Hiking with the ghosts of mind and drunk Czechs


holy moly

Truth is, the Czechs love their alcoholic drink. Moreover, they love lots of it. And they love it often. That is exactly the reason why the Czechs until now have not been aware of the theft of nearly all their vowels by the Polish.  „Strc prst skrz krk“ is a Czech proverb that roughly translates to “You are a complete iditot” which illustrates and just as well verifies this narrative. Don’t we just love prejudice…..?

My wife is away with her mom on an Ayurveda Retreat. Sounds very much like Rehab for my simple ears and mind, but better not tell either of them as their humour not always coincidences with mine. Anyway, perfect timing for a road trip to Czechia with a good mix of hiking and city sightseeing. David is a good friend of mine who speaks fluent Czech and we had wanted to do this trip for quite some time. Off we went and headed for Srní in the Bohemian Forrest where his parents own a hut. 

On our way, we stopped at Lukova, where there is a noteworthy exhibition in an unused church. It is part of a master thesis for university, though I did not really figure out if it was meant for the arts or psychiatry department. The title is “my mind”. Translated to German that is exactly the very same expression as for ghost: “Geist”. Slightly creepy but interesting still. 

thesis on his mind

Actually the Bohemian Forrest is a mountain range. That is a simple fact I could have read up on, but I did not. Subsequently it was still pretty cold at night and in some areas there still was heaps of snow about. We hiked where there was no snow and managed up to 20 km on a good day. 

20 k


forrest gloom

Next we drove on to Prague. Wonderful place with lots of photogenic spots. 

five bridges

shiny city

Ironically, some of the locals tried very hard to fulfil my prejudiced expectation. Like entering a local beer pub. The scrap of paper alone makes one feel inadequate on which your tab is counted. Two marks on a list that caters for professional boozers. 

Upon entering, two guys returned inside after having a cigarette outside. One managed to enter, the second one hit the door. Makes a 50% success score. Slightly impressed we headed for a free table in the basement. We passed a group of locals that had digressed to a stage where ascending a set of stairs was a difficult as well as dangerous task. No surprise there, that the Czechs still have not realised that most of the vowels of their language got stolen. 

Most impressive was the Museum of Communism that unfolded the history of the Czech Republic in relation to communist rule. The Czech-German border used to demarcate the iron curtain during “Cold War Time”. While the Prague Spring uprising of 1968 might still be noted, the “Velvet Revolution” of 1989 in terms of recognition got railroaded by the seemingly more important German Reunification. The parents of my friend David emigrated from Czechia during Prague Spring, so this very much depicted his family’s history. 

For shure, David and me had more drinks than Bernadette and her mom and I very much suspect we had more fun also but again I must ask you to keep that bit of information to yourself. 

Cheers, Patrick