Published: May 13th 2008May 10th 2008
Teplice Rock City
View from Strmen castle ruins
Now for a total change we have gone to a rock city - Adrspach-Teplice Rocks. This is near the northern border of the Czech Republic with Poland. Sandstone has been eroded leaving valleys bounded by towers of sandstone. There are a number of walking trails - with lots of people on them. At first it looked pretty tame and then the towers got higher and the valley narrower, until we were walking along a stream bed and able to touch the valley walls on both sides with the towers going up 50+metres. The temperature dropped a lot as well. It is so shady in the bottom of the narrowest bits, that the snow that falls in winter doesn’t melt away completely, so we were walking on snow at times—permafrost really. Unfortunately the usual loop track was closed because of rare falcons that were nesting. So we ended up following the suggested alternative track which unfortunately ended up being a lot rougher in places and exceeded Alison’s complaint threshold a couple of times. Overall though it was very impressive and well worth the effort.
At this stage we need to make some comments about toilets and associated habits. We know about the
squatting type - there are none of them here. But what we have is the inspection type - these toilets are shallow and have a shelf at the back and the hole for the sewer near the front. There are even some strategically placed depressions - the overall outcome being the opportunity to inspect one’s output which is sitting nicely on shelf, to make sure it is satisfactory! In addition toilet paper is interesting. In some toilets there is only one dispenser - so you need to collect the amount that you think that you might need before you go into the toilet. In the toilets today it was totally bring your own. I think toilet paper may have been a precious commodity in the past—it still seems to be incredibly valuable.
We had to do quite a bit of driving today to get to our next stop near the Slovak border. So we put the destination into the navigation program and off we set - on tiny roads as usual. Then all of a sudden we came to the Polish border which we had crossed before we realised it. Borders are visible but just empty buildings beside the road.
So we ended up taking a shortcut across a bit of Poland before popping back across the border into the Czech Republic. We were running short of diesel, so had to fill up. We weren’t prepared to be in Poland so couldn’t even think what the currency was - we thought it was going to be the Euro (but I think that this is next year) but it was the Zloty. Thank goodness for MasterCard which manages zlotys, krowns, pounds, euros and Singapore dollars which we have used so far—the bill will be in NZ dollars tho and will be big! Wah!