So I am back in the land of the real Budweiser. I have been here for a week and a half now, and during the weekend, it is always apt to explore some of the local cultural attractions and riches. As the plan went, we visited the world-famous Moravian caves (Moravsky kras).
Still based in Brno, we took the train there at around nine in the morning. First had an espresso though, which is also good. But the Czech’s make it way too soft, just like their faint beers. Quantity over quality, so it apparently goes. The conductor, a lady, in her four-ties, looked quite fashionable: fancy shoes, skirt and jacket. It made me think that their policies are quite liberal. Turns out later she was just not in uniform. As she stamped our train tickets, I was confronted with reality: where I had been over the last couple of days, in time and space.
After an hour or so, we got farther away from the railways, hopped on the bus, heading to the caves. The public transportation in Czech is quite different from what I’m used to. The trains are just plain old-fashioned. Often still steaming around. But the bus we were on, was actually pretty good. Very comfortable as there were cotton chairs, like we seemed to be in a coach. And as a matter of fact, we were going on a long distance trip, an excursion, so that was fairly convenient.
As always, when you go on adventure, there should be some adventure. So well, we got off a the wrong stop. In the middle of nowhere! Had to walk for two kilometers and finally ended up at a tourist information office. We tried so hard, but couldn’t explain as none of us speaks Czech and their English happened to be very poor. The map we had in our hands got turned around all the time but we still didn’t understand how to reach the caves. After a while and after basically giving up, we were so lucky, because these people offered us a ride! We were in the total opposite direction, so were very fortunate that a helpful and benign Czech brought us to our highly-anticipated destination.
Our guided tour would start at eleven, so we still had some time to explore the kart region. The landscape is hilly, surrounded by deep valleys, streams, caves, gorges and high trees. All very impressive. Actually, the kart area is the birthplace of modern karstology and speleology or caving. Although the distance between the many caves in the region is not that big, little trains and cables help you move between them. The trains are called “pleasure” trains, but we doubt if you have much pleasure in them.
After a hot chocolate – I had the Cioccolata Bianca Alla Nocciola, a white hot chocolate with nuts – we were all set for the Punkva caves. The Punka caves are part of a large cave system created by the water courses that have flowed for millenia from the north in the karstified limestone region. The caves were discovered in stages in the years 1909–1933 by Professor Absolon’s group of speleologists. We walked through mighty underground spaces and corridors decorated with stalactites and stalagmites as far as the bottom of the world-famous Macocha abyss. The abyss is an impressing and whopping 138,7 meters deep! So what is really interesting about the Punkva caves compared to others? Well, that it comes with a motor boat ride, that takes you along to the Masaryk Cave. That was simply amazing and pretty unique I guess.
We still had some time when finishing the tour, and as it was over noon already we went to the local restaurant. Had a tasty cordon bleu accompanied with a Pilsner Urquell to end the beautiful spring day with. On the way back, memories filled my head.