09/05/2017 Czech Rebublic & Austria

Tuesday 5th September. Czech Republic

Kutna Hora

Our next stop Kutna Hora – a medieval city about 70 kms from Prague rich in silver ore.  From a distance we saw three huge spires perched high on the hill overlooking the town.  Expected it was near or at Old Town so took Ziggy up the hill and after venturing into Old Town, the roads narrowed and narrowed and soon we opted to find the best spot to turn around before we became sandwiched.  One of the many times we have wished we could bring in the side mirrors.

St Barbara’s Cathedral

Found a spot a short way away and set off looking for the three spires.  The information board in Old Town was only in Czech – ugh !!!  We meandered through Old Town into the main square – very quiet compared to Prague – but again witnessed the pride of this town with all old buildings restored and painted.

St Barbara;s Cathedral

We saw a bus group heading up the hill so we followed them and at the end were rewarded with coming face to face with the three spires – St Barbara’s Cathedral – wow.  It rivals St Vitus in Prague in size and elegance.  Its soaring nave culminates in elegant six petalled ribbed vaults.  The chapels include 15th century frescoes.  This cathedral certainly is the most impressive externally.

Looking across the valley from the Cathedral

There are several other places of interest here and the views across the valley are more than spectacular.  A wine growing region also and local wines can be purchased here.

St Barbara;s Cathedral

Time to move on and find a campsite for the night.

Campsite for tonight:  Autokemp Vysocina Jihlava-Stoky

Not a lot of places to choose from and as Czech Republic does not allow wild camping we pulled into this one as it was getting late.  Again misled by the pictures in our APP, this place is not one that is recommended.  A parking area attached to a restaurant (which was not open) and accommodation place for workers (all male) with one WC and shower (with no door) for everyone to share – not good so again opted to use Ziggy for showers and toilet.

We have been experiencing and hearing a growing noise (thought to be wheel bearings) and though have had it checked out twice already, Rob is very concerned and eager to find someone who will take his concerns seriously.

Wednesday 6th September

Had a quiet night – not expected with the clientele staying here and left reasonably early.

Spoke to a mechanic in Jihlava about 20kms away who again didn’t want to help so headed for the next big town Brno. 

Wednesday & Thursday nights 6th & 7th September

Camp for 2 nights – Motortec, Brno

Motortec is a Fiat/Alfa Romeo/Maserati sales and service operation and they bent over backwards to help us out. 

They advised us not to drive any further and said they would check out the problem.

Looks like the really rough roads we had been driving over In Poland had finally caught us with us and we had done some damage in the front left wheel.

It would take a couple of days to get the parts from Italy but it would be ok to park at the front of their business overnight whilst they waited for parts.

They provided us with a courtesy Fiat car to drive around and see the sights of Brno.

The parts arrived, they fitted them and off we set.

Their service was excellent – fortunately their service manager spoke some English otherwise the task would have been very difficult.


Friday 8th September – Austria for one night only

Keen to leave Brno now, even though we did not visit the town.  Decided to find a quiet country campsite for some R& R. 

So relieved as we drove away from Motortec in Brno and soon hit the highway – no noise – Ziggy purred along – we were so relieved that someone took the time to listen to our concerns and more than that saved us from a potentially dangerous situation.

Spent our remaining Czech money at Lidl and soon after passed through the border gates into Austria.  No checkpoint check again and travel through borders in the Schengen area has been seamless.

Campsite for tonight:   Bernhardsthal – Austria

Just what the doctor ordered.  5 minutes outside this quaint little town, set on lush green grass, green trees everywhere and on a river, a free spot for motorhomes was provided.   Two other motorhomes were already there enjoying the peace and tranquility and Ziggy happily nestled between them.  We sat and bathed in the remaining day’s sunshine and talked and laughed about our adventures thus far. 

Only 100 metres away, there was a small club house/restaurant where the locals came and went.  Outside the clubhouse, there were two long cement rinks (similar to our bowling greens but cement) where a group of men were playing a game which I think is called tut put.  They hurled flat bottom pucks about half meter diameter with handles on top, along the cement – the aim to get as close to the x marked in a square at the end of the rink.  They played for hours into the night under flood lights.  Have not seen this played before and will do some research on it when next in wifi zone.  The clubhouse had external WC which they offered campers the use of.

Concrete Bowls Rinks

We have seen so much and experienced so much.  Our history and geography lesson continues day by day.

Woke up Saturday morning – again a beautiful but windy day.  This sleepy little town came alive – tractors, bicycles, cars all towing trailers full of branches, all heading in the same direction.  Continued for hours, so expect this must have been the towns clean up day.

ATM in the street  in a shipping container – a few seconds after I took the photo the little boy, being curious, opened the door – it opened exposing the back of the ATM

Ventured into town for a look around.  Just a little quaint village in the back blocks of Austria – close to the Czech and Slovakian borders.