As I mentioned in my earlier travel post today, I’m still getting over whatever sickness I picked up in Czechia. Consequently, I’m pretty fatigued and kind of want to go to bed. But I also want to move onward with my Czech series, because, pretty soon, we’ll be going to Armenia, and I’m going to have to switch gears. So I’m going to press on and write about our awesome visit to the Punkva Caves in the Moravian Karst near Brno.
Originally, we thought we might visit this cave on Saturday. I’m really glad we didn’t do that, though, because I feel pretty certain we might have missed out. In the summertime, guides recommend booking tickets for this cave and the others in its complex weeks or even months in advance. It gets very busy in the summer. Since we were there on a Friday, we were able to tag along on a tour with a bunch of Polish high school kids. But we got two of the last tickets for the day, as the cave closed at 2:00 PM on the day of our visit. By the time we walked the two kilometers to where the tour started, they were completely sold out for the day.
I’m really glad we managed to see this cave, as it’s very beautiful and different from the other two caves we’ve recently visited in Germany. It’s not only a gorgeous limestone cave to walk through, but it’s also unique because the only way out is by boat. And on your way out, you stop by a room that is the prettiest of all you’ll see on your tour.
If you don’t want to walk to the cave entrance, you can pay for a tram ride. That’s how all the Polish kids arrived. I had a good laugh, because almost all of them made a beeline for the free toilets in the building. I only mention they’re free because there’s a pay toilet by the information center by the parking lot (which you also have to pay to use). The pay toilet is the one I used. 😉
The walk to the cave is very pleasant and not too difficult. I was glad we did it, because I got some beautiful photos, as well as some much needed extra exercise. I also got a stink eye from a fellow American, probably because he heard me complain about how loud Americans are. I guess that made me a hypocrite. 😀
Anyway, there’s not much I can tell you about the tour, since it was done in Polish (mostly via recording). There were Czech guides who, I assume, spoke Polish. The younger one also spoke English and halfway through the tour realized we weren’t with the Polish group. It was when I decided to hang back and let the younger set get ahead of us. I’m not dead yet, but I can’t keep up with teens anymore. It wasn’t a really hard cave to explore. There was just one area that required a steep climb and was a little challenging. Once that was done, we were doing great!
Below are some photos from our trip through Punkva Cave– just one of several at this complex. I noticed there was a hotel there, so you can book a stay and spend several days exploring. I might be persuaded to do that sometime. I’d like to see the other natural wonders at this complex, but there are only so many spoons, right?
This first set is from our walk… and a goofy shot of us while we were still smiling. I’m kidding, of course. This cave isn’t a bad one for the mediocrely fit of us…
Next are some cave shots… It was such a beautiful place! Well worth a visit! We weren’t allowed to take photos during the boat portion of the tour. My guess is because everyone is packed on the boats and they don’t want people trying to use selfie sticks. It might also have to do with light in the cave altering the ecosystem. Anyway, I followed the rules.
These next few were taken with my digital camera, both on the dry part of the cave, and in the really pretty room at the end of the tour. We reached the pretty room by boat.
We decided to walk back to the car, which added another two kilometers to our day’s exercise. As I sit here feeling kind of worn out and fatigued, I wish I still had the energy that I had just eight days ago. Little did I know, by Saturday evening a week ago, I was going to feel pretty yucky. At the end of our walk, we rewarded ourselves by having lunch at the hotel restaurant. Smoked saibling for Bill and grilled trout for me… and lots of potatoes and beer.
After we were finished visiting the cave, we decided to stop by Holedna Obora, a nature preserve in Brno. We read that it’s a huge fenced area where deer are left to roam and there’s a fenced in area for wild boars. It’s free of charge to visit and there’s a small free parking lot. We only saw one deer, but it was a big stag who had a big rack of antlers. He seemed to be napping in the late afternoon sun.
By the time we were done walking around the forest, I was pretty exhausted. So we went back to our hotel and watched some TV while we drank wine from Moravia. I saw a movie with a German actress who looked like the spitting image of Lori Loughlin. Alas… although my German friend gave me her name, I no longer remember it. But see for yourself…
Well, that about does it for part eight. See you when I write part nine… probably tomorrow.