1) The Dlouhé Stráně Pumped-Storage Hydro Power Station and Hanušovice Brewery
Wednesday, 5 July, 2017: 8:30-17:00
This field trip will involve a visit to the Hrubý Jeseník, the second highest mountain range in the Czech Republic, where you will learn more about the largest reversing water turbine in Europe. In spite of its location in the heart of the Jeseníky Landscape Protected Area, the Dlouhé Stráně Hydroelectric Power Station has the largest head of all power stations in the Czech Republic (510.7 m) and it has the largest installed capacity in the Czech Republic (2 x 325 MW). The upper reservoir is located on top of the Dlouhé Stráně mountain at an altitude of 1350 m and has a working volume of 2.58 million cubic metres (total volume of 2,719,750 m³) and occupies an area of 15.4 hectares, with a maximum depth of 26 m. The lower reservoir is located on the Divoká Desná stream at an altitude of 824.7 metres and has a total volume of 3,405,000 cubic metres and an area of 16.3 hectares. On the way back we will visit the Hanušovice brewery to taste one of the best local beers.
Price: 25 EUR – the price includes transport by coach, entrance fees and lunch in the Hanušovice Brewery.
2) Morávka reservoir, Skalická Morávka National Nature Monument and Nošovice-Radegast Brewery
Wednesday, 5 July, 2017: 8:30-18:00
We will start this field trip by a visit to a water reservoir and dam near Morávka, in the Moravian-Silesian Region. Here, a tour of the interior of the dam is also planned. Built between 1961 and 1966 on the Morávka River, the dam covers an area of 0.795 km². It is used to supply drinking water to nearby towns and to manage floods on the Morávka and Ostravice rivers. Some tens of kilometres below the dam, we will visit Skalická Morávka, a national nature monument and one of the last remnants of a naturally braided river in the Czech Republic. The braided channels are dominated by multiple channels (braids) and gravel sediment bars. The channel profile is extremely dynamic and complex in its pattern of flow and deposition, making it possible for unique communities of vegetation, such as the very rare and threatened German tamarisk (Myricaria germanica), to grow there. However, this valuable ecosystem is endangered by the regulation of the river and by the deficient transport of sediment from an upstream part of the river because of the construction of the Morávka reservoir. Not far from Skalická Morávka, in the town of Nošovice, there is the Radegast brewery, renowned for its excellent beer. On the way back we will visit the castle at Štramberk– a natural cultural monument. The Gothic tower of the castle, together with the adjoining parts of the fortification, is generally known as Trúba (a local expression for round timber).
Price: 25 EUR – the price includes transport by coach, entrance fees and lunch in the Radegast Brewery.
3) Fish ponds near Tovačov, the Archbishop’s Palace Gardens and Castle and Archbishop’s wine cellars in Kroměříž, a place to taste delicious Communion wine
Wednesday, 5 July, 2017: 8:30-16:00
The field trip will start in the town of Tovačov, where we will visit the Hradecký fishpond and learn about carp breeding. In Tovačov the tradition of fish farming dates back to 1464. Today the fish farming system consists of four ponds, with the Hradecký pond being the largest (154 hectares). Then we will continue to the town of Kroměříž. Undoubtedly, one of the finest places of interest there is the Summer Archbishop’s Palace, which boasts beautiful interiors – a picture gallery featuring first-rate works by European painters and a Rococo assembly hall. Thanks to its splendour and state of preservation the palace and the adjacent gardens are inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The gardens and the palace are an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a European Baroque princely residence and its gardens. The Archbishop’s Wine Cellars were founded in 1266 by Bishop Bruno of Schauenburk. In 1345 King Charles IV granted the cellars the right to mass-produce wine according to the Vatican standards. A part of the Archbishop’s Palace in Kroměříž, the cellars are placed underground at a depth of 6.5 metres. With an area of 1030 m2, they are divided into the "Horní" (Upper) and "Dolní" (Lower) cellars. In the cellars the temperature is the same all year long – between 9 °C and 11 °C – which makes it a suitable environment for making Communion wines that are purely natural and of the highest quality. Down in the cellars the oldest parts of the walls of the Gothic castle from the 13thcentury have been preserved. The wine matures in historical wooden barrels of different sizes. The largest barrels can store up to 19,100 litres and the oldest barrel is from 1805.
Price: 30 EUR – the price includes transport by coach, entrance fees, lunch and wine tasting.
4) Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Wednesday, 5 July, 2017: 8:30-18:00
The Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape (Lednicko-Valtický areal in Czech) is a cultural-natural landscape complex covering 283.1 square kilometres in the towns Lednice and Valtice areas of the South Moravian Region. The Lednice-Valtice Area is inscribed in the list of monuments protected as World Heritage Sites (WHS) by UNESCO. It is adjacent to the Pálava Protected Landscape Area (Pálava Biosphere Reserve). The close proximity of two cultural landscapes protected by UNESCO is unique and we will see a special slideshow about this natural wealth. On the way back we will visit one of the best-known wineries, CHÂTEAU VALTICE - Vinné sklepy Valtice, a.s., and have a chance to taste a few samples of Moravian wines.
Price: 40 EUR – the price includes transport by coach, entrance fees and lunch and wine tasting.
5) Moravia Karst (Punkva caves, the Macocha abyss, and the Moravian Karst House of Nature), the Vyškov brewery and Slavkov (Austerlitz)
Wednesday, 5 July, 2017: 8:30-18:00 Fully booked!
This field trip involves a journey underground. We will visit the spectacular area of the best-known karst system in the Czech Republic and experience boating on the Punkva, a subterranean river. The Moravian Karst (Czech: Moravský kras) is a karst landscape and protected nature reserve to the north of Brno. Covering an area of roughly 92 km², it encompasses a number of notable geological features, including some 1100 caverns and gorges. Currently, five of the cave systems are open to the public for tours and exploration. This region is also home to one of the most important single geological features in the Czech Republic, the Macocha Abyss, a gorge 138 m deep, which was formed when the ceiling of an underground cave chamber collapsed. Macocha is the biggest gorge of its kind in Central Europe. It is also where the Punkva River goes underground and runs through the underground Punkva cave system. The upper part of this unique natural formation is about 174 m long and 76 m wide. There are two platforms for tourists on its edge. The first one is the Upper Bridge, constructed in 1882. The second one, called the Lower Bridge, is situated a little further down. This lower bridge dates back to 1899 and is about 92 m above the bottom of Macocha, which you can see from it. In the Moravian Karst House of Nature, we become immersed in the world of the Devonian sea. We can see limestone rocks which served as the foundations for caves and their dripstone decoration. We can also meet prehistoric dwellers and fly together with the local bats. We can experience life in the local forests and the impact of man on the karst territory. On the way back we will visit the Vyškov brewery to taste one of the local beers and stop to see the multimedia exhibition “The Battle of the Three Emperors”. There you will learn what actually happened at the end of the year 1805 at Austerlitz, where Napoleon's troops fought against the combined armies of Russia and Austria. An array of original exhibits is complemented with a video screening, monitors with computer animations, and a touchscreen with a rich database of texts, illustrations, and information about the Battle of Austerlitz and the Napoleonic Wars.
Price: 40 EUR – the price includes transport by coach, entrance fees and lunch in the brewery.
6) Litovelské Pomoraví Landscape Protected Area, rafting along the Morava River
Wednesday, 5 July, 2017: 8:30-18:00
We invite you to visit the unique countryside along the Morava River in Litovelské Pomoraví (Czech: Chráněná krajinná oblast Litovelské Pomoraví, usually abbreviated to CHKO Litovelské Pomoraví). This protected landscape area in the floodplain of the Morava River, to the north of Olomouc, established on 15 November 1990, covers an area of 96 km2 (37 sq mi). In the centre of this area lies the historic town of Litovel, nicknamed the "Hana Venice", from which the protected area derives its name. The ecological backbone of the protected landscape area is the naturally meandering Morava, in floodplain forests branching out and forming a complex system of permanent and temporary river arms, a so-called anastomosing river system. The uncontrollability and power of regular floods in the Middle Ages led the local farmers to build a ring of dykes around the forest where it meets agricultural land. Thanks to these the floodplain forests of Litovelské Pomoraví have within living memory offered significant flood protection to the surrounding villages and the towns of Olomouc and Litovel, as they form an enormous natural polder that catches and stores the overflowing water without causing damage. Before rafting we will visit the Litovel brewery to learn about beer production and taste the famous local beer. We will visit two interesting locations near the Morava River and its backwaters and learn about hydrology and the functioning and protection of the floodplain alluvium. We will finish our trip by rafting down the side channels of the Morava River for about 10 km. It should take about four hours to get back to Olomouc this way.
NOTE: While this trip does not require knowledge of rafting, it is intended for those who consider themselves adrenaline lovers.
Price: 30 EUR – the price includes transport by coach, entrance fees, the renting of rafts, and lunch in the brewery.
7) The Javoříčko caves, the town of Loštice – the home of the famous smelly cheese – and the Litovel brewery pub
Wednesday, 5 July 2017: 8:30-18:00
The underground system of the Javoříčko caves consists of a complex set of corridors, caves, and abysses created inside an island of Devon calcites by the Špraněk stream. The greatest portion of the caves was discovered as early as in 1938 during a difficult passage through the lower floor that lasted for several hours. The upper floors were discovered in stages, mainly in the 1950s. To date over 3.5 km of corridors have been explored, out of which 788 m have been made accessible to the public. The cave is beautifully decorated with stalactites and stalagmites; the most beautiful ones are to be found inside two mighty spaces – the “Detritus Cave” and “Cave of Giants”. In addition to the traditional types of stalactites and stalagmites, some of them reaching respectable sizes, there is also a large number of “helictites”, stalactites or stalagmites growing against the laws of gravity. One of the highlights of the cave is the “Curtain”, which is over 2 m long. The lower level, inaccessible to the public, consists of a complex labyrinth of corridors connected by abysses up to 60 m deep, which have not yet been fully investigated.
We will visit the Litovel brewery pub and taste one of the famous local beers.
Our next stop will be visit of "The Olomouc tvarůžky museum" in Loštice. The town of Loštice is well known for its unique local product – a smelly cheese called Loštický tvarůžek – which is a popular delicacy for all gourmets because of its typical fragrance and special taste. Olomoucké tvarůžky is a mature cheese made of skimmed (non-fat) milk. It has a completely unique spicy flavour, characteristic smell, surface with a golden yellow cover and a sticky semi-soft to soft consistency with a noticeably lighter core. It usually comes in the form of circles, rings, sticks, or irregular pieces. The unmistakable taste and smell that are typical of this cheese are caused by the (proteolytic) degradation of cheese proteins during the maturing process. Its nutritional values – low energy value (i.e. low fat content) and full-value proteins and calcium – make Olomoucké tvarůžky one of the finest types of cheese.
Price: 25 EUR – the price includes transport by coach, entrance fees and lunch in the Litovel Brewery pub.