Another day another country surely Czech Republic wont offer anything new?
The road out of Poland south to the Czech Republic for my second visit in fact both have been aboard my Triumph Sprint.
Well somethings dont change. I was looking forward to a high quality high speed run on the 4 lane dual laned Highway between Brno and Prague and yes I was on the road after a very slow 2hours to do less then 60kms in leaving Krakow,Poland. I was happily on the road when a repeat of 2015 occured. It started to rain and remained either raining or misty until I arrived in Prague cutting out the view of what was sure to be well maintained farming land.
A brief stop to reset the GPS at a small village saw us looking at well kept housng, small roadside stalls like a general store and local modern supermarkets.
Agriculture in CZ has declined in importance to the economy but a strong focus on grain crops (Wheat,Rye) especially as the needs of CZ local breweries continue to grow. CZ like many countries once boasted self sufficiency in food before "Globalisation"became a accepted term under force from the United Nations. the "greening revolution"has seen 16m ha added while 15m ha of Agriculture land has been lost not all to forests but also to urbanisation.
Unfortunately as part of the agreement of CZ entering the EU farming was seen as a lesser activity but also offered subsidies in areas away from the traditional feed crops for livestock.
Along with this "redirection of ag activities"has seen the number of workers decline not only in the tradional areas of farming but also in fishing and forestry have all decreased by 30% since the CZ joined the EU in 2004.
The only areas of growth has been in wheat,corn and rapeseed at the expense of traditional family foods such as potatoes,vegetables (like in Australia Chinese cheap rubbish foods are breaking into the market where production costs are less , health standards negelected and sewerage is used as a fertiliser). The CZ production of pigs and poultry have also declined as EU imports dominate the market now.
Prague is the Capital of the CZ and also suffered less damage in WW2 so many builings are originals not "rebuilds"and especially the Old Town reflects this with colourful baroque styles and the Gothic churches.
I took the opportunity to walk histories "mile"along the Charles Bridge which was constructed in 1402. Lijke so many places the local artists flock to sell paintings,beadwork, paint or sketch passer byes, create fine needleworks as well as the usual buskers and of course the beggers.
The St Vitus Cathedral foound in the ground of the Prague castle belies belief on how it was constructed in those times and really is this the correct way to promote religion.
The population of not only the City but the whole metro area of Prague is around 4million but receives over 6 million tourists every year and increasing.
The city like so much of Europe is under both restoration and new growth but interestingly little care is taken with protective clothing or eye & ear protection nothing has changed since the 1950's.
I particularty enjoyed the 1 hour cruise as billed but signage states a 50min cruise as it gave a far better view of this city of Spires. The cruise pasted lots of waterfront developements as well as locks and small offshot canals. The iver contains Prague's beach a small but well used area and the White Swan population.
The history and culture is undermined by the widespread use of what are to most people ïllegal drugs"as cannabis is sold legally in shops along with open sex sleeze spots.
I wonder if the creation of ceramic T Shirts was designed by someone under the influence of drugs I sure hope they dont work at Hamley's Toy shop which is billed as the best in the world.
Tomorrow is a move South West to my hotel for the German MotoGP locating me within Germany but within eyesight from the hotel is the CZ border. So I may yet be back to CZ for another visit.