Home, Sweet Kolej. . .

It is nice to be in my dorm room again. (How often do I say that?)

Had a fun day today, more walking and less bus riding. Went on a walking tour of downtown Brno this morning, led by a local Češky. It used to be the “capital” of Central/Eastern Europe because of all its amazing buildings and on-the-up-and-up culture — supposedly, it was even more beautiful than Vienna. But a lot of the buildings and cathedrals and castles were bombed and ruined during WWII, making it now quite an interesting mix of amazing, old things and tacky, cheap-looking new buildings. We went to 3 different Catholic cathedrals, all of which were in the middle of mass; it was cool to see the buildings being used for their original purposes and appreciated by people. There was a brass quintet playing from the top of this spire on the Old Town Halll; the music echoed through the main square, and we couldn’t tell where it was coming from at first. How Medieval.

Walked around Brno a bit after the tour, trying to find something good to eat. Tried to get this veggie and pork kabob, but it wouldn’t be ready fast enough. So I went to McDonald’s and had a cheeseburger and fries. I’m serious. You do weird things when you’re out of the States, sometimes.

Got back on the bus and drove to some Czech National Forest to the Moravian Karst — this famous system of underground caves formed millions of years ago by water flows. They have all kinds of stalagmites and stalactites and it gets really cold once you get to the bottom. We had a nice “hike” on a paved road back to where the tours began; it was mostly along a fog-shrouded stream, and it felt extremely good to be walking outside in the woods. It didn’t feel all that different from places I’ve hiked in Western Pennsylvania, and the trailheads were marked with these cool Czech coat of arms symbols. We ventured into the caves and walked around, took a boat ride for part of it, emerged in the middle in this amazing garden-type thing that was open to the sky. Quite cool, and Czechs are quite proud of it, so that’s cool too. Then back on the bus, a stop at a gas station for dinner, and back to the Kolej.

I’m feeling better today, I think thanks to the 1L of Moravian bilé vino I drank last night. I didn’t plan on drinking, only having a glass or two to help me fall asleep, but one thing led to another, and soon almost the whole bottle was gone and I was hugging the toilet. I haven’t been that drunk in years. But anyway, I woke up this morning and felt pretty good, after a short bout of the dry heaves before breakfast. My snot isn’t yellow anymore, anyway. So we’ll hope that continues to clear up.

Mike just came to see if I wanted to go to the Hanging Coffee, but I think I should get some rest. So that I will do.

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