Green Meadow Waltz(Czech Melody Masters) - A Wander Through Northwestern Czech Republic and Bank to Germany - 12th June 2016

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June 12th 2016
Published: June 16th 2016
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We are having trouble getting used to the light arriving so early in the morning as we head further north. Goodness knows how we will cope when we get to Norway where it will be light for 18 hours and the other 6 hours of the 24 hour day will just be a dusk type situation.

ML had a little rain overnight and this morning looks fairly typical of many of the recent days we have experienced with overcast skies and cool temperature.

Our apartment overlooks the car park where Peggy has been for the night and it was good to see that she is still there this morning with all four wheels intact.

Gretchen didn’t have any luck last night before she came to bed to fix her phone so we will have another attempt later today when we get to Dresden and if that doesn’t succeed then we can try in Dresden for a new phone with the help of Emily, who we are meeting for the day and has an understanding of German to get us over the line with the no contract bit.

We dropped the keys to the apartment in the letter box just inside the front door as we left and got the car on the road heading north again.

We did have the option of going west to the nearby border crossing at Cheb at the foot of the Bohemian mountains but we decided that seeing we had come this far through the Czech Republic we might as well go as far as we can before crossing over with a direct run into Dresden.

We were convinced that the GPS was taking us on a big circle trip as we climbed the hills behind ML but we didn’t end up back there as we thought we might. Rather we moved onto a very rural road, hardly one lane wide and drove through some lovely forest. How the GPS was working this out as the route to follow was beyond us but it would have made for an interesting experience had we encountered any opposing traffic before we got to the E48 and descended towards but then bypassing the industrial town of Karlovy Vary.

We carried on what became the E442 as cultivated land gave way to more industrial activities with a couple of rather ugly power plants which appeared to be coal fired. In that respect Czech Republic probably haven’t got a lot of options for making electricity as the rivers are not sizable and where we were in the northwest of the country the land was flat to rolling away from the mountains on the border with Germany and probably nowhere to construct a dam to generate power.

The E442 neatly bypassed the industrial towns of Chomutov and Most but we couldn’t miss Teplice.

We needed a break from driving and it was time to exercise the legs. So we found a place to park on a street and then took a stroll around a couple of city blocks that took in the very large Teplice Railway Station.

The building was a huge edifice which in its heyday during Communist rule was probably one of the larger employers in the city. Much of the station today didn’t seem to be used and there were a number of empty waiting rooms along the platform that we observed as took a walk to check out the platform.

At the front of the building on either side of the main entrance into the once art deco booking hall were two large ,grimy, almost black statues representing railway labourers from a past era, one male and one female, standing guard. At one time these statues would have looked grand and very much the part. But there days were long gone and they might be better placed in a park such as we had seen near Budapest where many old Communist era statues removed from their original place of prominence were now on display.

And although it was Sunday and there were not a lot of people around Teplice had that look as the rest of the country that we have passed through had, that it was missing out on the prosperity of what was happening just 15 kilometres away across the border in Germany.

Like our entry into the Czech Republic we left the country without really knowing that we were no longer on its soil and had in fact passed into Germany.

The D8 out of Teplice went up the pass in the Bohemian Mountains and then became the B170 as we headed towards Dresden.

Our actual destination is the outer suburb of Radebeul and the B170 merged in with the E55 to take us around the outside of the city of Dresden that was virtually all rebuilt after being devastated by Allied bombing towards the end of WW2.

We found our Air BnB apartment with no difficulty and met our host Sandra who showed us to our accommodation which had been part of a chocolate factory in its former life. Her parents currently run a dry cleaning and laundry business in the large complex of a building. The place looks like it will be very comfortable for us.

We took a walk before dinner along the main street of the small town and took advantage of the ice cream shop that was on our route even though it meant we were having desert before the main course.

The railway station is close by so we will take the train into the city tomorrow to do some sightseeing of what has been described to us ‘as a city rebuilt with a lot of care’.

All we want tomorrow is for the occasional showers we experienced at times today on our drive to Dresden to clear.

PS: a little Czech music from Youtube to end our very brief sojurn into the Czech Republic


1st July 2016

It's a pity you weren't able to get to Prague - it's lovely!

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