As I’m sure you can tell from my last few posts, the first half of our trip through Central and Eastern Europe went off without a hitch. We were on top of the world and having a great time. Unfortunately, we didn’t fare as well on the second half of our journey.
We left Prague, still feeling a little under the weather and set out for Brno, another city in the Moravian region of the Czech Republic. This was actually something we were really excited for and curious about for a couple of reasons. First of all, because we came very close to studying abroad in Brno together while we were in college, but had to back out because it was too expensive. We had always kind of regretted the fact that we didn’t go through with it and hoped that visiting would give us some sort of redemption. We had also heard nice things about Moravia from our tour guide in Prague, citing the delicious plum wine and the people’s hospitality.
We hopped off the train and looked around for a map, as we didn’t have the luxury of a working smartphone on this trip. We stopped at the information desk to ask for directions, but the person behind the desk couldn’t speak much English. We managed to get some information about a tram stop, so we took it and figured we could ask someone for directions to our hotel once we got there.
WRONG. Most people either walked right by us like we weren’t there when we asked them for directions, or shrugged their shoulders and told us they had never heard of the street we were looking for. It was raining, we were cold and sick, we hadn’t eaten since breakfast, and the sun was going down on a pretty sketchy-looking neighborhood. So much for hospitality. All I could think in that moment is how glad I was we never studied there; it would have been a total disaster. At least I got closure.
Not knowing what else to do, we decided to take the tram back to the train station and figure things out from there. They had a small pizza stand inside, so we grabbed a couple slices each, and to make a bad day worse, it turned out to be some of the nastiest pizza we had ever eaten. We were both feeling exhausted and fed up at that point. That’s when the perfect solution dawned on me: we were already at a train station….why not just leave? The next stop on our itinerary was Vienna and we’d only budgeted one night in Brno and had already missed all the things we’d wanted to do while searching for our elusive hotel, so the idea didn’t seem so crazy. We ran into the ticket office and luckily they had a train leaving for Vienna within 45 minutes. After a whopping three hours in Brno, we bought our tickets, breathed a sigh of relief, and waited impatiently to get on that train.