Going underground

Trip Start Jul 02, 2008
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Trip End Sep 22, 2008


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Flag of Czech Republic  , Moravia,
Monday, August 25, 2008

From Olomouc, I travelled south to Brno, the capital of Moravia.
I was catching a bus from Olomouc in the early evening and was standing in the desolate bus station trying to figure out which buses went to Brno soon. I knew there were some as I looked it up on the internet but once you get to the station it can sometimes be a mission trying to figure out the schedules that are posted. Thankfully a Czech woman came along and showed me where the proper schedule is. The one that actually makes sense. She didn't speak English and I don't speak Czech but she was talking and talking and talking. She talked for several minutes about something. Exactly what, I couldn't tell you. I assume she was saying something about the buses or something but I don't have a clue. But I didn't mind as she showed me the info I needed and even sort of translated the the little menu that tells you if a particular bus is running on weekdays only or on certain days of the week. Then she showed me where the bus would leave from. Like I said very helpful. She even came over a few minutes later and talked some more. She did say something about 5:10 but after she showed me the time using fingers on her hands (trust me you become very adept at reading made up sign language) I haven't a clue what she said.
I have a feeling she may have been telling me there was another bus at 5:10pm that would be quicker than the 5pm bus I ended up taking. The bus I ended up on stopped quite often and took 2 hours to get to Brno, when it should have taken 90 at the most. But I got there anyway.
To be honest, there isn't a lot to Brno. It's not as pretty as Olomouc but it is in the Czech Republic so it has good beer and sometimes that is all that matters.
One interesting thing I did get to see was some mummified bodies. Yes, they were kind of creepy but interesting at the same time. The bodies actually mummified naturally as they were in the crypt of a monastery where it is dry and cool. After many years in the crypt the bodies were mummified.
There's also a castle up on a hill in Brno but it's been rebuilt in more recent times.
The main reason I went to Brno was to go into the caves that are nearby. Brno is close to the Moravian Karst where an underground river carved miles and miles of caves and caverns. The tourist trail only takes you into a small part but it is still good.
I have been in more spectacular caves but what makes the tour at the particular cave I went to (there are several within a few miles but there is one that is more popular) different is you get to take a boat through part of the cave system. It's a different way of seeing the caves. You have to watch your head in some areas and sometimes it's narrow enough that the boat just squeezes by.
I should also mention for any of you history buffs out there (particularly anyone interested in the Napoleonic wars) that the Battle of Austerlitz took place close to Brno. The closest I got to it was on the bus from Olomouc to Brno. There is apparently a large memorial dedicated to the battle and those who lost their lives there. Along the way you also pass by a factory or something along those lines. It has a large conveyor belt thing (yes I use very technical terms I know) that goes up into the air at an angle and the company has had it painted to look like a canon and two of the large supports for the conveyor thing are painted to look like Napoleon's soldiers. They are massive and you can't miss them as you drive past on the highway.
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