This is part of the fifth section of our around
the world trip.
Complete Trip Overview & Map
Coming from Poland (via Germany)
10/7/99 Straight across the border then into the Czech Republic. Both border crossings a snip, ten minutes. I still get amazed by the degree of change by a line drawn on the map between countries, particularly this time nipping through pristine Germany after Poland and before the Czech Republic. To go from every building, field, town, motorcar being meticulously maintained to run down empty buildings and old beat up cars either side of the line. Overnighted in Prague.
11/7/99 Jutting into Western Europe, undamaged in WW11, a beautiful setting, historic buildings and the cost, has made Prague the tourist capital of Eastern Europe. Usually at its peak in July/August its flavour of the month position slowly disappearing enough to easily cater for the slightly reduced tourist numbers. The reported high priced accommodation shortage gone. The demanding position of the palace, hilltop overlooking the plebs, the narrow streets with stall sellers and buskers add to the Sunday afternoon crowded appeal. We are pensioning in an old winery on the edge of town, in a rural setting, with a bar, absolutely the cheapest beer, this area being the birthplace of the product and restaurant on site, quite a home away from home.
12/7/99 The old town square is the centre of tourism life and the steps of the Jan Hus monument, centre of the square, is the best place to people watch. Comparing fat tourists making us feel slim, short tourists making us tall and old hobbling people helping us to be spry on the city paving. Thousands gather here daily to watch the old town hall clock go through its paces. But everyone seems to be watching everyone else to see what they are finding in Prague. Like the emperor with his new clothes no one is game to say there is nothing exceptional here. One of many beautiful cities in Europe, nothing of great note stands out to justify its reputation. Perhaps the culture and architecture are just excuses to visit to indulge in the cheap beer, food and nightlife.
13/7/99 We indulged in the cheap beer and food while also finding the relaxed ways of the Czech people. Not leaving our old winery enclave other than to tour the gardens.
14/7/99 The Czech Republic has the same highway policy as Switzerland where you pay an annual toll whether in the country for one day or one year forcing us, willingly, to use the low traffic minor roads through Kutna Hora to the limestone region just north of Brno where we camped lakeside with hundreds of Czech holiday makers. When we started travelling everything was new, everything we saw and did was different. Now after two and a half years on the road the inspiration requires more and grander sites or events to stimulate us, and are becoming less frequent. The next piece of architecture has to be "more" than the last, the scenery grander or vastly different. To fill the void of daily awe there seems to be amongst travellers a move more toward the current personal aspects. Encounters with locals or other travellers, these are always different, don't need to be grander and give more insight into today in a country.
15/7/99 Brno, two interesting sites. Panorama, an
apparatus for showing 3D photos, built in 1890, you sit on a stool, one
of 25, facing a large cylinder where viewed through special lenses you
see a series of
50 slides, in 3D, that slowly rotate past you. The old slides
are fascinating let alone the machine and
3D view. Also the Mendelianum, the place where Gregor
Mendel, who through his pea experiments was the forefather of modern
The museum is located in the monastery where Mendel did his studies as
as the remains of the glass house where the experiments took place. He
that the traits are taken from both male and female peas and passed on
the offspring in predictable ratios. Travelled out of Brno to stay just
of the Slovakian border.
Move with us to Slovakia
or go to our next visit to the Cech Republic
Story and photos copyright ©
Peter and Kay Forwood,