Friday, July 6, 2012

Scenes from the train

Today was a travel day as we bid farewell to Vienna and headed to Prague.

Last night we were treated to a wonderful sunset, so gorgeous but it heralded a hot night and we weren't the brightest of travellers this morning.  Still the 5 hour train trip gave plenty of time for napping as well as looking at the scenery.

The most beautiful section was as the train travelled up through the Bohemian Forest.  This is a heavily wooded low set of mountains that form the boarder between the Czech Republic and Austria and Germany.  The forest is beautiful, with many small rivers flowing by the train tracks.  Dotted throughout were gorgeous cottages that seem to be holiday houses, we saw people swimming, hanging in hammocks, hiking, biking etc.  It is apparently a very popular summer holiday destination and certainly our train was full of people with camping and hiking gear (although slabs of beer seem to be important for hiking judging from what we saw).

I was quite amazed at how stark the difference between Austria and the Czech Republic is.  Austrian farmers seem to favour smallish strip plantings of different crops.  We saw gorgeous rows of sunflowers next to wheat ripe and ready for harvest.  The Czech Republic in contrast seems to have massive fields of single crops, I wonder if that is a remnant of the Communist era when things like crops would ave been mandated by the state.  A definite communist remnant is the ugly grey concrete box like apartment and factory buildings, often crumbling that you see next to the train stations.

But there are beautiful buildings too.  We got into Prague fairly late and tired, so have just had a walk around our local neighborhood.  While the massive amount of graffiti comes as somewhat of a shock after squeaky clean Vienna, just up the street is a gorgeous church and you can see how beautiful the buildings must have been.

Tonight we are doing the boring stuff, washing clothes (after the heat of Vienna we are VERY grateful to have a washing machine), eating a nice homely meal and hopefully getting a good night's sleep.  Tomorrow we will explore!

P.S. Anyone missing my normal non-travel, general happiness posts, I've written a guest blog over on Kaitlyn's blog "She Smiled The Widest Smile".  Enjoy!

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