We arrived in sunny Brno after a cheap and cheerful flight with RyanAir, which wouldn’t have been complete without the rambunctious jeers of a stag do and the ear piercing howls of an unhappy baby… We touched down just after 5pm and were greeted by our AirBnB host Jan. Bundling our stuff into his van, we were driven into the city which was thankfully just a short 15 minute ride away. On arriving at the apartment, we were amazed to see it was even more regal than the photos suggested. I wouldn’t normally go for something quite so extravagant (if you can call €48 a night extravagant) but I was travelling with my Mum and I don’t think a 12 bed dorm is her thing!
With it being so warm and sunny still, we dropped our bags off and Jan showed us how to get into the city. We made our way along the secluded road, under graffitied railway arches and past a large poster advertising a Tesco bikini (yes really) before taking a right on to the main road. As soon as we turned the corner it was clear how close we were to the centre. We could even see the cathedral spires poking over the top of the central train station which was directly in front of us. Jan pointed out the collection of vibrant yellow coaches to our right – the boarding point for our upcoming day trip to Vienna – before a friendly handshake sealed our goodbye.
With trams rumbling past every few minutes, we walked under further (slightly crumbling) railway arches, past the central station and up the steps into the heart of Brno. We were immediately struck by how incredible all the buildings are – the paths are walled with looming buildings, each more intricately designed than the next and many typical in their renaissance style. I almost felt like I’d gone back in time, taking great pleasure from walking with my neck craned towards the blue skies above me. We made it as far as the Zelny Trh square, which to be honest wasn’t far at all but in our defence… we found cake. Cake and coffee and an outdoor seat with a view! We settled into the cafe, enjoying a slice of polenta cake (Mum) and a freshly squeezed juice (me). I could have gone for a slice, but the eye-watering quantities of cream and chocolate smothered on most told my vegan-dar that this was probably one to miss! Plus, I had my sights set on Brno’s 100% vegan bakery…
Once the sun had disappeared behind the clouds, we decided to head back to chill in the apartment, detouring via Tesco on the way home to grab some breakfast essentials for the morning. Yes – I know what you are thinking – bloody Brits jetting off for a cultural city break, only to find themselves in TESCO! But… It had been a long day and I wasn’t up for Google translating every label!
We spent the evening sipping Czech beers kindly left for us by our lovely host (along with an assortment of unidentifiable spirits and cigars – neither of which we were brave enough to try). Settling into my sofa bed for the night, I fell asleep to the melodic grumbles of the trams outside the window.
Day 1 in Brno, complete!