Thursday, 31 January 2013



A small city in the south of the Czech Republic, probably most known for wineries and hectares of  grapevine crops. The best time to visit Mikulov is September, when the young wine is prepared. It’s connected with festivals, live-music, drinking or tasting (if someone would prefer to name it this way) litres of wine and huge hangover the next day. No sorrow will come to Mikulov those days, only joy and happiness. People from nearby villages as well as city dwellers arrive to become part of it, arrive to taste the best young wines in the Czech Republic and of course buy provisions. Every year I promise to myself that I’ll join those bunches of drunk young people and enjoy myself together with a cup of September 2013 here I come.

Shopkeepers invite for free degustation, they’ll ask you to come inside and taste homemade wine. Every and each of them have unique, inimitable recipes. Every family has its own history, they plant and cultivate grapes on their own, and choose only the best quality grapes for wine production. I think also guided tours are available for interested.

Besides wine festival Mikulov has much more to offer, during holidays you can rent a camper and go to a nearby lake Nove Mlyny, it’s only 10 km away from the city. It’s really amazing place to stay, relax or spend your time actively, because it’s possible to rent all kind of water equipment there. I saw people surfing, diving and trying more risky stuff like motorboats or kites. So pitch a tent for a few days or stay at cabin and please yourself. No bother bringing your own food as there are plenty of restaurants and fast food kiosks with delicious and cheap food. I am not sure about fresh bread deliveries, but you’ll have to check on place.

My boyfriend and I visited Mikulov in January 2011 for the first time, a beautiful winter was back then. Light snowflakes lying on the ground and blinding sunbeam falling right to our eye balls is exactly what I remembered.  But of course let’s not forget about castle and “saint” hill, which unfolds charm of the city. Main square’s showcases are ornamented house at knights dated back to 1591 and a Holy Trinity Sculpture from 1723-1724. Whole main square is kept in a renaissance style. It’s small but memorable and only minutes from the castle. You can enter the castle through big, steel gates and walk around a bit, or go inside. Castle seats Regional Museum of Mikulov.

Did you know that stations of the Cross at Holly Hill is the oldest one in the Czech Republic? The tradition of symbolic representation of Jesus Christ suffering arose in 15th century in this country. František from Dietrichstein, built a chapel, because he wanted to thank God for saving Mikulov from epidemic. The first building appeared in 1630 and until 1776 new were built. Nowadays chapels and the way to the cross is in really bad condition, tumbledown and unkempt, but the city raises donation to mend them. 

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Bilovice nad Svitavou

Bilovice nad Svitavou

I can't imagine life without goulash. Surprising? There're many things in the Czech Republic I've tasted for the very first time, like perfectly flavoured pig baked on fire, traditional Czech dumplings with meat or super sweet honey-cake. However the first place goes to goulash from Bilovice nad Svitavou, probably the best I've ever eaten. You may argue that number one goulash comes from Hungary, but I stick to my point. It's Sokolovna restaurant close to bicycle path and in line skates trails that serves this delicious soup only for 29kc(around 1,20 Euro) It's especially palatable after a long and tedious bike trip, you can indulge yourself a bit. Eating goulash soup there is a real treat. But how to get to that wonderful place....Bicycle path from Brno centre leads through Moravskie square  Koliste and Francouzska street, then in turns to the bank of the Svitava river. From now on you should keep to river's borders because it goes more or less straight to Bilovice nad Svitavou, it's about 13 kilometres. This route should take you about an hour, but if you ride wildly through Cejl (one of the more dangerous districts of Brno) you can save some time. Even though there're many zealous sportsmen on this path I particularly like it, because of the picturesque spots, beautiful rock formations covered by moss or groomed gardens I can admire. In addition a light breeze from Svitava River makes me feel liberated and happy. If you don't feel like cycling, there's plenty space left for skaters or walkers, this place is also accessible by car. In front of the restaurant there’s a parking place for few cars, much more space for bikes however. This is a perfectly located place at the crossroads, ideal for those who finish their journey, just started it, or are in a halfway. Everyone will find here what he or she wants, thirsty skaters, hungry cyclist or tired child. I truly recommend it and don’t forget to order decent goulash. 

Friday, 25 January 2013

Safari ZOO

Safari ZOO, Dvur Kralove 

Today I’d like to share my impression from the trip to Safari ZOO, which is located in north part of the Czech Republic, in region called: Kralovohradecky. Depending on the way you go it’s about 170-200 kilometres from Brno.  I can’t tell you how long will the journey take, because we went for a two day trip and drove from Pardubice, which took about an hour. But reserve yourself about 3 hours for that. For Poles Safari may also be one of the possibility to spend a weekend outside the house, because it’s quite close to polish borders. We went there in the middle of a summer, but I noticed that ZOO is still opened until March, so go ahead and enjoy winter season watching wild animals. Go to official website to check working hours. It’s always good to be prepared. That would be a pity going to Safari after lunch while there’re only few hours left. Field is so vast that you won’t even notice whole day has just passed. It’s much better to be an early raiser and istand n front of the gate at 9.00 am. I promise, you’ll not regret this decision. 

There’re actually two parts. The first one is Safari, where you can go with your own car or move to a safari bus (schedule is available at website). Once you pay, you’ll get a map with instructions and information what kinds of animals can you see. Drive carefully and observe animals, look for goats, chamois, antelopes and gnus. Animals from Antilocapridae family or musk deer as well as odd toed ungulate-wild horses, different type of zebras etc. You can also admire leopards and lions, you better stay in the car with closed windows …. Just kidding, they are in the cage and you actually have to step off to see them. There’re also some birds like herons, peacocks, and others weird kinds. The very last stop is designated for giraffes and rhinos. This part might take you about an hour or longer, it’s up to you. You can hide in bushes, waiting for the best photo shot to happen or wait in the car for animals to approach you. Most of animals seem to be tranquil and undisturbed.  They already got used to cars and people, at least some of them. I wouldn’t risk reaching cow-like animal with huge horns, because you and your car can be swept away.

 Zoo also organizes evening sightseeing with a guides in jeeps or safari buses, but it’s only available in summer. Other attractions such as off road safari, wedding in ZOO or behind the scene tours must be booked in advance. They’re much more expensive than regular ticket, but you have a private tour with lots of information about feeding, natural environment and other useful tips.

 The safari ticket will enable you to go to the second part, which is ZOO. There’re plenty of restaurants in case you get hungry. Regain your strength, because what’s before you is a bit challenging. The structure of the ZOO is like a labyrinth, wandering from one place to another without having the certainty that you’ve already been there. Or maybe only I had this problem, I didn’t even know if I saw everything I planned to see. Animals are interesting, eerie and remarkable. I especially liked monkeys’ playground. Huge gorilla together with chimpanzees. I could stay there and stare all day, observing monkey’s behavior, admiring how helpful and caring they might be. In another quite interesting “room” were placed birds. Freely flying warblers, colorful parrots or canaries were surrounded by wild jungle, even the temperature was higher than in other places. Big and heavy tiger made an impression on me, he got really mad with people knocking on the glass. He started roaring and behaving nervously, I got scared and run to a more peaceful place-ocean’s world. I knew nemo will be there, but I was completely taken-aback when I saw a crocodile. I’ve never ever seen this dangerous animal before, only on tv. In the flesh, he didn’t seem so scary, he was steady and lazy. My favorite turtles were difficult to photograph, but at least I had a photo with piranhas.
Finally, after 4 hours walking we got tired and decided to end this trip, but you enjoy yours.


Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Moravsky Krumlov

Moravsky Krumlov

I planned this one day trip during summer holidays, to be exact it was on Sunday, 8th of July. There've been two aspects that made me go there. One was location, Moravsky Krumlov is only about 40 km from Brno, and the second one is the fact that I was astonished by people’s photographs from over there.

This was a bike trip, I’ll never forget the heat and scorching sun that I presently miss in the middle of winter, but back then it was a bit tiring. If I’m not wrong we went through Brno-Kohoutovice and Novy Liskovec looking for the way to Troubsko and Popuvky, under the highway D1, where was my lucky place (I found 20kc)Then we head to road 394 going through Neslovice, Ivancice, Nemcice straight to Moravsky Krumlov. Usually when we go to a new place we choose standard roads over bicycle paths, mainly because it’s less probable to get lost. At least for me.
Roads were leading across little villages and countryside, among sunflower’s crops but also right to the steep hills. Roads were everything but not flat and boring. The way to our destination prolonged because every time I’ve spotted something I had to stop for a moment and gaze a bit, take a picture and put the memory to a proper drawer.

City is situated in meander of Rokytne river forming packed centre, with only few main streets. Moravsky krumlov is not big, there’re only about 6000 inhabitants.

Undoubtedly one the main attraction of the city is Krumlov castle, which now looks a bit rough and shabby, but back in sixteenth century it was a renaissance residence, becoming an important place to social and cultural events. From around 1950 to  2011 castle housed Alfons Mucha’s canvases-Slav Epic that lured tourists.
Other interesting monument is Saint Florian chapel rising above the city. The baroque chapel is visible even from few kilometres. Once we saw it we wanted to approach closer and closer. The fact that chapel is high in the sky wasn’t an obstacle. We found strength to climb there. View, as usual breathtaking.
Surprising was that the main market was tiny and unlike the other in the Czech Republic. 
As for so small city, there’re four more churches spotted in different districts. Around the city centre you may marvel well preserved city’s fortification, which protected city from conquerors.
Last but not least I would like to mention the Jewish cemetery, situated on south west outskirts of the town. It’s a proof that Jewish lived there. The oldest grave is dated back to 1613.

City promotes itself as cultural, social and sport centre with many festivals, shows and concerts taking place. Unfortunately we didn’t have the chance to participate in any, but if you’re planning a trip to Moravsky Krumlov, a good idea would be to check what’s happening in the city, information is provided on the official site.

Saturday, 19 January 2013



Today, I would like to share just a few words about geocaching, which may be an alternative for ordinary walks. Places you've already been to may be interesting again, spots you thought you knew may prove to be mysterious or a nearby backyard may surprise you. And everything that because of geocaching. How awesome is that? All over the world there are places that hide some secrets, this application will help you discover them. Marks and traces left by those who enjoy travelling are inside the box, hidden in a place you would never expect.  

It's simple, all you need to do is to find a location you're interested it and write down the coordinates. Using your smartphone or compass go and have fun searching. Only in the Czech Republic there're 30,046 geocaches out of 1,977,760 active across the globe.  You can search location by typing post code, city or country. A list with active geocaches will show up, choose the one you want to find. Who knows, maybe it will turn up that you have a magic box right next to your home. Put on your slippers, and go outside. Once you’re in Prague for the third time and would like to experience sth new, find some geocaches neraby. You can rediscover the city from a completely different angle. Remember the rule, if you take sth from the box you need to put a replacement there. Perhaps you come accross a valuable and unique souvenir, you may take it, but beware…you should put there sth else.  

I personally think that it’s incredible and innovative. Standing ovation for founder/s. Really good job.

Have fun.  

Tuesday, 15 January 2013



Who said we have to sleep through all winter? Although we are in 21 century, it’s still not possible to hibernate oneself. Who would pay your bills and feed your pet? And really? Would you like to do that? I know some of you would answer affirmatively. Instead I’ve got a better option. You can for instance go for a walk, you can even drive to a place and spend only an hour outside enjoying the view.

My proposition for one day trip or few hours trip is Adamov, but don’t focus on the city itself, because it’s drab. Instead let’s focus on the beautiful side of Adamov, its nature, forests, mountain trails and so on.  I've chosen observation tower, which is situated 490 meters above sea level. There are actually several ways to get there, no matter which way you choose it’s marked properly. We parked close to railway station and started our journey from that point. Remember, depending on the direction you go from you will get on and off in a different place. It’s a bit strange but platforms in Adamov are separated from each other by about one kilometre.

Observation tower is easily visible from the platform. In case you go from Brno, go straight on until you reach a bridge, you’ll also find directions there. Alexandrovka, because that’s how the observation tower is called is 3,5 km distant. You should follow the yellow trail at the beginning and as soon as you reach “Jesus” monument you should change it to a red one, finally to a green as this is the one leading directly to Alexandrova.  Now the monument is at your fingertips. The sign shows that it’s 1,5 km more to walk, but the short cut behind the monument is extremely tempting. Rangers wouldn’t approve, but it was a spontaneous decision. We were running out of time, every minute was precious. I didn’t want to go back after dusk. 15 minutes later we were there, sweaty and breathless with trembling legs and dry throats, but still smiling because we’ve made it.

Alexandrova was named after Alexander Suchanek, an imperial council. Architect Oscar Mratschek proposed stone design with wooden gallery and triangle roof. Tower, which was opened to publicity in 1887 measured 15 meters. Monument was almost completely destroyed during wars, not until 2008 was it reconstructed and opened again for tourists. Whole tower is now 18 meters high, wooden gallery was changed to a steel, people can climb on 75 stairs to 13,9 meters high and admire the view. First you’ll see small, industrial town with colourful blocks of flats-Adamov and its districts. Farther on south Bilovice nad Svitavou and Brno can be seen from the tower. On south-east side Babice nad Svitavou (2,5 km away) and a small city in a valley - Ochoz situated about 10 km away. Finally if weather condition allows, Letovice castle located about 40 km north from Adamov will also be visible. Unfortunately the fourth side is not featured due to bad visibility.

Now, it’s your decision which way you want to return.

Saturday, 12 January 2013



Olesnice Ski resort is a really nice option for those who live in Brno, Blansko, Zdar nad Sazavou and other surrounding cities. I think it’s the closest hill, where snowboarders and skiers can show what they got. Because it’s so close, it has one disadvantage-there are plenty of people. I think however that it’s manageable.  We spent there 5 hours today spending only 100kc per person for lift plus fuel. It’s only 50 km north from Brno, you should drive through Ceska, Cerna Hora and Kunstat.

I need to brag myself because finally, I’ve made it, my first time on hilltop. I was able to keep balance on patter lift and get to the very end. I was a bit terrified hearing stories about ski lifts and difficulties people encountered. YouTube also didn’t help, watching people’s collapse make me think it’s too hard. After all it wasn’t so dramatic. If I made it, you won’t have any problem with that.
There’re two ski lifts in Olesnice. One-platter lift for beginners, the second one T-lift for more advanced skiers and snowboarders. This time I was using platter lift, but next time I’ll definitely check the other one. It takes about 6 people per minute, but lift needs to slow down from time to time, because many little children are using it. There is also additional entrance for those who purchased ski lessons and it’s necessary to let them through. The way up takes about 10 minutes and the queue sometimes may take up to 15 minutes, especially when people jump the line. You can save time, it’s about 10 minutes faster when you go on foot to the highest point. We tested it...

We were a bit worried about weather condition, since all Wednesday snow already melted in Brno and temperature stayed around 0 Celsius degree, but we were startled nicely. Sun was shining, temperature exceeded -2 Celsius degree and after two hours it started snowing. According to ski resort’s page the snow cover was around 50-70 cm, but I need to admit that falls were painful sometimes, there’ve been places where a layer of snow was so thin that ice cover was visible with the naked eye.

Sometimes I think I should have started at the age of 6 or 7 and be now the lord of the board, well never happened. But I still believe I have a chance to be good at snowboarding, at least I want to give it a try. I really admire all those fearless kids on the hill, so little and so fast at the same time. They do things I know nothing about making parents proud.

It was really a successful day. See you in Olesnice.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Babi Lom

Babi Lom

Babi lom wasn't really the first trip I made within the country, but definitely one of the most memorable. I've been there twice and twice during winter season....I like coming back there, this trip is adventurous and recreative at the same time. After the walk in the "mountains" you will surely blow away the cobwebs, forget about daily routine and about being overloaded with job.  Just try this...

Babi Lom is an observation Tower located near Lelekovice city. It ‘s easily accessible from Brno. Just take the bus no. 41 in Kralove Pole-railway station heading to Vranov, take the stop called Lelekovice-naves. It takes about 20-25 minutes to get there.  You can also go there by car. Once you’re off the bus go straight on and then turn left on the first crossroad. No worries, there are signs directing you to the tower and a huge map near the bus station. You can choose from two options:
  •         Go straight ZAHUMENI street as long as you reach little pond or
  •         Go straight ZAHUMENI street and turn slightly to KORETINA street

In both cases you will need to keep the red trail. I personally prefer the first choice, but it seems Google chose the second one.
That’s all for the organization...  A huge step for both of us is that you’re here trying to prepare for the journey with me. Believe that I’m as much excited as you right now. So let’s go... It’s time to start our trip. By now you should be on the concrete road leading you among dense forest, that’s the only thing you will be seeing for about 2 km. For some it takes 30 minutes, for others a bit longer. No rush, you’re here to admire the beauty of the nature. At the end of that road you can see wooden house, that’s the place where you can take a deep breath before the more exciting part.  As the signs show you should turn left, where the real fun starts. I can’t call it walking anymore as it’s climbing for me. Extreme and risky climbing especially when you choose December. My trip was a bit reckless because it was really slippy over there. It’s better to wear adjusted, comfortable trekking shoes, don’t even try to go there in sneakers. Your feet along with your soul will be suffering. Keep to your aim, never turn back- it’s only 800 meters to the observation tower. The view is breathtaking, stop for a moment just to admire outwards things. Take a quick glimpse on the amazing rock formation. To be honest I was speechless when I first saw what surrounded me. There’re only few more steps and you’ll reach your destination- Babi Lom is right in front of you unless you got lost. I recommend stepping to the highest floor, landscapes viewed from the tower are uncommon and outstanding. Even though it’s windy out there, spare few minutes to take a photo. You’ve made it!! Congratulations. Didn’t I tell you that it extraordinary? Now, turning back for the first 2 hundred meters is even more slippery. Prepare yourself you get dirty a bit, you’ll have to secure oneself . After that hazardous activity you’re finally on safe. Remember where the bus is? Or maybe you’d like to found yourself another turn?
 I hope you liked it and will follow with me.