Czech'in it all out
Trip Start Jan 01, 2008
45Trip End Sep 29, 2009
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Its obviously a bit poorer in these former eastern block countries so you do get to see Europe from a completely different perspective, there was lots of heavy industry mixed in with the countryside, but generally it seems like a country trying to improve the best way it can. Its always a bit nervy crossing into a new country seeing if you are safe enough to free camp, but we did find a spot next to a lake on the first night and felt pretty safe
As with Germany the food and especially the beer is great and expectedly even cheeper. I think the beer here is probably our favorite tipple in the world, its that good. No matter how much Czech beer you drink its always light and fresh and never leaves you with much of a hangover, I think it has something to do with the local water. We stayed on a proper camp site filled the fridge with cold beers and had a evening sampling the local brews, bliss.
The rest of the week was fairly chilled out we could have headed straight to Warsaw over the next few days to visit my family in Poland but they suggested to come the week after when there was a birthday party on, so it would be easier to catch up with everyone in one go. This meant we had quite a bit of time to spend in the region and our plan was just to take our time in Czech and maybe go to south Poland before we headed north to Warsaw.
We spent the rest of the week along the north of the country as planned, we also popped back into Germany a few times, Sharon felt a bit safer free camping in Germany as its more accepted and there are more rest stops. This also meant we got to check out Dresden which was as expected really nice, it reminded me of a very compact Paris, lots of buildings in a style not normally associated with Germany but carefully restored to something near its former glory since the war
As we headed east we eventually ran out of Germany and spent our last night in Zittau, it was a surreal town that borders Poland, Germany and Czech, driving round looking for a spot to camp we kept crossing the border by mistake, the borders are no longer controlled in the area. The last time we drove to Poland we waited ages to cross, this time we didn't even realise until we saw the beer signs change on the pubs! It was pretty clear though not long after we drove into Poland that the area was poorer and we weren't sure if free camping here would be safe just yet. We eventually found a spot next to a bike route that looked like a former pathway border between Czech and Germany, we slept about 10 meters from the border, traveling Europe I still find it strange to think of the hundreds of years people fought and protected there territory and now its all open.
Our last day in Czech was a drive towards the Krkonose mountains, we wanted to maybe catch a chair lift and walk some of the peaks in the area but the hot weather had finally turned into massive thunderstorms. That seemed to sum up our outdoor plans since we have been on the road, so we stocked up with Czech beer one last time and took the wet route into Poland, now there was no turning back.