Family Visits, Ib
I've been romping around Moravia since last Friday with my dad, brother, and dad's fiancee. This has proved an entertaining trip. First there was a day in Brno while everyone recuperated from jetlag. Then we met with an amateur caver, a member of the Czech Speleological Society, who explores the caves in the Moravian karst every weekend. Dad contacted him via email and set up a co-excursion to these world-famous caves. (Apparently there are karsts, basically large limestone deposits, all over the world, but the Moravian one is among the largest and most-explored.) This outing also entailed an outing to the opening of a local photographer's exhibition of photographs from the karst caves beneath the village Rudice. The exhibition was kicked off with an evening of "Czech country" music (no kidding, the photographer plays in a bluegrass band), goulash, and beer. While Dad was exploring the "real" caves, the rest of us visited the Macocha abyss and Punkva caves, the only portion of the karst open to tourists during the winter. The abyss is gigantic--basically a 120 meter deep gash in the middle of an otherwise normal forest. We also visited the giant baroque church at Křtiny u Brna, the castle and Jewish quarter in Boskovice (synagogue is pictured), the entrance to the caves at Sloup, the village Ostrov u Macochy, and the caving-historicali museum in the "Dutch" windmill at Rudice.
Upon returning to Brno, we have visited the tourist sites: St. James church, the main square, the cabbage market, the "oldest" restaurant in Brno (they were unfortunately out of halušky, my brother's new favorite, which I also highly recommend), Petrov hill and the cathedral, and Špilberk castle and the casemates. The high-point of yesterday was when I decided to sign a preliminary agreement for a studio apartment on the other side of town. The location is what some Brno residents might call the 'wrong side of the tracks'. It seems to be a part of town that was once an independent village called Husovice. The neighborhood is much different from my current one, and it has a more working-class feel. The apartment also has it's own bathroom, three radiators, a water heater, and the possibility of hi-speed internet. If I'm lucky they might even add a washing machine (!). There is no yard or stove, but I figured that these inconveniences will be outweighed by some of the disadvantages, previously discussed on the blog, that my current house features.