Blansko “seas” the day in Trebic

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A few years ago as an icebreaker with one of my post-secondary school classes, I asked them all to prepare a joke. The following day, Petr stood up and asked me to name the three most famous beaches in the world. “Copacabana, Rhosilli and …..” , before I could name a third he shouted out “Trebic” (Tre beach) – a poor joke, but it got a lot of laughs and helped the lesson no ends.

Trebic is in a landlocked country and of course it doesn’t have a beach, but it does have a brewery and a football team… so, a perfect way to spend a Sunday.

This was our first away day of the spring season, I don’t really count Stara Risa two weeks ago as the game was played 27km away from their home ground in Jihlava on astro.

Blansko have started the second half of the season, much the same as they did the autumn, a bit hit and miss. The first game was cancelled, the second game we threw away a half time lead to lose 3-1 and then bounced back with a 2-0 victory over Velka Bites. So, we weren’t sure what to expect in Trebic, apart from a good day out.

The squad has been strengthened recently with the signings of the league’s top scorer, Tomas Sodomka, defender Vit Barta and the midfield trio of Dvorak, Kouldan and Petrik.. It looks as though the club had panicked at the thought of dropping down another division and bought a whole new spine of the team. Welcome boys.

We set off as we always do, from Brno Hlavni Nadrazi, Trebic bound with a couple of cans of Radegast to brighten up the trip.

The journey was a splendid one, the train takes you up and bit further up to the heart of the Czech Moravian highlands. We were met by a station guard and sunshine. Ahh, the sun where have you been for the past 6 months.. We were both pleased to see it and by the fact that we able to bask in it for the rest of our trip, we could say the sun was happy to see us too. Hip.. hip..

We always have a plan for days like this and Trebic is blessed with some wonderful tourist sights. The Jewish quarter is one of the best preserved in the world and rightly placed in the UNESCO heritage sight. So, over the river we went to the first port of call, Masaryk’s veiwpoint offering us a lovely view of the city. We are not sure why it’s named after the country’s first president, there’s not a town or city in the Czech Republic which doesn’t have something to remember Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, so Trebic built a view point.

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From there we took a walk past the city walls and down to the Jewish quarter to find the wonderful Cafe Art.

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After our first beer of the day, a delightful Dalesice 11, it was off to the brewery for some nosh and a quick look Basilica. Luckily for us, the kind folk of Trebic built the brewery right next to the monument, giving us the possibility to kill two birds with one beer.

Podklasterni Brewery will definitely feature in our brewery of the month, so I won’t bore you with the details. The highlight of our brief stay there was definitely the goulash soup, the lowlight was the gentleman on the table next to us. Obviously new to technology, he bellowed into his phone so loudly, my mother messaged me from her home in Cardiff to ask him to keep the noise down.

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Onto the game – the stadium in Trebic is one of our favourites in the league.. A covered terrace is a rarity at this level, but Trebic have one and it’s delightful. Our first stop was of course, the club house, where we were greeted by some familiar faces and the obligatory shot of slivovice, which we declined – work the next day, so we stuck to our beer and walked around the pitch to find a spot in the sun.

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As mentioned earlier in the post, Blansko had recently strengthened and it was our new striker, Tomas Sodomka who opened the scoring in 14th minute. Picking the ball up on the left-hand side of the penalty area, he neatly cut inside a bent the ball into the far corner.. If we’d had a song for him, we would have… honest.

The team continued to press and impress throughout the first half against a poor Trebic team. It’s no wonder they are adrift at the bottom of the table. We created chance after chance, but surprisingly couldn’t add to the Sodomka goal. We went in at the break just the one goal in front.

The second 45 was very much a brim full of Blansko on the 45..with us creating havoc with our two new wingers. The biggest surprise was that we finally clinched victory in 79th minute. A penalty gave Sodomka his second,Blansko 3 points and us, a celebratory pivo. Psikal wrapped it up with a 3rd goal with four minutes left to send us all home happy.

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One thing that I enjoy is that the players always come over to thank us for our support with a high five… I think it’s a nice gesture at the end of the game, only if we have won, naturally.

A couple of the players stayed behind to chat to us about holidays and the demise of Tisnov before being summoned back to changing rooms for their own private celebration.

For us it was a beer at the closest pub to the station and train home to Brno with the points safely tucked into our rucksack.

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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:

Brewery of the month – April

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Městský pivovar Štramberk – Náměstí 30, 742 66 Štramberk

“Do you fancy stopping off in another town on our way back to Brno?” My mate Steve said to me over a coffee on a cold Sunday morning . At that precise moment, we were in the restaurant of Hotel Plast in Cesky Tesin, a town on the Czech/Polish border..
My suggestion was Stramberk famous for it’s Truba castle tower, timber houses and it’s Stramberk ears.

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The ears, I hear you say…?? Well the ears are connected to the Mongol invasion of 1241. Apparently, the Mongol army used to cut off the ears of Christians and send them to their khan as some kind of trophy… Gingerbread ears are now baked and sold all over the town to commemorate this…charming, hey?
An additional reason to visit the town is the brewery situated on the main square and a fine brewery it is too.

After 150 years the Town Brewery revived the local tradition of brewing beer in Štramberk at the location where beer used to be brewed and tapped centuries ago. Today they brew a light unfiltered Pilsner type lager and dark unfiltered lager named Trubač.

During a beer tour of Europe, Stan Sesser, a reporter of the Wall Street Journal, labelled local dark beer as “the best dark beer of 2006 in Central Europe”. in addition to the brews just mentioned and if your tastebuds allow, the brewery also offers their own special beers with sour cherry or plum flavour.

Local homemade cuisine is famous for its specialties prepared not only in beer. If you want the gourmet experience to go with your pivo, we highly recommend you try the goulash, although it has been mentioned that they serve up some excellent pork scratchings too,

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The town itself is a must, if you are in the area – be prepared for hill from the train station – it’s a steep one.

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Brewery of the Month – March

Slavkovský pivovar – U Mlýna 1422, 684 01 Slavkov u Brna

Located a good 20 minute walk from a lonely train station, and 10 minutes from the town’s charming centre, the Slavkov brewery is one of the highlights of a worthwhile trip to Slavkov U Brna. Located a stone’s throw from Brno, Slavkov U Brna is famous for its former name Austerlitz and the associated battle during the Napoleonic wars. While the Baroque castle and Renaissance town hall are certainly worth a visit, people come from all over the area to visit the brewery.

The brewery is located in a cul-de-sac with a couple of other businesses and boasts a very modern exterior. Inside, too, the restaurant shines with all things new and is designed with big tables to cater for groups and families. The ethos here is certainly to be welcoming to all; however, this does not compromise on the quality of the beer and food.

There is an extensive range of beers on tap depending on the day, including lagers, ales, and dark/semi-dark beers (tmave/polotmave). The lezak (lager) is crisp and fresh, and for us it washed down one of the best creme garlic soups I think we’ve ever tasted. Certainly, we will be visiting again later in the year when we are in less danger of being swept away in a blizzard.