Saturday, 28 March 2015

Wilsonuv Les, Brno

Wilsonuv Les, Brno

On a hill above Svratka river, between Zabovresky and Starnice spreads a 30 hectares big forest called Wilsonuv les (Wilson’s forest). It was set up by Franz Joseph I in 1882 and named after the 28th American president: Woodrow Wilson in 1918, who supported the establishment of Czechoslovakia.

As we walked by we’ve seen people in all age groups. Young and sturdy joggers, old couples on a walk, grandpas with their dogs or mums with kids. Everyone enjoying Saturday afternoon on their own, but we’ve all probably been in one place: observation platform with a fantastic view on Zabovresky, Komin and Medlanky districts.

While older generations remember the ski slope with artificial turf in Wilson’s forest right under the platform, young folks can only imagine how it could have looked like during the seventies, eighties and nineties. The slope was closed in 1992, however in present days, citizens unfortunately don’t agree to rebuild the slope complaining on a noise and fuss connected with a flow of people and use of snow cannons.

This is not my first visit in Wilsonuv les, but as far as I remember it didn’t look the same back then. The last time I’ve been there few years back all the pathways, benches or bird houses were missing. Now the forest was nicely prepared for visitors.

I’m sure all tennis players will appreciate the fact that tennis courts are in the heart of the forest far from crowd and direct sunlight. Close by there’re also a sports hall and a restaurant serving traditional Czech cuisine. So in case you get hungry after a walk you may go there: Jana Necase street.

How to get to Wilsonuv Les: You can either take tram no.1 from the main station in directions to Bystrc, Ečerova, take off at Brafova tram stop and walk around 500 meters to the closest “entrance” to the hill (map). You can also go from Mendlovo Square with bus no. 35 and take off at Barvicova-the last stop. Another option is to use bus no. 39, which goes from Komenského náměstí to Barvicova as well. It’s also not that far away from Kravi hora to Wilsonuv les.

We on the other hand went by car and parked at Jana Necase street. There’re few public parking spaces for free. On Jana Necase street you can also find a famous Jurkovic’s house, completed by architect Dusan Jurkovic in 1906, who lived there with his family till 1919. Until 2006, when it was administered by Moravian Gallery, the Jurkovic’s house stayed in private hands. The villa together with the garden is kept in English style mixed with folk art. The wooden carved gate also draws attention. Back in early twenty century the house was one of the most modern in Brno, currently it catches the eye with its uniqueness. Thanks to the Norwegian Grant the building was restored and may be viewed publicly. It’s open a year round. According to the official webpage it’s better to book the guided tour prior the visit. All information together with admission prices, current exhibitions and programme may be find here.


Jurkovic's villa:

Friday, 13 March 2015

Kravi Hora, Brno

Since I am grounded in Brno for several more weeks I will try to write about interesting, in my opinion, places around. If you haven’t been, you’ve probably heard of most of them, so it’s just a reminder how beautiful Brno might be. But in case someone didn’t know the spot I will be writing about, then it’s my pleasure to introduce it to you
Let’s start with Kravi Hora, where we’ve been on a walk yesterday. Kravi Hora in English literally means Cow’s Mountain, but fortunately I didn’t notice any cows nearby. What was quite a surprise was a pony on a leash, probably on his way from “work”. All varieties of dogs on the other hand should not amaze anyone. You can turn your mundane walk with a dog into a heavy training, since there’s a training field with numerous obstacles.

Not only dogs’ owner have their little paradise here. Kravi hora is a rather small park nearby city centre beloved also by teenagers, mums with strollers, couples in love, joggers and kids of course.

A spot on a grass, benches, pathways, jogging routes- from 400 m to 5 km, playgrounds, a football field and a baseball one are what people come for.

What’s more Kravi Hora is a place for a famous Planetarium (1954) and swimming pool (1975). Observatory and Planetarium in Kravi Hora is open daily: Monday: 7.30 – 15.00, Tuesday: 7.30 – 15.00, Wednesday till Friday: 7.30 – 20.00, Saturday: 9.00 – 20.00, Sunday: 9.00 – 16.30 but it also depends on the current program. You can reserve and buy your ticket online at: Ticket prices vary from 80 kc to 125 kc. Planetarium offers not only observing a night sky and different thematic projections, but also entertaining and interactive exhibitions. No wonder it’s visited by more than 100 000 people yearly. Most performances in the Digitarium are projected in English, but in case you are interested in a commented tour on an Observation Point you should gather a group of ten people and reserve it prior by calling +420 541 321 287 (on weekdays from 7.30 A.M to 3.30 P.M, except the holidays) or by e-mail (

Kravi Hora outdoor swimming pool stands out. It’s the only one in Brno with such a beautiful view on Spilberk castle, Petrov or the city itself. The indoor swimming pool doesn’t seem to be that bad as well-it’s open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. It’s not the cheapest in the town (70 kc/80 kc per hour), but in case you work or live nearby it’s a good option.

To sum up Kravi Hora is a nice place to go for a stroll after work, visit Planetarium or do some sport. It’s easy accessible. In less than 10 minutes you can get from Ceska tram stop to Namesti Miru using tram no. 4, you can also take tram no. 12 and get off at Rybkova stop-but then you have some “climbing” to do before you get to the park. You will get from the back side-at the baseball field.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

A weekend away in Vysocina Region

A weekend away in Vysocina Region

Even though it doesn’t look like, for some people the ski season in the Czech Republic is not over yet. While individuals await upcoming spring impatiently, others still search for a perfect slope to ride on. Ski resorts in the Czech Republic do their best to keep the snow as long as it is possible for mutual benefits. It’s much easier in the parts of Czech like the Krkonose Mountain Range, Jizera Mountains, Jeseniky Mountains or Beskids, but what with others? For example: ski area Olesnice in Morava is still open as well as the ski snow park Harusak in Nove Mesto, Vysocina Region. By the way, have you noticed that Vysocina Region, with its highlands is dotted all over with ski resorts? Among many you may find: Velké Meziříčí - Ski areál Fajtův kopec, Ski areál Šacberk, SKI areál Svratka. Most of them are not more than 100 kilometers away from Brno.

The same goes for Hlinsko Ski, where I was more than a week ago. There’re three ski lifts and three different runs: blue, red and black, so everyone can choose what fits him/her best. Currently snow is nowhere to be found besides the slope, but it apparently doesn’t bother anyone. The only disadvantage seems to be long queues to the ski lift. People had to wait around 10 minutes to get their turn, which with a 2 minute ride down is a lot. On the other hand ski lifts are not expensive-it’s only 300 kc for a 6 hour ski pass or 160 kc for 2 hour ski ticket. You can also load your ski card with points and use them for every single ride. 100 points equals 100 kc, depending on the ski lift you choose you may go 6 to 12 times for that.

Not in Hlinsko, but we found accommodation in the middle of nowhere in Horni Babakov, in a beautiful wooden house. The little village provides soothing and peaceful environment, encourages to leisure stroll and allows your face to express pure rapture. I believe everyone once in a while needs to be cut off from civilization, with no internet, no TV and no signal in their mobile phone. Of course it’s better to leave your phone at home, but if it’s also your GPS device it may cause a problem. A weekend away from the city accompanied by girls only was what I needed. Thank you:)