26 July 2020 20:38
27 July 2020 13:34
Cooled down at last! The sky is black and a summer thunderstorm is brewing. We’ve just come back from bathing in the Rozkoš artificial lake in the north of the Czech Republic. It’s only a few kilometres to Poland. We can’t set off just at the moment. But never fear, we’re not in danger of being stuck again! We just have to wait until some of the cars around us have driven away.
The Czech Republic wasn’t originally on the itinerary of our three-year “4-Xtremes – The World Tour”. But then we had to change our plans when everything stopped for a few months due to corona. Now we’re here in the heart of Europe and we feel fine. Although we have to wait for a while to leave the lake and look for a place to spend the night, that is still the case.
After we crossed the border from Germany, Pilsen in the west of the Czech Republic was our first stop. In the birthplace of the beer with the same name, we visited the Pilsner Urquell brewery. There you can visit old and new brewery cellars – and see a nine-kilometre long tunnel system which was once used for storage. Very exciting!
In the following days, we zigzagged towards the south-east. The motorways here lead to Prague in a star formation. But if the centrally located capital is not your destination and you would rather travel across country, you have to take a lot of small roads. In general we prefer routes like that anyway. You pass through a lot of villages and see the authentic parts.
Many smaller roads are limited to vehicles up to twelve tonnes. That is fine for our Axor because with a full fuel tank and water tank it is just about that weight. And in villages where the maximum vehicle length is ten metres, we are within limits with just under eight metres. However, we often wonder how it would be possible to drive through with a longer truck.
Everyday life in the Czech Republic is more regulated than we expected. The limitations include numerous driving and parking bans. So it is not easy to find nice places to camp. Up until now we have almost always parked on car parks or close to tourist attractions or football pitches.
And something else limits the choice even further: according to a Czech friend, it’s raining more than it has done in years. That rules out parking spaces in the forest or at the edge of woodland because it is too muddy there. Also, on the edges of the woodland with high grass there is a very high incidence of ticks, which could be dangerous for our dog Aimée.
But none of that put us off visiting Kutná Hora, 80 kilometres east of Prague. Its old town is a Unesco World Cultural Heritage site. But even more fascinating is the Sedletz ossuary: a chapel decorated with human skulls and bones. It is said that the remains of 40,000 people are kept there.
At indoor tourist sites or in shops in the Czech Republic, you have to wear a mask over the nose and mouth – or at least you had to during our visit. That doesn’t bother us. But it is a pity that due to “social distancing” we have virtually no opportunity to make spontaneous contact with other people.
On the other hand, our Swiss friends were in the Czech Republic at the same time as we were and we were able to look at Prague together. We parked our truck in a bus park outside the city centre, which is guarded around the clock. Due to the current situation there were only a few tourists to be seen in Prague. Excellent conditions for taking photos!
The following day we took a detour to Bohemian Switzerland and visited the Pravčická gate, Europe’s largest natural sandstone arch. After that, our friends headed for Germany and we travelled east. Our destination was Hruboskalské skalní město, the amazing Hruboskalsko rock formation: an area of sandstone where we hiked along several routes.
When we are travelling, there are day-to-day chores to be done: we have to wash, tidy and clean up. But with a living space of ten square metres, it is quickly done, and there is time to plan the route. That is why we already know which routes we want to take to see Poland, the next country we’re going to visit. Will we stick to our plans? We’re open to surprises!
A one-of-a-kind journey.
For eleven months, Andrea and Mike Kammermann were on the “4‑Xtremes” tour with their Axor. Now they are on an even greater adventure. The pair from Switzerland will be on the road for three years and the RoadStars community will again be joining them on the trip! Always be up-to-date and don’t miss any of the breathtaking destinations that our adventurous couple are heading for.
You can find all the parts from the “4-Xtremes – The World Tour” series here.