Order No Rainbows

Life as an expat, Photography, Crafts, Vegan Food, Music, Art, Animals…..

Blansko from A to Z. R is for….

on June 1, 2013

Romance? Forget it! This is the least romantic place I’ve ever been. So let’s move swiftly on…

R is also for railway. Blansko has two railway stations, which seems bizarre for such a small town. I’d never really appreciated how important rail transport is for movement of goods across Europe until I got here. During my first week I was staying in a hotel not far from the station and it seemed like a huge freight train passed through town every 5 minutes during the night. They’re less frequent during the day, but there are still a lot of them. And where there are railways there are railway crossings. Not that they’re used much as people seem to walk across the tracks pretty much anywhere they want to. This freaked me out a lot at first because it’s just not something you see in the UK, but now I’m used to it. The trains themselves are a mixed bunch. There are some modern trains but many of them look like they’re 30 years old, you have to climb up several steps to get into them, which is awkward, and the noise they make when pulling into a station is horrendous. It’s not uncommon to see lots of people cringing with their hands over their ears. Having said that though, after years of commuter hell travelling to work in London and Manchester I find the Czech train service to be good. The trains usually come on time, whatever the weather. The worst delay I’ve experienced was last weekend when the train I got coming back from Bratislava to Brno was running 45 minutes behind schedule. The fares are reasonable – it costs Kc68, or just over £2 for a return to Blansko, and around Kc300 (£10) to get to Prague. I can always get a seat, the trains and clean and safe, and usually warm. And the custom here is that if you’re sitting in a compartment or a set of 4 seats, and someone comes to sit next to you, they say “hello” when they sit down, often asking if it is ok for them to sit there, and “goodbye” when they leave. I like that.

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And finally, R is for river. The Svitava flows through Blansko. The water seems to be pretty clean and is home to ducks and fish, with occasional appearances by swans. There’s a nice path by the river which is a pleasant spot for a walk on a sunny day, and there are usually fishermen to be seen at various points along the bank.
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