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Brno the City: Roots 1

Vienna to Brno was a relatively uneventful journey. An unknown land, unknown language and first time traveler meant that the scope for confusion was ample but surprisingly it did not take that route. Major thanks to precise instruction boards, largely helpful population and extremely efficient and well organized infrastructure. Our entry in Brno was quite eventful though, it unexpectedly began to rain. A few locals seemed skeptical to help out lost, luggage dragging, English speaking ladies who were dressed like Govinda but that was only the first 5 mins. After an unsuccessful attempt at getting a tram, we decided to lug our luggage to the hostel and it turned out to be a good decision because we got to see the city in all its splendour. Brno is a small city, very picturesque and a queer combination of quiet and liveliness. After settling in our apartment (which is actually a palace mind you!) we stepped out to explore the place and the exploration is still on. Brno is as small as Parle east may be, but much less crowded. It is filled with old gothic architecture and one can trace its history in its buildings, from the 15th century gothic, to the communist period to the more recent times. Most of all though it is dominated by churches, so very many of them! And all in excellent condition. Most churches are from the 15th century but have been restored continuously through the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. They are a great tourist attraction. The blend of old and new is remarkable. Most city squares (a culture similar to village squares) are a house of modern art and are surrounded by old gothic buildings on all sides. It seems as though some interior designer took the town's look to heart, but all structures and their combinations are organic, nothing looks artificial. It’s pretty. Some of the local life style choices are fairly peculiar by Indian standards. Firstly all thanks to summer, the weather is extremely pleasant. It dawns at around 4.30 am and it’s nice and bright right up till 8.30 pm. The sun is warm and not blistering and the breeze is cool. It’s a very romantic weather and brings out the merrier side of all locals. People here typically have a moderate breakfast; a very heavy lunch which is their most important meal of the day and then the party begins! Czechs believe that they brew the best beer in Europe and hence it is available in plenty and is the most favoured, cheapest and a drink with most variety to it. It is difficult to find anybody eating post lunch. It’s a merry land of beer. People (less conventional ones) can be found sitting in the town square with their tall glasses and cigarettes and having a gala time well up until mid-night. People have dances in the town squares as the night approaches. Summer is their season to live, to catch and understand the essence of life. It is inspiring; to exercise, work, study and make merry right through evening, post the sunset and till the church bells dole out mid night. I fully experienced the English term, 'summer is in the air ' here. Summer is indeed in the air; you breathe it, laugh it and here also gulp it down with some draught beer. It's nice. P.S. the Czechs have a cute tradition, they clink their beer glasses say 'nasdravi' (cheers) and then thump their glasses on the table before they drink it. So nasdrano (bye) and nasdravi to the summer....

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