Beside the Vlavia River
Once out of Salzburg we pass through some beautiful countryside with some great lakes and mountains. At a sizeable town we shop at a supermarket and buy some croissants and strawberries. Detour off the main route to find a lovely lake that is well set up for water sports, picnicing and walking. Have a romantic setting for a break and the food. Afterwards Andrew goes to check out the water termperature and was able to get a full coverage when he slipped in, as the bottom step leading down to the water was slimy! Standing up knee deep he cautiously checks out an ankle but decides that he has only pulled the ligament. Back to the van and he strips off and changes his clothes and we are away once more. Note signs that say Fahrt and Ausfahrt.
How rude! Dotted along the roadsides there are little wooden huts on low stilts that house wooden stakes and we think that they are something to do with snow and road usage, but what?
Through typical tyroleon scenery we are soon at the Czek border. Our passports are checked and we buy an autobahn sticker for 8 euros. Their countryside is interesting and we have taken a minor road to see more. In the higher country we not that the Czeks too have little roadside huts that have sheets of pailings, so perhaps it is to lay on the snow covered roads to get traction? Out of some towns at rest areas we sometimes see a woman all tarted up and just watching the passing trucks and cars. She often seems to have a little van parked nearby! Spot an outdoor market and pull in to have a look.
The gothic churches
Suddenly swamped by the vendors insisting we have a look at their wonderful fake copies of clothing labels, cigarettes and alcohol Andrew needs a warm top as he has lost his and I need some sandals to replace the ones I threw out in Jamaica. We bargain and get both.
Following the map to a camp we know exists, we find one right on the mighty Vlavia river. The jovial olds concierge asks us if we are from Australia spotting our flag in the window. We agree that we are. He then asks if we rowed to Europe! Filling out the paperwork he asks if we have a dog and the answer is Yes, but we weren't allowed to bring her. He says he will drive his Mercedes to the spot for our tent and we are to follow and he sets off on a push bike! Tells us there a restaurant in the camp and they have good food.
the roadside huts with stakes or pailings-this one in Austria
Later I check out the menu and seriously doubt this as in the breakfast section they have toast and diabolical toast! What? He also tells us that the spot we have was several feet underwater in April and apologises for the mounds of dried mud that has been scraped up. He also sells tickets for the train into the city centre so we purchase them for about 80 czek things each way. He warns us that there is a bus coming in later and there will be Aussies on that!
A Budget Operation bus comes in and about 20 x 2 man tents go up then the bus takes them off and drops them into the centre and returns. A lone white swan glides down the river, climbs out and snuggles down on the bank near us plus a pair of mallard ducks.
the clock with the figures, the zodiac etc
Much later a female duck with 6 chicks passes by. Canoers and kyakers are everywhere in the river. In the camp people are using the courts for volley ball and kick tennis. It seems to be a hostel as well as for campers with sports areas for local teams. We now have travelled 4035 miles so far. It has been a very hot afternoon and we only need a sheet over us in the tent to sleep that night. As I go to bed, a rat swims past. There is a mighty storm through the night but we are fine.
Ran out of camping gas last night but there are cooking facilities in the main building. Andrew's ankle has swollen so a tour bus of the city seems a good idea. The train takes 20mins to get us in.
looks innocent but, that is the Lake!
is a very cosmopolitan city, food from every land, bohemian crystal, garnets, gothic cathedrals, castles, a clock with 3 time pieces begun in 1490 by Hanus then perfected in 1552-1572 by Jan Taborsky. Crowds turn up on the hour in the Good King Wenceslas Square to watch the figures come out and do their thing. The 2 hour bus tour takes us to St Vitus's Cathedral which was built under orders of King John of Luxembourg in 1344. This was replaced a Romanesque bassilica which stood on the site of a small rotunda dating back to St Wenceslas 925AD. The Charles Bridge connecting the Little Quarter to the Old Quarter once took 4 carriages abreat but is a pedestrian way only now. There is the oldest synagogue in Europe. One of the earliest Gothic buildings in Prague built in 1270. The old Jewish Cemetry where 12,000 are buried as they were not allowed to be buried elsewhere. It is believed that they are buried up to 12 deep in some places due to the lack of space. I love this city but did not expect it to be so much fun.