Czech Republic

Driving north to the Czech Republic, we stopped close to the border in Unterretzbach, Austria.


We found a parking at the beginning of the village and walked through empty streets until we reached the restaurant „Pollak’s Retzbacherhof“ which we had chosen to celebrate our wedding anniversary.

„Pollak’s Retzbacherhof“

The food and local wines were excellent, but we also brought a very special bottle of wine for this celebration: Vega Sicilia Unico Reserva Especial 1999 – a present from lovely friends, who provided the highlight of our anniversary celebration. The wine was to die for! That’s how red wine should taste. A special thanks to Ingrid and Klaus for this generous gift.

Carefully opening of VEGA SICILIA UNICO

Here is what Vega Sicilia says about this wine:

The Reserva Especial is the wine with the greatest personality, it combines the complexity of the Único multiplied by different vintages and provides us with a huge range of aromas, pure elegance in a never-ending flow through the magic of a myth. Only the best Únicos are used to produce Reserva Especial; a mix of years, virtues, experiences and sentiments that serves only to profile the most profound essence of a unique and unrepeatable style, the Vega Sicilia style.

We walked back to the village again and spent a calm night at the parking there. Great that we did not have to drive home 😉

on the way back ….

The next day we drove over the border and stopped in Znaim at the river Dyje or Thaya which begins in Austria, goes into Czechia, forms the border and comes back to Austria again before it flows into the river March and finally into the Danube and the Black Sea.

View from Znaim to the Thaya valley

We walked up into town and after strolling around for a while we had our first Czech beer before we drove on.

Our next stop was at Austerlitz were the Russians and Austrians where beaten by Napoleon in 1805. Next to the Peace Memorial we visited a very interesting audio visual exhibition about this battle.

Austerlitz Peace Memorial

We continued until we reached Kopřivnice where the Tatra factory is situated. It took us quite a while to get there, as we avoided highways, but we enjoyed the small villages and the beautiful countryside.

Czech landscape near Kopřivnice

The parking we had planned near the bath and the forest was in use for an open air cinema so we parked in town, next to the Tatra Museum. We found a nice restaurant just opposite where we enjoyed the Czech kitchen.

At the TATRA Museum

The next morning we spent at the museum, which was very interesting and we were impressed what a wide range of cars Tatra had produced.

TATRA cabriolet of Joseph STALIN
Early swing axle truck
TATRA race car
Around the world expedition truck from 1959

Next, we headed to the Tatra factory and found very nice staff who helped us with a certificate we needed for our historic Tatra truck.

When everything was done, we drove south again to the Wallachian Open Air Museum in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm. The area of the museum is huge and divided into three parts. We visited all of them and admired the beautiful houses.

Wallachian Open Air Museum in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm

But the highlight was the restaurant with typical Wallachian dishes. Especially the sweet yeast dumplings were delicious.

Sweet yeast dumplings, very delicious ….

Afterwards, we remembered a lake we saw driving north and headed there for a swim.

We decided to end this day in Olomouc, a town a little bit further west. We had some fun getting there. In the Czech Republic, it seems common to just cross out the name of a town on the street signs and don’t offer an alternative route. Our navigation didn’t know about this blocked streets and we had to find our way, which led to a strange route. Even in Olomouc a bridge was closed and no indication given, where to go instead, but in the end we found our parking for the night close to the center.

Olomouc historic center
The astronomic clock, a tourist magnet 

The next morning we headed into town, got some information from the tourism office and admired the beautiful city center. We enjoyed coffee and cake at Cafe Mahler before we watched the astronomic clock at the town hall at noon.

We drove south again and had the same thing with blocked streets again, which led us onto a cobbled street for some kilometres. When we followed the Czech drivers and took it with more speed, it was not so bad to drive, better than the streets with concrete paving slabs from the day before.

Cobbled street

We found a road along the highway, which was straight and in good condition when we suddenly had a strange convoy coming into view. We stopped and wondered what happened here: big tow trucks with all their lights flashing and honking drove past us, in total for sure around 100 cars.

Strange convoy of tow trucks

When they finally had passed and we could drive on, we saw a sign for a Tow Show. That got our interest and we stopped and had a look around. Soon the tow trucks returned from their tour and we could admire them at close range.

Arriving in the south again, we drove around a reservoir of the Thaya river looking for a spot for the night, but didn’t find anything we liked. So we continued to Lednice, where we used one of the parkings of the castle for the night.

Lednice “Liechtenstein castle”

We went for a walk, had a look at the castle with its beautiful park and the village before we stopped at a restaurant and afterwards at a wine bar, before we had a very pleasant night. It was incredibly quiet and dark, which we prefer to the parkings with orange lights during the whole night.

The next day we visited the incredible castle of Lednice with its splendid interior and the huge park. For centuries it belonged  to the Lichtenstein family before they were expropriated in 1945.

Splendid interior

Our next trip will take us to the Austrian Alps – more soon!

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