Legend has it that a dragon came to Brno Czech Republic and terrorised its inhabitants but he turned out to be a crocodile. Still, the dragon remains the city symbol. The beast’s preserved body is located at the entrance of the Old Town Hall and you can spot various dragon sculptures and depictions around the city.
I was in Vienna when I realised how close Brno was. I hopped on a bus to visit two friends from my exchange in Spain I hadn’t seen in years and dearly missed. My friend Hélène was working there and was excited to show me and our friend Ophélie everything she loved about the city.
Brno Czech Republic was once recognised as a royal city. Besides dragon spotting, here’s what we found to do: Read More
When I visited my friend in Brno, Czech Republic’s second largest city, I was expecting some sightseeing along paved roads. When she told me to bring walking shoes I assumed it was because we would be walking a lot throughout the streets.
Little did I know the Moravia region is known for its caves – and that there would be Indiana Jones-like adventures in store.
The Moravian Karst is one of the natural wonders of the Czech Republic. It’s a protected nature reserve near Blansko, easily accessed by train from Brno. From Blansko, we spent a while figuring out which bus to take. Then we got off in the middle of the highway. The bus driver laughed at us, presumably because not many people ask to be let off in the middle of the woods.
We didn’t let the bus driver discourage us. We set off in the direction we thought seemed most likely to have caves and it was not long because we stumbled across one marked Vápencové skalnaté hřbety (rocky limestone ridges). There was nothing stopping us from going inside, so we went forward and went as far as a big pit of water. We could have continued, but decided as much as we were willing to get muddy, we should probably draw the line at going for a cave swim and getting ourselves soaked.
The fresh air was fantastic and we felt like Indiana Jones looking for caves. My archeologist friend Ophélie got a little overexcited and tried to climb a steep ridge to reach a ledge at the top. Mathilde followed her for the adventure. Unfortunately there was nothing of interest once she reached it. Then on the way down she got hit by a rock and both of them got muddy behinds. It’s all part of the adventure.
For me, the highlight was encountering these bats. We were afraid of waking them up, but luckily they were in deep hibernation.
The other highlight was asking locals for directions.
Unfortunately, because it was winter some of the caves were closed and we didn’t make it to the open ones in time. However, we still managed to have an adventure cave hunting on our own and discovered “unofficial” caverns that don’t have locks on them.
A friendly lady in a shop also invited us back on the weekend for a concert in one of the caves. Unfortunately I did not have time to go, but I am sure it would make for an interesting venue! I think mixing the region’s natural wonders with culture is a great idea.
My hope to explore as many caves as possible failed because of the season and early closing times, but I was quite happy to find hibernating bats inside one of the caverns that we made it into. Because we got lost, we had the pleasure of asking lots of friendly locals for directions, which makes any exploration that much more fun and exciting.
Hikers and bicycle riders will love trekking along the dedicated paths through the wilderness. It’s a great day trip to enjoy the natural beauty of Moravia, Czech Republic and a different angle of Czech tourism.