Mountains,bends and Irishmen
29.06.2013 - 30.06.2013
At last, as we made our way through the Czech Republic, we started to find bends in the road. The landscape became increasingly hilly as we entered the Carpathian mountain range that stretches in a great arc into Poland, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary. Our destination was Trutnov, where we planned to stay for a couple of nights.
We passed through some towns and villages that seemed to be stuck in former Eastern Block times. The block architecture theme continued and many of the older houses had lost their former splendour and were badly in need of maintenance. However as we got further into the mountains and to some of the ski areas, there were marked signs of improved wealth. The houses became more Alpine in appearance and were better maintained.
Trutnov appeared a prosperous town.Our hotel was near to the large town square and came as a bit of a surprise. I suppose the name Nelly Kelly's should have been a clue, but we didn't expect a full blown real Irish Pub, owned by a full blown real Irishman, in the middle of the Czech Republic. Neither did we expect the four Irishmen well on their way to oblivion with the aid of cheap Czech beer. "I'll f**king tell you this, I f**king love this f**king man" came the dulcet tones from the beer garden.
The Hotel was newly refurbished and excellent value.We had a beer, got our room, showered,went for a walk, came back some three hours later to "I'll f**king tell you this, I really,really f**king love this f**king lovely man". We had our dinner and went into the bar to wait for the live Irish music,only to hear our drunken friends renditions of indecipherable songs and much more swearing. Eventually, after many drunken man hugs,shoulder crying and statements of undying admiration and love, they left the bar to wherever in Trutnov they call home.
We never discovered why so many Irishmen were living in Trutnov and couldn't figure out if they had been attracted by the Bar or the Bar had been attracted by them. We decided that it was best not to ask too many questions.
Remarkably we had arrived at Trutnov at the same time as a Dutch couple, travelling on the same type of bike as ourselves. It was all the more surprising because we hadn't seen another "foreign" bike or car since we had crossed the border. Fred and Urmar turned out to be very good company and we spent the whole of the next day with them. We all had a ride out to the Czech Republics highest mountain, Mount Snezka, which at 1600 metres,isn't the largest mountain in the world,but is still much higher than our own Ben Nevis. The ride also involved our first venture into Poland over some very poorly maintained mountain roads.