Monday, May 28, 2012

Karlovy Vary To Parague

 The bus ride from Karlovy Vary to Prague the capital of Czech Republic is expected to be about less than 2 hours as the distance is only about 112 km as the crow flies to the east of Karlovy Vary. I found a window seat and keep looking for interesting sights to see and photograph.
Being an agrarian nation, we passed so many undulating fields covered with green meadows or yellow rapeseed fields interspersed with the occasional pine forest. The pine forest are harvested for their log on a sustainable basis. I won't be surprised if our country is devoid of our forest first before them as they are religiously preserving whatever forest that they have. Most of the European nations are doing that. Above all the forest is home to faunas such as wild deers which I open spotted grazing along the forest fringes. Ehere there are lakes or rivers, there will be wild ducks swimming around. I couldn't spot any fish though but after sighting some anglers trying their luck, I believe the fishes are there.

 A field of yellow rapeseed used to produce the canola oil, a form of biodesel. Thanks to Mek Yam of new york who identified the plants for me.

Occasonally we passed nearby small hamlets with the house compound planted with a few fruit trees which I believe them to be apple or pears and the likes.

        One field amazes me as they have wires suspended in a grid on poles. They are too high to be reached by hands and my guess is they are used to let creepers to flourish and provide enough shade for other plants planted on the ground. The height of the wires are high enough for the use of mechanical implements to be used under it. Anybody knows the exact use of this system in Europe?                                                                         

A slightly bigger hamlet. How I wish we could make a stop at one of these places to feel the pulse of the town.

A small hotel in the small town.

A R&R is dotted along the highways. Just like those that are along highways, they are large enough for trucks and cars to be parked. Toilets are rarely free but they are very very clean. The fact that they don't use water to clean their bottom holes made it possible to maintain that level of cleanliness. Anyway they always clean them up so you won't feel the pinch when you pay 0.5 Euro (RM2.00) for each use.
Initially I was surprised as all along the way I never see the bus stop at any toll booth to pay for the use of the highway. They must be free, I thought. My inquisitive mind took the better of me and I asked Frank the bus driver. "Oh yes we paid toll. Did you realize the beeping whenever we passed under a certain gantry?" It seemed that the transponder is sounded every time the bus passed under one as the machine on the gantry deducted the amount due from the bus's prepaid card. The driver must buy a fresh card at the entrance of every country and he will be refunded at the exit to the country after returning the transponder at the border station. The tolls are not cheap either. Along the way a special van can check by remote control whether a vehicle has credit or not and the penalty is 1 thousand Euro should one be caught without any credit. Too high for anybody to dare try to evade paying toll. By using such a system, they avoid the need of setting up toll booths which may impede the flow of traffic and create bottle necks like they often do in Malaysia during the festive seasons. The system will also allow many exits to be available along the highways even to a small hamlet due to the saving from having an interchange. I wonder why Malaysia can't learn from them.

We stopped at one of the R & R for our lunch. Each of us or each family on the tour are told to bring our own food for lunch if do not want to buy lunch from the R & R. This is a good way as we saved time as well as money as food in Europe are generally expensive. Be prepared to spend a minimum of 10 Euro (RM41) per meal. Furthermore it is not possible to buy halal food at the R & R. Only those that sell Nordse (seafood) are believed to be halal. Being mostly health conscious lard is seldom used in Europe.

We reached our hotel in the center of Prague with several hours of day light to spare. Hotel Downtown was located just a mere ten minutes walk to the Wencesslas Square in Prague. Some of us wanted to visit the square though the square is slated for tomorrow with local guide. Lin, the Tour Leader from POTO told us not to wonder around until late in the evening as safety is suspect in Prague. Well ain't it the same in KL?

Outside the hotel I checked for landmarks to ensure that we can find our way back to the hotel. The above picture is to the left of the hotel but since we were not going that way, I was not really bothered to look for any landmark. The important landmarks must be found on the right of the hotel.
What we saw across the road to the right is a shop called Erotic City. That I will surely remember and made a mental note to stop and check what is available in the store and perhaps learn a thing or two about the latest trend in Prague.

Our group led by the tour leader from Malaysia crossed the road and turned right towards Wencesslas Square.

A stretched limousine caught my sight. I bet this car could carry the whole 20 people from our group.

The building along the square are about the same height. No sky scrapers seems to dominate the skyline.
A pretty face getting herself photographed with the pretty flowers with the square as the backdrop. I couldn't resist the temptation of stealing a shot.
Now it is my turn to be photographed.

One for the album with my wife.

A statue at one end of the square.

A souvenir shop near the square is the favorite spot for the other half to buy souvenirs. It was too hot inside the shop for me so I prefer to stay outside.

Old trams are used snack station at the square. It was a noble idea as the colorful trams add color to the place.
A guided tour of Prague will be the story in my next post. It is definitely a city that is worth visiting. Please stay tuned.


AWANG said...

Terima Kasih kerna berkongsi pengalaman melancong yang indah.

my soul my love is about me , you and us , ILYSM said...

nice journey kan uncle.
enjoy to read it =)

Anonymous said...

I was there during Easter Hols 2011.. Charles Bridge was the place to be! and also the Astronomical Clock was awesome!

Pak Zawi said...

I am most happy that you enjoyed reading it.

Yes it was really a nice journey of my life. Hope to see other parts of Europe one day.

You are a very lucky person to have been to this part of the world. I will be writing about Charles Bridge and the astronomical clock in my next post. Let us compare notes.

sripekan said...

europe is in my list of places to visit...malangnya hingga hari ini masih belum berkesempatan...enjoy reading yr travelog very much...

Pak Zawi said...

Visit any part of Europe and you will love it. They have so much history. if you do it during spring, it will be very comfortable. I am so happy that you enjoy reading whatever experiences that I try to share. Will be making a new post soon.