Bystrice – A Blog Post with a Fairytale ending

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Late last Wednesday evening I messaged Craggy about the upcoming trip to see high flying Blansko up in Bystrice, a pleasant little town in the Czech Moravian Highlands about 60km north of Brno.

The conversation when something like this –

“Looking forward to Saturday?”

“YES” (capital letters indicate enthusiasm)

“Do you want the good news or the bad news?”

“Good news first, please”

“There’s a brewery”

“What’s the bad news?”

“It’s on a farm called “Eden” and it costs 90kc to get in”

“90 KC!!! We are not paying that!!” (exclamation marks indicate anger)

” Yeah, no way!”

Fast forward to Saturday morning and after a wonderful train journey ,we find ourselves outside Eden with 90kc in our hand…Luckily for our wallets, the place was locked up, not because it was early in the morning (9.30 am), but because the brewery doesn’t open until May and even then it is only open at weekends. You won’t be surprised to learn that the brewery has an average score of 1 star (max 5) on my Android app…mostly from disgruntled customers complaining about the opening time and the entrance fee..

We were far from unhappy though, we were excited. Away trips are one of the greatest things ever created, up there with beer, klobasa and David Juran.

A huge plus to these trips at the moment is Blansko have been unbeaten for absolutely ages, we are writing absolutely ages as we haven’t quite done our research and established our last “nul points”…Back in October in Hodonin, we believe.

With Eden not quite ready for visitors we rolled down the hill from the train station towards the ground.  In 2014, the lane to Bystrice was just like any lane, but not any more..it is now called “The Magical Fairy tale Alley” and is lined with wooden statues of characters from Czech fairy tales on the left and rope bridges on the right.. Craggy couldn’t contain his excitement and skipped off to try them…all.

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Rope bridges successfully conquered and we found ourselves in the ground and queuing for beer..

As mentioned in previous posts, the welcome from the people of Blansko is so lovely. This time some of the old generation that has travelled up on the coach with the players (something we have to do for the blog) came up to us and enquired to how and why we were following Blansko…

“Boys, where are you from? You are not from Blansko..Are you from Brno?”

“No, I am from Wales and he’s from England”

“From Wales and what are you doing in Brno? Studying?”

Now, as somebody who finished his studies a long time ago, this was indeed a compliment..unless, he just thinks we act like 20 year olds…come to think of it.. it’s probably that.

As we made our way round to main stand Next up was Sasa, the clubs long-standing physio/goalkeeping coach – greeting us with big handshake and a smile, before telling us that 10.30am was far too early for a game of football and that he was suffering from an evening in the pub. We know how you feel, Sasa, we know how you feel…

Finally, we got to the stand and our final “dobry den” was to Pavel, our drummer, who was tuning up..

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By the time we had put the flag up, the players were out and acknowledging the supporters with the little wave they do before each game. We started well, attacking with purpose and carving out opportunity after opportunity, but without really troubling the goalkeeper..

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Things were so quiet at the other end that our number one, David Juran, could have sat with us for the first half hour….I can’t remember a single shot that he had to stop.. And with the game edging towards half-time, we thought we’d beat the queue and grab a local beer before the break..As we queued, Bystrice attacked and won a corner..as we ordered the beer, Bystrice smashed the Blansko post and just as we got out beer and with the final attack of the first half, the home side scored – cheers.

The second half followed the same pattern as the first, we attacked, they defended, but you could just tell that it wasn’t going to be our day. We could have played until it got dark and we still wouldn’t have scored..post, crossbar all hit as pushed for an equaliser..I am not even sure their keeper used his hands in the second half. We lost 1-0, a game we should have won..

We headed into the centre of the  town to try and find the pub we’d visited on our previous and just like the Bystrice goal (and the brewery) it was difficult to find a way in ( does that make any sense) – so we headed to a local cafe for a pint of Harrachov, but with Craggy on a strict time schedule, we spent most of that time looking at the time..

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“I am not sure we’ll make it, we mighty have to run” I pointed out.

A gentle jog, turned into a run and by the time we got to the foot of the hill (who puts a train station  on top of a steep hill) we were sprinting…

Halfway up “Fairytale hill” – Craggy was a good ten metres ahead of me and it was looking like he would travelling back to Brno without me, but like any fairytale it has a happy ending and …er… I made it with seconds to spare…..

THE END.

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Storming the Castle

Pernštejn Castle

Pernštejn Castle

After the Klobása’s last outing to Vyškov proved to be one of mixed fortunes (FK Blansko lost and the klobása was average, but we had our own horseradish) we were looking forward to yet another trip away, this time to Bystřice nad Pernštejnem. In the time between trips Blansko had managed to turn in a home win against Stará Říše so things there were looking up. Now that’s the footie sorted, but what about our trip? And more importantly, what about the klobása?

To kick the day off we decided to take in a bit of culture, and so rolled in to the worn out old station at Tišnov to have a ganders at Pernštejn Castle. Alighting the train at Nedvědice we spied two bars straight away – and that was just at the station! Brimming with joy after such a promising start we wandered through the pretty little village before beginning the ascension to the castle, perched high up on the hill. Pernštejn Castle has to be one of the most attractive castle in the Czech Republic. It’s imposing location atop the rock strikes an impressive view from below. We arrived there in the middle of a wedding, looking just a little out of place with our Blansko Klobása t-shirts on, with nobody offering us a free champagne. One woman however, admittedly not associated with the wedding, asked us what the t-shirts were about. She politely feigned interest when we explained it was “a blog about football, beer and sausage, but mainly sausage”, and then she asked quite pointedly, “What are you doing in my country?”. Well there’s me thinking we’d just explained that, but there you go…

Chickens

Chickens

After a quick look around we descended back down and grabbed a decent pint of Pernstejn (confusingly a beer from Pardubice) and then a quick Bernard at the station, leaving a trail of Klobása stickers in our wake. We jumped on to the train and rolled on to, well, the middle of nowhere otherwise known as Bystřice nad Pernštejnem. Enough walking between farms finally saw us arrive at the gates of the Bystřice ground, and between two bars. We got the beers in, greeted the Blansko drummer and took up seats in the stands. We were aware of a few unfamiliar faces joining us in the away end, who seemed to be content singing with us Britské rowdies – as the drummer has so flatteringly termed us. The extra support was indeed welcome but it all appeared to be for no good end when Bystřice went a goal up. Disappointed, and bloody hungry, we trekked off a little later for a pre-half-time klobása. We were standing in line for our eagerly anticipated sausage when we suddenly heard cheers behind us, only to turn around and realised we’d missed the equaliser! Was the klobása worth it? Well, it filled a whole but it was certainly no resounding success, and they weren’t half tight with the bread and mustard.

The Bystřice klobása

The Bystřice klobása

Little were we aware then that Blansko would go on to net five more screamers. During the course of this rampage, the plight of bottom-of-the-league Bystřice was obviously getting to some and prompted one home fan to turn round and reach aggressively for the Blansko drum! Understandably he appeared to regret this act quite quickly and, to give him credit, apologised on more than one occasion. We let the final cheers die-down before we headed in to Bystřice itself. It was as quiet as any small Czech town on a Saturday but we found a decent little restaurant and piled some higher quality pork products on top of the klobása sitting uncomfortably in our stomachs, before jumping on the train back to Brno to put the lid on a, mostly, successful day…

Bystřice

Bystřice

Teams

Teams