I so enjoyed my short stay in Brno I’m reluctant to leave. Have downloaded the PDF maps of all the relevant stages of the Eurovelo 9 route – I just need to find the start. But after lunch. I went into a café around the corner from the hostel – not the nicest place I could have chosen, but convenient. I didn’t get what I ordered but what was on the row below in the menu – the waitress couldn’t speak English and didn’t see what I was pointing at. But it was a very edible Greek Salad and close enough to what I’d ordered so I didn’t make a fuss (how thoroughly British of me!).
After lunch, I spent the next couple of hours trying to find the start of the cycle route and failing. Unbeknownst to me, I’d come within a few metres of it the very first time I’d set out – but had doubted myself and turned back into the centre. So I went round and round until finally I decided enough was enough and went in search of someone who could speak passable English to tell me exactly where I was so I could navigate on the map properly. This took several asks but a lovely chap in an IT service shop met the criteria, by which time it was gone three in the afternoon. The path was so lovely and flat, with an excellent tarmac surface, I still managed to cycle over 40 miles (which is impressive for me, though I’m sure the Friday Freewheelers are phsawing!). A wrong sign led me briefly astray in Rebesovice – I went around in a great circle because the sign said go left (when it should have pointed right). I realised the direction was wrong and kept checking my compass, but still chose not to question the sign. Sigh.
But now I’m at a campsite (Autokemp Merkur on the shore of Nove Mlyny reservoir in Pahsolavky). It’s noisy and busy enough now, at the beginning of the season – so lord knows what it gets like in high season. Some idiot with too much testosterone, driving a sports car, takes it down a grass slope at high speed and does pirouettes with it in the sand. I hope the noise settles down before I go to sleep.
The Czech people (and I’m going to generalise terribly, here), seem to be very sociable and to love to party. Many towns and villages seem to have a communal activity on in a public place at the weekend. They also seem to be family orientated. I’ve noticed lots of courting couples in Brno, walking around holding hands, canoodling in corners – so romantic! Then there are many families out at weekends enjoying activities together – cycling, dining out etc. and it’s very noticeable how children are included and spoken to by the adults. I love the playgrounds that abound – most towns seem to have one and they are colourful, sturdy, well planned and inviting (though I haven’t had a go apart from the slide in the modern art gallery!).
Villages and towns seem better maintained to the South of Prague – perhaps because of the vineyards? There’s more evidence of general prosperity anyway.
Have goulash and bread and beer in the café – with a very helpful manager who speaks perfect English. He spent some time touring the British Isles about 10yrs ago, as well as living in Australia and working on Cruise Ships…Honestly, he doesn’t look old enough. I wonder how/why he ended up running this camp restaurant?