Not only was I lucky enough this semester to visit Brno,one of the largest cities in the Czech Republic, but I got to do it with a local, my friend from high school Natalia! It is such a wonder how many students who studied for a year in Calaveras I am close to and have visited this semester. Natalia took stats for our volleyball team senior year, and we were in the same photography group so we became pretty good friends throughout the year. When she learned that I was headed to Prague for a semester, we made sure that I would come visit her in her college town, Brno. Only a quick 2.5 hour bus ride away, I took advantage of a Wednesday Czech holiday and headed down south for a quick two day trip!

The Experience: After a nice ride on Student Agency, I got off at the Grand Hotel, and was immediately greeted by Natalia! We got myself a bus pass and headed over to her apartment to drop my stuff off. Being in the Czech Republic for a trip was nice, because the money, language, and general way of life was the same. It is always a treat to stay with a friend who is local, because I did not have to bother with hostels, or yelp up good places to go and things to see. The first night we got a nice dinner, and wondered around the city. Brno is a really nice city that reminded me of a smaller Prague, with cute shops and nice restaurants. Eventually we headed over to her friends house where I got to meet all her guy friends-about 10 Slovakian’s who really spoke no English. It was so interesting to be in an atmosphere that is so fun, but not be able to follow much of the conversation. Nevertheless, they were all really nice, and I enjoyed seeing that even friend groups from halfway around the world are not much different than mine.

The next morning we woke up and headed to the city to get coffee and explore. We ended up going on a tour of the underground city, which included catacombs and where they used to store all the food and wine. We also visited the castle, a few parks and enjoyed the many shops in the city. Eventually our busy day reached the end and I got back onto my Prague bound bus. Overall, it was a sweet few days with Natalia, and a great introduction to the many gems of the Czech Republic!


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