will tell you in the next publication.

Text by Neli

Information:

1 BGN = 6.12 crowns
More about Moravian Karst can be found here – http://www.moravskykras.net/en/moravian-karst.html
More information about Brno can be found here – http://wikitravel.org/en/Brno
Kutna Hora – Brno ~ 2 h ride, ticket price ~ 200 crowns
Entrance fee for  Capuchin crypt – 60 crowns (30 for students)
Entrance fee for  Zoo – 100 crowns

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