I’m way behind on getting my impressions of the Czech countryside up here, but I had a fantastic time there and it was far cheaper than I expected. (Sometimes there is a nice surprise to the upside.) After a train debacle coming from Hungary, where an Austrian conductor literally slammed a train door in my face, I made it to Znojmo. This was my apt introduction to the Czech Republic as that word is actually pronounced ze-NOY-mo.
Znojmo has a lot going for it in the daytime. Perched over a river near the Austrian border, it’s got an interesting fort and church at the highest point, an old monastery that is now home to the largest winery in the country, and cobbled streets flanked by restored storefronts. There’s a brewery in town you can tour as well. At night, however, don’t expect a lot of action.
The photos here were taken at 8:30 at night, when I could not spot one other human being walking the streets or even a car passing by. “Moravia used to be worse in the communist times,” a local tells me. Before the streets and pubs were empty by 7:00.” Let’s be thankful for small improvements I suppose. The only place I could find open for dinner was a pizza parlor. It was packed by default.
I had asked someone in the afternoon where I could log onto the Internet and she wrote down two restaurants she was sure had WiFi. It turns out one of them is only open until 4:00. The other is only open four nights a week and I didn’t hit it right. Someone else sent me to a bar where I could supposedly get on line. It is only open three nights a week.
Those places are run by workaholics compared to this Greek restaurant where I took a photo though. You don’t have to know Czech to see that this is an eatery that barely qualifies as a hobby. One day a week it is open 8 hours. The other day it is open for a grand total of two hours!
After wandering the streets for an hour looking for signs of life, I gave up and headed back to my hip pension, Rezidence Zvon. On the way I passed the “Herna Non-Stop Bar.” At 9:30, it was closed.
Don’t get me wrong. I really liked Znojmo. It’s a beautiful town. If you go there though, plan to have your fun before the sun goes down. Or visit in mid-September, when the annual Znojmo Traditional Wine Festival is going on. Rumor has it those who don’t pass out actually stay up past midnight for the occasion.