Last weekend I decided to go out. I wanted to see a bigger city from the Czech Republic and because Brno is only 50km away I went there.
Unfortunately I didn’t manage to organize any event there. I was hoping to have a presentation there, too, about how you can travel without money and alternative means of traveling. Apparently it wasn’t meant to be, so I limited my trip to visiting the place.
After I finished my work, on Friday, I quickly took a shower and started packing. I was picking and stuffing various items of clothing in my backpack while talking with my girlfriend on the phone. Hahah! I managed to be a bit multi-tasking and I must confess that I performed both tasks flawlessly
When my bag was done, my host drove me to the bigger village where I could hitch a ride to Brno. The bigger village is only 9 km away, but it’s on the main road.
As I reached the place, I’ve put my stuff on my back and I started looking for a hitchhiking spot. Due to the fact that was really, really, hot outside and I wasn’t in the mood for walking too much through that sun, I just stopped at a junction and looked for some shadow. Yeah, I know, that’s not the best idea but it worked.
I waited there for about 5 minutes when a nice guy picked me up. His car was a sauna!
Although he had his window down, it didn’t make any difference. In fact, I think it was hotter inside the car than outside. I couldn’t do anything about it, but endure it, while he gave me the lift and while we were talking.
He was really nice and the talks we had were interesting. We got to subjects like “the system” or “them” which made me happy. I liked to hear his opinion, even though it wasn’t the same as mine. He wasn’t too rigid with his views and opinions and that made the debate more pleasant.
As we got closer to the city he asked me where I have to go and after I told him the street where I have to go, he made sure to drive in that direction. I don’t know if he had to go that way or if he just made a small detour, but he dropped me very close to the place I had to get to.
As I was walking towards ruta 80 hostel, I couldn’t notice all the nice buildings on the street that lead to the hostel. It was obvious that the road was recently repaired and it looked great. The way to the hostel is really nice and for me was a delight, because I had the chance to see all those old, nice buildings.
As I reached the place, the owner greeted me and we started talking straight away. We got caught up in the talking and only after a few minutes we continued our way through the hostel. Ruta 80 is a nice, small, thematic hostel. Dario had an idea to give it a retro look, and I must say that he managed to do it.
I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted not only by him, but by the whiteboard where the new guests are welcomed on the behalf of the staff.
The place is not big, just a dorm and a private room, but it’s perfect if you’re looking for a cozy place to stay and if you’re on a budget.
One bed in a 8-room dorm is 10 euro.
There’s also breakfast and coffee you can have in the morning. Usually bread and jam, but that’s fine for the price you’ll pay.
I really liked the small details that Dario put inside the hostel, from the message above the sink saying that the water is drinkable, signed “Mario bros.” to the request of not smoking inside, or else you’re going to have bad dreams, asked by “Freddy Krueger”.
I could see that he tried to make the place cozy and friendly.
After I got myself accommodated I went through the city to take a look.
To get from the hostel to the center it was really easy, just a straight road, for 15 minutes.
As I got to the edge of the old center I, once again, told myself that I will get lost for a while and find a way back afterwards. So I started wondering through the old streets, taking random left and right turns.
It looks like the city administration did a good job, because the old center looks very nice and only a few cars are allowed to drive there.
The paved roads look new(-ish) and the buildings are kept in a good shape.
The center is not too big, but not too small either. The funny thing is that after one hour of “getting lost” I found myself in the same place where I started my “getting lost” trip.
It seems that my orientation skills won’t let me get lost so easily.
Because it wasn’t that late, I walked a bit more through the center, again, and then went back to the hostel.
The next day, after a long lazy morning, I finally got my ass out and wondered through the city once again.
It was very hot outside and I was crossing the streets only to walk in the shade. The city looked quite deserted that day. I am not sure if it was because it was a Saturday or because it was hot. Or maybe both. Anyway, it was a bit strange to see a city almost empty
This time I went through other neighborhoods and I went all the way to the castle. I didn’t go inside the castle though, because my hosts advised me that it would be a waste of money. The view from the park that’s around the castle is very nice and I stopped there for a while to enjoy the view and to read a bit from my book(from my phone).
Next thing I started going downhill and towards the center, but to the sides I haven’t been the other day. I wondered around there for an hour or so, until I found another high place with great view over the city. I stopped there again for some time and for a more reading.
As the evening was approaching I thought of going back to the hostel, to lay in the bed and watch some episodes of the series I recently started.
On my way to the hostel I had a slight change of plans and I went to a park that was on my way, kinda.
Lužánky park is a place where a lot of people meet. I saw some flags jugglers. It was a group of men who were juggling with huge flags. I have a feeling that they might be part of a medieval reenactment group, but I might be wrong.
Next thing I notice some girls practicing their skills on monocycles and next to that area I notice two guys playing the djembe. I immediately went there and sat on the bench next to them.
For the next half of hour I just stayed and listened. Nothing else. I was in a trance/mediation state of mind and it was so, so, good. We didn’t exchange any words, just a smile and a nod and that was it. When they stopped their practice I moved to another place, on the grass, and continued reading.
When it started getting dark I went back to the hostel where I watched a few episodes of that series, after having a skype call with my girlfriend.
On Sunday I had to leave, but I didn’t rush so I wouldn’t wait too long on the street. I thought to myself that if there will be some traffic going in my direction it will be in the afternoon.
Come on! Who wants to drive on a Sunday morning, right?
So around 2-3PM I started my one hour walk towards the hitchhiking spot that I found on hitchwiki. From the first look I had on the map I knew that it won’t be easy to get there, nor the best one, but it was the only one.
It wasn’t that hard to get there, just a lot of walking, but the spot was very bad. It was basically a spot before an exit off the highway. It wasn’t good nor safe, but I didn’t have any options.
At first I was signaling the cars from behind the rail, so I won’t disturb the traffic, but I didn’t have any luck.
After around half an hour passed, I pulled out a piece of cardboard and I scribbled very fast “LETOVICE”. Even with the sign, no one was stopping.
I was already melting and the water in my bottle became tasteless tea. I was beginning to get tired, because of the sun, when I decided to cross the railing so the drivers would see my (beautiful) legs too.
I was just leaning on the railing so I wasn’t on the road, but still not much luck.
After a total waiting time of 1 hour and 10 minutes, a couple picked me up, but only for 10 kilometers. They told me that I was standing in the worst spot, but they will get me to a better one. I knew where they will take me. The same spot I waited in when I first got in the Czech Republic.
And I was right. They dropped me off in the same spot and wished me good luck.
In that spot I waited for another half of hour, I think, and I got picked up by a girl who had her big german shepperd dog with her too.
From Letovice, I had 2 or 3 options of how to get home. One was to walk, second one was to hitchhike(if I had any luck) or third one was to call my host and pick me up.
I didn’t want to disturb my host and I combined the first 2 options. I started walking(it could’ve take me about 2 hours) and I was hitchhiking as well.
There wasn’t much traffic and I had to walk for another half of hour, but in the end I was picked up by another nice couple, all the way to my village.
All in all the Brno experience was interesting, but not that exciting. Maybe because I didn’t have any company with me, someone who knows the city better. Maybe because I had some expectations due to the fact that I heard several of my acquaintances talk about Brno. Maybe because of the heat.
For me it was a nice experience, also revealing in some ways, even though it was very hot. I am glad that I managed to see this city as well and I am sure that if I would go again and if I would spend the time with a local I would discover new things.
What cities, or places, made you have the same feeling? Tell me, where did you go thinking it would be really interesting and you were not so impressed?
Let me know your answers in the comments!