Trip Start Sep 14, 2012
Trip End Oct 15, 2012

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Where I stayed
Pension Severka
What I did
State park walk

Flag of Czech Republic  , Královéhradecký Kraj,
Sunday, September 23, 2012

Had to use the facilities at 0430 so showered at the same time. Got a bit of sleep until 0600, largely mucking around. Don is sawing wood, his phone on his bed, people so tied to their phones these days. Tried a bit of Don's local kofola, a coca cola like drink with some unusual berry flavour. I went downstairs 0645, handing my keys in to Peter.

The group left from our place a bit after 0700 for a short walk for a tram ride to Prague Hlavni Nadrazi, the main train terminal for the city. There was another fortunately short walk through a garden to reach the station.

Some got coffee before he headed to track 6 for our first train which left on time at 0809. Chatted with Arjan for awhile on [what else?] travel. Most of the crops seem to be in. My 4H sleep led me to rest my eyes as much as I could.

Couldn't get any comfortable position until I went down with my back on the seat. There were many quick stops, including a longer 10M one at Hradec which Peter mentioned to Amy if she wanted to have a smoke break. A deaf chap came on with a little card/pen offer and Catherine at least [who has a hearing issue] gave him something.

Around 1030, at Starkoc we transferred into a two carriage train for the journey to Teplice nad Mejuti for the final half hour or so. We took a bus from the little station into the more touristy part of the town. We were in our rooms by 1145 and had a half hour to chill. I downloaded the pix from so far today.

Off to a nearby restaurant for lunch after first all agreeing to have a BBQ pork dinner. Tried a Krakonos beer that Jan and Arjan liked more than me. Ordered in Czech my country plate, the waitress having to think about it for a second but nil repeated or pointed to. The chit chat was pretty good before the even better meal arrived. It was pretty cool by the time it was over 176 CC.

Back to put on a long sleeve shirt and the leather jacket for the forewarned cooler conditions. Not all that clear but think the forest is state park lands. Mostly uphill at first. There were many supposed formations to guess [I got one out of over twenty]. Eventually Arjan and I headed off, leaving the others behind [some 45M]. Lots of locals going for a Sunday afternoon walk. We were back by 1605, eschewing the climb for the view due to Arjan's knees and a lack of water.

Diary update and some culling of those from last night and today so far. It is quite cool here for sure. Maybe the duvet will be my friend tonight. Worry wart Arjan suggested I should wear some flip flops in the shower [would have passed even if I had brought them].

Perhaps twice a year do I take a rest/nap in an afternoon. This was one of those days from about 1700 for an hour or so. It did some good, the only other choice being going over to the restaurant where we had lunch for a drink. Arjan chuckled when I went under the duvet but I felt a bit of a chill.

The BBQ pork dinner was at 1830. It was one of the better meals of the trip foodwise, many conversations flowing around the table. I chatted alot with Jan about our respective travels and why he would want to be working at 67. Amy and Rachel were inquiring about what would be on offer at brekkie: show up and find out! Had Krusovice, your favourite beer, Roddy, with my dinner though I was probably a bit too tired to enjoy it. Had a further hot chocolate thereafter 220 CC. I have no more Czech coins!

Peter gave us a chat about the next few days: two Polish brothers will be picking us up, one very talkative and the other not. We will stop for a photo op of the former border post at Poland and have to order our lunch in Polish in advance. There will be one other morning stop for getting Polish currency before lunch.

The afternoon's detour will be to go to Auschwitz I, a concentration camp, and then Auschwitz II, or Berkinau, the extermination camp. Of all sites on Intrepid's tours in Europe, it is the only one leaders need not visit with their group if they have already been there. I have the impression a minimally timed visit is the plan. Will have to see how that works out.

We get into Krakow between 1800 and 1900 tomorrow. The salt mine is suggested for the following morning, most people interested therein. It is apparently easy to get there by local minivans. An afternoon option is a tour of the old town with a guide, also of interest to most people. Peter will organize a dinner for the second night.

A slight itinerary change will allow us a further morning in Krakow to sight see, going later to the Tatra Mountains where there is little to do. General acceptance was again the rule of the day, the deviation costing about an extra euro for private transportation.

Dinner broke up perhaps 2115. I downloaded the pix and called it a day, in the sack by 2145.

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