Day 4, August 29, 2019
Bob is doing an excellent job researching where we should go and what we should see. He discovers the Punkva and St. Catherine’s Caves which are a 45 minute drive north of Bruno. We find out we should have reserved tickets weeks ago but we take a chance and drive up early in the morning hoping there might be some last minute tickets available. We are successful and we are soon on our 1.2 km tour of the Punkva Caves. Giant formations inside the cave. The Macocha Abyss is a surprise. Like an underground world with trees and a small lake. The first discoverers of this cave lowered themselves by rope 138 meters into this abyss. Next we are loaded into boats and travel along 440 meters of an underground river. The overhanging rocks are very low and we need to duck at times to avoid banging our heads. No photos were allowed on the boats. We stop and disembark to view this beautiful white cavern then back onto the boats to finish our tour. After sampling the local fare we go for a hike to the top of the Macocha Abyss that we saw from inside the cave. Lots and lots of stairs! This is a picture of a picture, but it shows looking up from the bottom of the abyss better than any of my photos.
It is just a short walk to St. Catherine’s Cave, named after a shepherd girl who got lost and died in the cave looking for some lost sheep. This cave was inhabited by Palaeolithic man and many bones of cave bears were discovered here. This is the largest cave dome in the Czech Republic. It was impossible to get it all into one photo it is so huge. Cave bear remains are found in this pile of rocks and bones and there is an assembled cave bear skeleton on display. These were very big bears who lived 50,000 to 30,000 years ago! This is called the Bamboo Forest with its high, stick shaped stalagmites. These are unique and not found in any other caves in this country.
Crazy beautiful formations. We are allowed to touch this stalagmite. It is said that if you touch this formation with two fingers your wish will come true. Here’s hoping…The entrance to St. Catherine’s cave. The temperature inside these caves was about 8 °C and the humidity is 99%. We emerge into the 29° weather and our glasses and camera lens all fog up.
We stop for much needed groceries in a nearby town and it is almost dark when we get home. Time to pack up again. We leave tomorrow so we will not have a chance to see anything in the town of Bruno. We have decided that the next trip we take will have 3 night minimum stays, even when we are just stopping to get from one place to another. There is so much to see everywhere that a 2 night stopover with only one day to sightsee just doesn’t work. I also hate having to pack and unpack so often. Oh, and according ot my FitBit we walked 14,200 steps and climbed the equivalent of 39 floors! No wonder my legs and feet are so tired.