Day 27 – 26th July 2020 – Czechia to Braunschweig, Germany
I go down for breakfast at 9 and again there is no help yourself here. My table is already laid out with a collection of items that I won’t bore you with, but I just have my usual and avoid the sweet sickly cakes etc.
My guy comes and asks if I want coffee, silly question 🤣.
Whilst we are eating we are forced to listen to this…
As I am finishing he returns and says…. ‘you finish leave 9.30 me’ rugby whooshing… ‘What!.. I’m not ready’. He looks despondent and repeats ‘me go’ rugby whoosh and pats his watch… I say ‘ok I’ll try’. He disappears and moments later he comes back and brings the bill. I run upstairs and get my wallet, the bill is €35 very reasonable, I give him a €50 note and wait for the change, he gives me a €10 note and some Czech koruna coins.. he apologies he doesn’t have euro coins. I say but I am leaving now to Germany, he shrugs and says you get coffee… €5 is half a tank of petrol so it’s not small change in my opinion… I will have to find a way to spend it.
We then have another pantomime about it’s ok for me to take my time and where to leave the key, but he really has to rugby whoosh now. I go upstairs to pack and it occurs to me to check the coins he has given me against the exchange rate and yep he has only given me €4.10 worth… I go downstairs to tell him, but he’s whooshed so I’ll have to swallow it!!
My first port of call this morning is a duty free shop… I want to get some fags for my mate Mark. I did have a look yesterday, but he is very particular about his brand and although they had some I wasn’t too sure they were right. However, overnight I think well they are cheaper than the UK and he can keep them for emergencies I guess. I wonder if they have these shops at every border crossing?
Krasna is practically on the border so I just make my way following the satnav… well you know what’s coming… I seem to be heading the wrong way, but then I see an enormous sign saying ‘Travel Free’ (this is the duty free shop), 2.5kms back the way I have just come… so the first turn around of the day.
I follow the signs, then there is a T junction, no sign… I pick left… yep wrong, turn around… just about 1km further on there is an enormous travel free and another one stop duty free shop and petrol etc. It is mega busy, I mean there are cars queuing to get into the car park! I go for some petrol, which is much cheaper here, ahh I can use up my Koruna coins yay.
I then park up outside the shop and the queue is enormous… I notice that must be 90% of the cars are German or Austrian plates, then I realise today is Sunday; obviously the get the fags and booze for the week day.
There doesn’t seem to be any restrictions and people are leaving with armfuls of duty free and no one is checking if they are actually crossing any borders; obviously the German and Austria cars are but the Czech cars seem to be heading into Czechia… oh well none of my business. The only thing of note I guess is how the customers from Czechia’s neighbouring extremely wealthy countries arrive in their Beemers, Audi’s and Merc’s compared to their Czech counterparts in less expensive or older cars to take advantage of the lower tax… I guess one could say it equates to Brits going over to Calais but the UK and France are both wealthy countries… anyway, it must benefit the Czech Republic or they wouldn’t do it I suppose.
I’m not waiting in this queue so get back on the bike and cross over the border into Germany…
the satnav is trying to send me back into Czechia… grrr… then I realise this route is on to an autobahn… oh no no no… I turn around
Back into Czechia and am routed back the way I have just come… so… I turn around and make my way into As… yes it’s a town nearby…
and promptly get lost
After another turn around I find myself on a quiet country road…. yay there’s a small ‘Travel Shop’ but I decide to keep going and pass through the border
Then believe it or not the satnav routes me back again… I decide to stop at the travel shop and get Mark’s fags… it’s got to be an omen… then I cross the border AGAIN and ignore the satnav until I am well and truly through!
Once through the border the architecture changes from quite old style, somewhat dilapidated buildings to quintessential German style. Obviously more affluent and cared for. I am in Bad Elster, bad meaning a spa town, so there are lots of healing centres, but it’s also very stylish with this open air art exhibition just by the side of the road
At last I seem to have escaped the clutches of Czechia and am on my way to Hanover… until I take a wrong turn that is… I stop to view the map and it seems I can rejoin the route a wee bit further on so that’s ok.
I really like these Art Decoish street lights, very Bauhaus
I pass through several towns and villages on the way
It is very windy and there are storm clouds threatening again…
All at once I am in a storm, but luckily there is a turn off ahead and I can pull in under a bridge to wait for the storm to pass or put on my wet gear.
After a while I decide to join the autobahn. Eventually I have to stop and eat, so have a KFC, but realise I am really too tired to get to Hannover, which is still 1 hour away so out with booking.com and I find a room in Braunschweig, not far from here.
The hotel is ok… 6 flights of stairs again, I seem to be climbing lots of stairs this tour. I realise I don’t have any cash so go out to find a cash machine, but no joy, which means I’ll have to get some in the morning.
There is a real juxtaposition of architectural styles here… very interesting.