Slovenia – an Easter in photos

Today we are bringing you our first photo blog. Whilst we often do away days within the Czech Republic, with specific goals in mind such as brewery exploration, low-league football, or simply bizarre encounters in rarely-visited strange towns, we also regularly go for longer trips further afield. Often then, we have the simple goal of rambling, drinking and sightseeing.

So now we are presenting evidence of our white-knuckle road trip around the incredible country of Slovenia. Complete with choice cuts from our accompanying playlist that kept us going along the road – whilst not our usual tastes perhaps (honest, guv!), they certainly arouse a good singalong…
Our first stop was the small town of Radovljica in the north of country. The town was beautiful but the views were breathtaking…
(Berlinda Carlisle – Heaven is a Place on Earth)

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From here were made a quick excursion to the infamous Lake Bled…
(Travis – Driftwood)

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After a much needed cup of coffee the following morning we headed for the sea, and the coastal town of Piran. We decided we hadn’t had enough of lakes so on the way we made a quick stop at Lake Bohinj and Goldhorn, the legendary golden buck of Slovenia.
(Crowded House – Weather With You)

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Finally we beat the rain and settled in for an exploration of the sublime Piran.
(Lightning Seeds – The Life of Riley)

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From Piran we made a stop for the perfect photo opportunity of Predjama Castle…
(Tiffany – I Think We’re Alone Now)

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… and then we headed for the capital Ljubljana and all its colourful glory.
(Starship – We Built This City)

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In one restaurant one fantastic waitress gave us a travel tip – Skofja Loka. And it was also fantastic – the perfect end to a perfect trip.
(Natalie Imbruglia – Torn)

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High on cervapi and beer we hit the road out of Slovenia, definitely to soon return…
(David Brent – Freelove Freeway)

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To see more pictures follow us on Instagram:
@theblanskoklobasa
And you can also follow Ralph’s account:
@ralphdavies

And if you are planning a similar trip, why not sign up the playlist we lovingly constructed:

Our Top 10 Pubs in Brno for 2018

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It’s that time of year again where we provide an insight in to our favourite pubs in Brno right now. Every year we try to an include as many fresh entries as possible based on a mix of atmosphere, beer, snacks and service. And while we have many new additions to our list here, three ever-presents remain as they are our favourites, our locals, our second homes. And as you will see, not many are in the city centre – we like to get out.

So, before you sit down with a beer to enjoy the following, remember that these are only our suggestions for this 2018. There are many more excellent pubs in this wonderful city, so use your noggin and go and find them…
U Čolka
(Tábor 879/3, 616 00 Brno-Žabovřesky)

U Čolka used to be a regular watering hole at the back end of the 90s before heading over to the Mersey Club. It’s now just an excellent choice for an evening beer. A great selection of both local and national beers, we highly recommend the Sobesice 12, if it’s on tap. As with all great pubs, they serve up wonderful snacks to go with your ale – all freshly made with the perfect service. The summer garden’s a great place to enjoy a cold one in the sun.

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Google Map of Tábor 879/3, 616 00 Brno-Žabovřesky

U Alberta

(Pellicova 10, 602 00 Brno-střed)

Tucked away just off Pellicova, this justifiably popular pub sits conveniently out of earshot of the Brno bustle. The owners keep things interesting with a progressive attitude towards their beer choice. There’s always an ale and they brew their own stuff too. In the summer it’s a great place to enjoy a cold one and watch the world go by.

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Google Map of Pellicova 10, 602 00 Brno-střed

Kabinet Múz

(Sukova 49/4, Brno-město, 602 00 Brno)

Kabinet Múz is one of the few pubs in the very centre that we go to. One of the reasons is that it is one of the best gig venues in the city. On top of that the bar serves up a couple of good lagers and it’s also a place where you can buy a good selection of interesting vinyl. Also, if you fancy a bit of vegan food this is the place to be, with a decent set of options from a vegan-only menu. The only thing wrong with the place is that Craggy hasn’t been offered a gig there yet.

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Google Map of Sukova 49/4, Brno-město, 602 00 Brno

Music Lab

(Opletalova 1, 602 00 Brno-střed)

For another city centre pub, we have included Music Lab in the list. Offering three variations of beer from our favourite middle-sized brewery, Polička, it might have got in here on that alone! However, the pub also offers a good venue for smaller gigs, and musicians offer gather here in the atmospheric interior. If you fancy the regular cheesy beer snacks, those are also on offer.

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Google Map of Opletalova 1, 602 00 Brno-střed

Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven

(Jiráskova 251/51, 602 00 Brno-střed-Veveří)

And for one more musical addition to the list this year we have Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven. Although the name might suggest a ‘Chicago Rock’ type of affair, it is nothing of the sort. Yes, it has some posters of rock icons but the real deal is in the beer, snacks and music that fills the basement pub. With the occasional acoustic show taking place, and an interesting list of beverages, it’s a great place to spend a weekend evening.

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Google Map of Jiráskova 251/51, 602 00 Brno-střed-Veveří

Traubka

(Traubova 1547/8, 602 00 Brno-sever)

Located on a quiet residential street, it would be quite easy to miss Traubka. Somebody once described it to us as “the best underground pub in Brno” and “a cozy den”. We can’t really argue with that much. They have a couple of beers on tap and are always happy to rustle something up in the kitchen should you feel a bit peckish.

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Google Map of Traubova 1547/8, 602 00 Brno-sever

Pivnice Na Šrébráku

(Jugoslávská 599/34, 613 00 Brno-sever)

Back in the day, there were two pubs with a reputation for serving the perfect beer, so Brno beer lovers used to switch between Blahovka and U Zmije. Pivnice Na Šrébráku moved into the building where the original U Zmije used to be and offers the same high quality sherbet with three or four of the Czech Republic’s finest on tap. A pub full of life, it’s quite often standing room only if you get there late in the evening.

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Google Map of Jugoslávská 599/34, 613 00 Brno-sever

Zastávka

(Úvoz 78, 602 00 Brno-střed)

Here is the first of what we could call our three ‘locals’, and definitely three of the best pubs in the city. Zastavka is the point of contact for the Blansko Klobasa as it is placed somewhere between two of your dedicated writers. This bar serves one of the best pints in Brno, with an ever-changing list of beers. The accompanying beer snacks include the infamous karboš, which are a kind of freshly made open beef burger which get offered around as some mystical point in the evening. All beers and snacks are offered up by some of the best service in the city.

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Google Map of Úvoz 78, 602 00 Brno-střed

U Míče

(Staňkova 15, 602 00 Brno-Královo Pole)

U Míče is where the Blansko Klobasa talks shop – it’s opposite our office and it serves Polička. It’s a popular place with the Brnaci and it’s not difficult to see why. Definitely a pub with an atmosphere, it is best if you can get a seat at the bar and get your hands on the beer snacks before they’re gone.

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Google Map of Staňkova 15, 602 00 Brno-Královo Pole

U Dvou přátel

(Tábor 25, 616 00 Brno-Žabovřesky)
The newly opened sister pub can be found at Dominikánská 23

We love U Dvou přátel (At the Two Friends), and it is an ever-favourite destination of the Blansko Klobasa when we head north of Uvoz. The pub is a welcoming and lively place, and the scene of some great music and excellent beer – they have even ventured into the brewing scene themselves with Brewniverse. Last year saw the opening of a second pub right in the centre (Dominikánská 23), still serving the great snacks but this time with a bigger basement venue for gig nights.

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Google Map of Tábor 25, 616 00 Brno-Žabovřesky

As always, we have a few Honourable mentions. We are aware that we have only covered a tiny area of the Brno pub scene, but some of these have made in to previous lists, or make one in the future. If you want something new and from a small brewery out of town, try Doubravnik not far from the centre. Pomaly Bar is an old favourite of ours and is worth it for the atmosphere alone. If you want something right in the centre go for Zelena Kocka. It attracts the tourists and prices are rising, but the quality and choice is always guaranteed. Further out of town is Paradox, a decent pub with its own small theatre. Lucky Bastard is favoured by some, and it certainly has a great choice of its own beer. Blahovka is a Brno standard – every Brnaci knows this pub. U Sajmona is also a favourite, with a great fresh pint of beer and some of the best pub food you can find.

Kid Gloves

Wingy, Wingy, Wingy

Wingy, Wingy, Wingy

With it being the end of the year we’ve been running a bit behind with all things Klobasa as we attempt to get to grips with cold, hard reality. So, in the run up to Christmas we will be catching up with a few pieces about touring Moravia and also the end of the football season, before we begin our annual countdown of good tidings. Wingy, who has a new dog, takes us back to the home game against Polna. Take it away Wingster…

If you’ve been following this blog (and why wouldn’t you?) you will be aware that Blansko have been having a rough time of it of late. Two five-nil defeats in a row away from home, no home wins, and only one win overall would suggest a team in crisis. And yet there have been reasons to suggest that things might get better, as the young team start to gel .

We weren’t expecting a great deal from our latest home game, as it was against third-placed Polná. The last time I’d seen Polná was the season before last when we beat them 3-1 to gain promotion to the MSFL.. That day we had a crowd of nearly 1100, but when we arrived we were shocked to see  a crowd of maybe a tenth of that. But one good thing – the re-appearance of Pavel the drummer, who was back on tannoy duties. This time around we were minus Craggy, who was rehearsing with his band (and nursing a monster hangover,apparently). Unfortunately for him, he missed a cracker, as Blansko started with all guns blazing (not a cliche that I’ve needed to use much of late, it has to be said). And the pressure paid off just ten minutes in, as after a spell of sustained pressure with Blansko forcing three corners on the trot, the third swung deep into the penalty area and there to head it in was the ever-dependable Honza Trtílek. Better was to come in the thirty-second minute,this time Luboš Chloupek netting after a rather fortunate rebound fell virtually at this feet. After that, the result was never much in doubt. And so it was for the rest of the game. Polná were deeply unimpressive, and seldom seriously troubled our goal, whereas they were handicapped by having a keeper who resembled Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce (and I don’t mean in his playing days. I mean Bruce now). Blansko, for their part, played some nice football, with Trtílek yet again a cut above , and Martin Smerda impressive in midfield, until subbed for his son, Domiík I like the look of Smerda Junior (I’ve already dubbed him ‚The Blansko Juninho‘ and for a Middlesbrough fan there is no higher honour), he’s got a lot of promise, although he’s got a long way to go before he’s the finished article (and he’s so short that he has to tuck one side of his shirt into his shorts, or he’ll look like he’s wearing a mini-dress). And a special mention must go to reserve keeper Zdeněk Veselý, who despite his young age (he’s 17) came in and did an excellent job. Blansko have been lucky to have had a couple of excellent keepers in recent years in David Juran and Jirka Floder, so hopefully he will follow in their footsteps and become an FKB regular. Well done kid!

So, an enjoyable day. A home win (at last), a good team performance and some pleasing individual performances. The most enjoyable game I’ve seen for quite some time! Come on Blansko!

 

TISNOV HAVE THE HORN – BLANSKO GET SHAFTED

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If you support a small club, you get used to there being ups and downs (or even quite big clubs – the lower leagues in England have several teams who were playing in the Premier League not so long ago, such as Portsmouth and Coventry City. And former league teams like York City, Stockport County and Darlington now play in the sixth tier). It’s something which you accept, as it is extremely difficult for a small club to punch above its weight for very long. The Klobasa have already seen two promotions and one relegation, and now we are on a downswing, and are probably facing going down again. Following relegation last season, Blansko lost a lot of their best players (including, it must be said, some who were the subject of our best songs) and have this season promoted last term’s successful youth team, with the obvious result of us having, with a few exceptions, a very young, inexperienced team. And it was this team that we came to see at Tisnov. The Klobasa were on a little high after seeing in our previous trip a decent performance and a one-nil win at Velka Biteš. But Ralph had a warning for us, as he was expecting a thumping. And so it came to pass.

I had made my way to Tisnov seperately, and the day started well enough when I found that I wouldn’t have to spend 50 minutes in the thoroughly unlovely town of Kuřím waiting for a connection. And I met up with the other Klobasas (and occasional guest Klobasa and Tisnov resident, Michal) in the centre (following a detour due to misunderstanding directions given (a salutary lesson for an English teacher). The walk to the ground involves a path under a tunnel of horrible creepiness, and then comes to a gate in a wall which brings to mind an entrance to allotments. Inside it’s not much better – the standard formula for a lot of grounds at this level (like Blansko) of the changies, bar, toilets etc in a building on one side, and main stand on the other. Although ‚stand‘ over-dignifies it, as seating capacity (unlike Blansko) is less than three figures, and barely two. And Ralph assured us (and he seems to know these things) that they were going to build a new stadium next door.

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To say things started badly was an understatement. Tisnov, who were fielding no less than seven former Blansko players (including the increasingly‚ circumferentially challenged Petr Svancara) were straight at it from the start, and it was little surprise when they went ahead after only three minutes, and a second was added after 13. It was quickly apparent that Blansko were totally outclassed and the priority was to prevent a rout. To add insult to Injury, Tisnov had thein own drummer, a strange little man who had a black curly wig (although no moustache, so this wasn’t some sort of Scouser homage), and a trumpet. (Our own Pav the Drummer has gone AWOL again, and is sorely missed. Pav, are you out there?). On our side of the pitch was someone with a vuvuzela (for those of you unfamiliar with this instrument, it’s a type of plastic horn which first made an appearance at the South Africa World Cup in 2010, and makes a horrible, mournful honking sound, and was promptly banned from British grounds, thank god.) and the two were making a call and response which was suggestive of sexually-frustrated geese. Tisnov added a third goal before half time, so that was game over, although in truth it had been from the third minute.

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The second half started where the first left off with Tišnov adding a fourth while Ralph and I were still getting the beers in. And of course it had to be Svancara who got it. And that was about it. Tišnov added a fifth later from a free kick, but they’d already stepped down a gear, so it meant FKB avoided too much humiliation.

So, not much to cheer about this time round. The new keeper had a bit of a nightmare against an excellent team, the defence well-nigh non-existent (oh for Standa Pišek to return!), and poor Honza Trtilek was ploughing a lone furrow up front. There was some promise – Dominik Smerda had a decent game considering. But not much else. Ah well. As Ralph says, it’s going to be a long hard season.