Family in Brno, Little Italy in Mikulovo

Friday 7 to Saturday 8 July

We had arranged our stop in Brno to catch up with Kate and Mark. Our paths crossed as they were driving from Italy to Berlin and we were driving east from Germany. 

We booked into their hotel, Grandhotel, a little more upmarket than our usual choice. 

We quickly made contact and joined them for lunch. Of course we had lots to share, we hadn’t seen them since early May, two months ago. 

Since then Alex & Sarah had announced a pregnancy, we had visited Evan & Steph and Hayden & Andrea and both our boys were on Kate & Marks itinerary. 

After lunch we set off to do some sightseeing. The small market square, the cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul where we watched a wedding procession and climbed into the towers, and the Špilberk Fort. We found Svopody square and the cute backside that hangs off St James’ Church -story goes that the church didn’t pay the artisan, so he left a small memorial of himself.

Kate and Mark had already checked out Brno and found a couple of craft beer places to try and booked us into a nice restaurant. The beer was good and the air warm and humid. We moved to the restaurant and got settled outside when the rain started. In true European style, the rain pounded, so we were moved inside. Still chatting, exchanging experiences. 

Late drinks at the hotel and breakfast together before we said our farewells, we travelled east and they travelled north. 

We made a lunch time stop at the small town of Mikulovo, famed for being the little Italy in the very south east of the Czech Republic. The castle, donated by Přemysl Otakar II in 1249 to the Liechtenstein family was later inhabited by the princes of Dietrichstein.

German troops destroyed the castle in 1945 and it has now been rebuilt. It is in a beautiful setting, surrounded by vineyards. The area is a popular tourist destination and was hosting a wine festival when we were there. Most of the participants were arriving by bicycle.

It was, of course, another popular photo opportunity for brides and their entourage.