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  1. #31
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South Wales UK


    Overland to visit Stalag Luft III.

    Hluboké Mašůvky to Plumlov….

    As the rain persisted all day yesterday and all last night our hopes of a short trip to Znojmo sadly got dropped as pictures of the town seem quite interesting but not to get absolutely soaked while walking around, so now we are off on the next stage of the tour !….

    Passing through the first village once again using the ‘Back Roads’ as even in wet weather they are a lot more interesting than the ‘AutoRoute’s’ we pass this house with more ‘Lightning Deflection’ aerials on the roof that we have seen in a long time! I wonder if that is synonymous with all this rain?

    Solar Panels and Grape Vines next to each other, novel!....

    Nice little church up on the hill….

    Next town….

    Town centre which was quite busy for 08:30 on a Friday….

    And the next village which was quite close to the previous one as the rain continues to come down making good pictures rather difficult!....

    As we get across the bridge we have to make a left turn onto another main road leading to the city of Brno. Making the turn was an experience as there were no traffic lights while determining who was going first etc was a bit of a challenge, especially with all the traffic going straight across our front in both directions!...

    Then we are OK and on the main road leading into the city of Brno…

    While a few miles further on and we are entering the outskirts of Brno with the Trams now coming along the middle of the road and the vehicles on either side….

    I must admit that it could have been a lot more difficult making our way through this city with the feature of Active Lane Guidance that is part of the GPS system along with ‘Jane’ repeatedly telling me to ‘Keep Left’ or ‘Keep Right’! The commands were that frequent you almost felt like shouting back some rude remark, but ‘Jane’ was spot on with all the points ....

    I had to keep away from the right hand side of this bridge just in case the bikes scrapped the roof or got pushed down to join us!!....

    Getting quite close to going around the centre of the city we get to see the St Peter & Paul Cathedral in Brno….

    While next up was a Goods Train going over the bridge we were about to pass under….

    As we managed to see the name SAKO as we passed the chimney a quick search on Google tells us that it is a Recycling & Energy production plant. Recycling what can be and the rest of the waste is used to create energy in an Incinerator. Behind the trees we did see compressed materials in bales ready to be recycled….

    As we then get to the outskirts of the city on the other side we pass lots of Tower Blocks of flats….

    Then we are back into the countryside and the smaller towns/villages…..

    With some new houses under construction….

    International Ice Hockey Match today with the Czech Republic vs Kazakhstan so this householder is hanging out the flags and his support, while we got to see the match in the campsite later and the Czech Republic won the game…

    Next up was a Radio Transmitting Station, and we had never seen one like this before….

    Then the open road, while the Rape Seed had lost it’s wonderful brightness in this overcast day….

    It was also rather interesting to see that outside the villages/towns/cities the roads were in the majority in very good or excellent condition.
    Inside the villages/towns/cities was a completely different story….

    A small Factory making Cheese which you could stop at and go in and buy some if you wanted ….

    This next building reminded me of a block of Neapolitan Ice Cream with the three colours….

    As we then come into Plumlov….

    Making our way around to the campsite we pass Zámek Plumlov which looks exactly the same as when we saw it the first time which must be 6 or 7 years ago, and then we learn a little later that there is an ongoing row over the refurbishment costs, so nothing has happened .…

    The view to the right of Zámek Plumlov….

    The view to the left of Zámek Plumlov….

    The campsite Camping Zralok (GPS: 49.46050 N 17.01232 E)

    Although it had stopped raining when we got here the weather forecast does not look good for the next few days, so we will have to see if we can get at least 1 or 2 days out into the surrounding area, fingers crossed!….
    Last edited by XCovlov70; 05-13-2016 at 11:34 AM.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Calgary, Alberta


    More great pictures. Is what you are seeing in the fields actually Rapeseed or Canola? I don't think that we actually have Rapeseed here any more, just Canola.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South Wales UK


    Quote Originally Posted by ssicarman View Post
    More great pictures. Is what you are seeing in the fields actually Rapeseed or Canola? I don't think that we actually have Rapeseed here any more, just Canola.

    Wasn't sure about the answer to your question so I asked Google who sent me to Wikipedia who replied as follows......

    "Canola is a a low-acid cultivar of rapeseed. As a term "canola" may refer to both an edible oil (also known as canola oil) produced from the seed of any of several varieties of the Brassicaceae family of plants, and to those plants, namely a cultivar of Brassica napus L., Brassica rapa subsp. oleifera, syn. B. campestris L. or Brassica juncea. To be called canola, it must contain less than 2% erucic acid and less than 30 micromoles glucosinolates.[1]"

    So I guess the 'products' are different as 'Canola' has been 'managed' to reduce certain 'items'!
    Whether it is healthier in the long term for humans? It doesn't say!!!

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South Wales UK


    Overland to visit Stalag Luft III.

    A day in Plumlov….

    As the weather looked like it was going to be good and not rain, we set off for a walk around the town after breakfast which meant going up the road we came in on and see these figures opposite the house that looked after them….

    Getting to the top of the road we noticed a lot of cars parked in front of the Castle and so went to see why and if the Castle was open, which surprise, surprise it was!….

    The man behind the ticket counter explained that they were having a Fairy Story time for the children which included a tour of the rooms in the Castle that could be seen, so we ‘signed up’ and got two tickets, then made our way into the inside grounds….

    Time to join the group and we all head off down the stairs into the basement ,

    The first Fairy Story took place, in a large room and was about naughty people who when they met the Devil were taken away….

    After that finished we made our way along the corridor and saw a few in their rooms before we went up the stairs….

    While just before we went upstairs we all saw the White Witch who was a good Witch….

    Then it was up the main staircase….

    As we passed pictures of some of the former inhabitants of the Castle who came from Lichtenstein….

    With their hunting ‘trophies’ hanging on the walls…

    Around the corner and up the next flight of stairs….

    Then turn right and into the corridor on the first floor for the room and the next Fairy Story….

    This one was about the Chef who it seems cannot get the breakfast quite right for his Lord & Master of the house....

    The Lord and Master of the house accuses him of ‘sampling’ the food off the tray, which he did as we all saw him do it, and also tasting the red wine....

    As everyone moved out after that short Fairy Tale we managed to get a couple of pictures of the rooms….

    The next scene in another room started with all these Ladies covered up!….

    Except one was a real person and the Chef had to guess which one, but a little voice in the background gave him a few ‘clues’!….

    He finds her, and it is the Daughter of the Lord & Master of the House who he brings back to life with the Antidote of a Sleeping Potion that her Father had used on her! …..

    As the Lord & Master finds the cover laying on the floor and his Daughter awake….

    He then turns and sees the Chef kneeling in front of the Daughter to ask her to marry him! The Lord & Master is horrified, as he holds the Sleeping Potion & Antidote in each hand!....

    He puts some Sleeping Potion on the Chef who collapses. The Daughter is initially stricken with grief, but she then spots the Antidote on a table nearby and puts some on the Chef who recovers.

    They then run off and the Lord & Master returns, sees they have escaped and picks up the two bottles of Sleeping Potion and Antidote, but he cannot remember which is which!
    Sadly he uses the Sleeping Potion and the rest as they say is history!

    As the audience move on to the next Fairy Tale and another room we get another picture…

    And a view out into the Castle Courtyard….

    Then move along the corridor to another set of stairs….

    Passing a few more former occupants from Lichtenstein and their ‘trophies’….

    The ceiling in the first room for the next Fairy Tale was decorated by a mural which was still in good condition….

    Then the Fairy Tale began. I will leave what is was till the end, but a clue is that in this version there was only 1 Ugly Sister (She is the one in the yellow dress, the person with her is her Mother)!....

    King and Queen arrive and make the announcement of a Royal Ball where it is hoped that the Prince will chose his bride and wife to be!....

    The Royal Ball commences as each pair of ladies present themselves to the King, Queen & Prince….

    Then the dancing starts with a little pushing and shoving as all the ladies want to dance with the Prince….

    But then, this strange person appears, who can it be?….

    The blue coat is removed but her face is covered in a veil…..

    While the King & Queen are having a good old ‘chinwag’ trying to recognise the pretty lady….

    The dancing recommences, then the clock strikes Midnight and the pretty lady disappears!.....

    As the audience then move into another room we look up and sadly the mural on the ceiling has also disappeared in this room….

    While in the next room this one has survived.…

    With a rather large Camine in the corner, used for heating the room in previous times….

    As we then all gather for the final part where the Prince explains that he needs to find the foot that will fit the shoe that was left at the Royal Ball….

    He tries some of the children with no luck….

    Then the Ugly Sister and her Mother come in but the Prince sees through her disguise and dismisses her!...

    Then Cinderella arrives, the shoe fits and they all live happily ever after!...

    Sadly this other mural in the ceiling did not fare so well and cannot be restored as no one knows what the original looked like….

    As we then pass some more of the former occupants….

    We see some more of what the furniture might have looked like in the corridor….

    While some of the floors have been replaced as damage occurred in a storm that happened a few years ago….

    Outside in one of the other buildings we see this old Butter Churn used for making butter from milk….

    A couple of close up pictures of the top of the columns and along the top of the wall under the roof show some really good detail which has weathered the years fairly well….

    A really interesting morning which was good fun to see…

    Hope we get some decent weather again tomorrow!

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South Wales UK


    Overland to visit Stalag Luft III.

    A day in Olomouc….

    Taking a chance as the forecast was anything but good, we set off to have an ‘Explore’ around the city of Olomouc.

    After a short trip to get there, we found a place near the Tram Sheds in the centre to park up….

    The using the ‘Green Cross Code’ we looked both ways to make sure no Trams were coming and off we went on foot for a walk around!....

    As we made our way to the Main Square in the city which is called ‘Horni náměsti’….

    This ‘little guy’ who was also visiting from the Galapagos Islands, was already there!….

    Off in one corner was this Baroque sculpture called ‘The Holy Trinity Column… ….

    Then a bit further around was Hercules Fountain….

    While in the centre is the Town Hall….

    With its Astronomical Clock, which only chimes at 12:00 and we missed it!….

    So we then went over to another open area that is called ‘Dolni náměsti’....

    While down one of the side streets is this business which helps ‘Tipsy Soldiers’ sleep it off! ….

    Off down another road and we come to….

    This was the Chapel but it was closed….

    Nice bit of graffiti on the wall!…..

    As we turn around and see the view towards one of the Cathedrals in the City….

    Interesting doorway associated with events in 1942....

    From that building 12 Jewish people were deported in 1942 to Jewish Ghettos or Concentration Camps, namely Terezin in the Czech Republic, Oswiecim (Auschwitz) in Poland & Baranoviči in Belarus, while their names, DOB and brief history are recorded on these small brass plaques set into the sidewalk….

    Then a bit further down the road we see this Café, while I hope we never forget those atrocities.…

    Strange tower on this building roof, looks a bit like the mask of Darth Vader out of Star Wars with the shape!….

    As we then pass over the river….

    We see what looks like a Russian Orthodox Church….

    With this description as we get to the front door....

    While inside as we are asked to come inside by a lady who is there and is sorting out the floral displays this is what we see....

    On the opposite side of the road is this large building with a large number of small towers….

    As we then make our way back to St Wenceslas’ Cathedral….

    Which was interesting as visitors were going in and out while the service was ongoing!….

    Coming out and back into the city centre we then see this large model of the city….

    As we then see another 5 brass plaques of people that from the names looks like a family, who were deported and never returned to Olomouc….

    I then see this rather nice verse about a Polar Bear on the wall…..

    As we then make our way back to where we are parked we see all these ‘sparkly’ bits near the Tram Lines, and it is very small pieces of metal that come off the Tram Wheels as it goes around the corners in the tracks. ….

    That was our day out in Olomouc, time to head back to Plumlov.....

    19:30 this evening and there is a knock on the door of the ‘TinTent’ as the Campsite Manager tells us that the mains water supply has just failed in Plumlov so they have no water, and it is unlikely to be repaired until tomorrow so as we have very little the campsite have given us a refund for one night and we leave in the morning!....

  6. #36
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Calgary, Alberta


    Another batch of good pictures. I especially like the shot down the street after the one you labeled heading to the Main Square.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South Wales UK


    Quote Originally Posted by ssicarman View Post
    Another batch of good pictures. I especially like the shot down the street after the one you labeled heading to the Main Square.
    The shape of that street was not an optical illusion, it actually got narrower for a bit!

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South Wales UK


    Overland to visit Stalag Luft III.

    Plumlov to Hranice and then into the town for a walk around….

    As the water being supplied in a couple of places on the campsite was a pink/brown colour we skipped having a shower this morning before we left Plumlov and so hit the road to Hranice at about 07:45!...

    Passing this church the angle made it look like a cardboard cut out stood at the roadside, but it was the proper thing as we went past!….

    We come into the second village on this quite short trip....

    As we pass a colourful kindergarden….

    We reach the outskirts of….

    Then taking the outer road and not going through the Centrum we pass this large block of flats that someone has tried to brighten up with a bit of advertising on the end wall!….

    Get back out into the countryside and we see the Hop fields alongside the road…

    With a Stork that looked like it was feeding a youngster in the nest on top of the chimney….

    Another Hop field a bit further along with the people checking that all is going OK with the Hops…

    Then we see the outline of this very large Castle on top of the hill on our right hand side which we learn is called Helfstyn Castle which hopefully we will go back to tomorrow to have a look at….

    While a bit further along is this very long viaduct which was one of Emperor Ferdinand’s Norther Railway Viaducts, which was used to settle the difference in elevation between the divide of the rivers Odra and Bečva and the valleys of Jezernice & Hranice….

    As we then enter the historical area of Hranice….

    The Gun gave this place away as it is in front of the Artillery Academy in Hranice which now only houses the 7th mechanized brigade and the 71st mechanised division of the Czech Army….

    Last part of the main road through Hranice before we turn left....

    Turning left and then after a few yards right, we come to a rather narrow road but with a mirror strategically placed so you can see around the corner, as this was the final road to the campsite!...

    Next we had to pass under the bridge over which is an electrified railway with 4 tracks on it….

    As we got through and out the other side we see the campsite “Auto Kamp Hranice (GPS: 49.5417 N 17.7421 E) and it looks a nice place, while the railway carries traffic 24/7!….

    As I turn around I see this ‘Maintenance Train’ moving slowly along the track….

    Moving to the top of the campsite I can just make out the town of Hranice which is under a mile away….

    Top down view over the campsite…..

    Set off for a walk into the town and we pass this house that is completely covered on all its walls by the vine growing in one corner at the front!….

    As we continue along the road, the town then comes into view....

    Continuing along the one way road….

    We come into the main square, with a large church in the centre surrounded by all these shops, restaurants and a couple of banks.…

    While the external archways lead to other archways inside we see a little lone figure sat outside one of the shops….

    Walking down to take a look we see this little fella outside as the shop owner tells us that ‘Happy Toes’ was too hot inside the shop so as it is nice and cold outside he came out to cool down and now he is happy as his Toes are nice and cold!
    Well have you ever seen a Penguin wearing socks and shoes?....

    While after a HOT Mexican meal, you can always come out and have a COLD Dessert in the form of an Ice Cream! ....

    This is Hranice Castle which is now the local council offices that have been completely refurbished and are very nice both outside & in….

    Off down to the Supermarket to get a few required items….

    As we then come back we see the perfect place for a Satellite Dish!....

    Finally we see this nice and colourful display of Pansies….

    Time to head back to the campsite and lunch before the rain starts up again as the sky gets very overcast!…..

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South Wales UK


    Overland to visit Stalag Luft III.

    A trip to Hrad Helfstýn ….

    After a short trip back along the road we came through on and then up a steep hill we arrived in the carpark and as we then made our way up to the Castle we saw this ariel picture of the place and it is HUGE! ….

    The ‘Entrance’ is towards the left corner in the previous picture and would have been over a Drawbridge in olden times, while the outer wall in the next picture is around 9 Meters thick (27 Feet!) in some places along its length!....

    Passing through the outer gate, you then make your way to the second gate which was also protected by a Drawbridge in days past….

    While looking to the right as you walk between the Outer Wall and the Inner Wall you see some of the area between….

    Having purchased our tickets, and Yes they do have Senior Citizen prices! We move into the inner area and see the Restaurant on our right, which was formerly the Horse Stables….

    And very nice it is too inside….

    While at the side is this rather strange metal sculpture….

    As we then step back and see the Tower over the Ticket Office and Inner Entrance Gate…

    As we move up the inside of this area we see a Metal ‘See – Saw’ that was made here as there is a Blacksmithing area further inside the castle grounds….

    So off we then go further into the castle grounds.…

    Across what would have been a third Drawbridge and through the Gate then turn left….

    After taking a quick look through the Archers ‘slit’ in the wall….

    As we come to another gateway, but no Drawbridge this time….

    Passing through that gateway you cannot help but notice this Tower which is the ‘Hussite Tower’ and served as a lookout tower while there are 77 steps to get to the top….

    And we went up it!....

    Look out windows part way up!....

    Then we get to see the view from the top!….

    Looking down into this courtyard we see ‘The Studio’ on the left where iron work items are for sale and on show…..

    While on the right are some of the outdoor ‘Anvils’ that are used when the castle has events taking place….

    OK, time to climb back down again!....

    As we then head over to the Inner Courtyard, which is where the living area was for some of the various owners of the castle.…

    As we get inside and look at the walls, we can see where various windows have been ‘modified’ as a number have been made smaller than they were….

    Then the Castle ‘Guide’ catches up with us and the tour starts which while in Czech we have a leaflet in English which gives us a good indication of the commentary from the Guide as we then see a picture of the archaeological workings that have taken place here….

    With some of the results of the ‘finds’in these glass cases….

    While in the next room was this example of old style preparing to be repel the invaders!….

    In the next picture is how the Castle was ‘developed & enlarged’ while the owners who did it are listed down the right hand side. I hope you can also see the lines connecting which family did what to increase the size of the Castle!….

    Then we went into a room where there was old currency on display and each Family had its own coins….

    This was the ‘Strong Box’ but we are not sure which family it belonged to as the dates make it a bit early for this sort of item to have been produced!….

    While this lucky chap gets to ‘Guard’ it all….

    As we move through the ‘Basements’ we see different ironwork items that have been made by the Blacksmiths who now come to the Castle during events now staged here. The statue in the middle of the next picture took 7 days to make….

    More examples of the Blacksmiths creativity….

    As this one took everyone’s attention….

    Tour over we then went to the Restaurant for a hopefully warming cup of coffee, but ‘When we got there, the (coffee) cupboard was bare’ so we decided to head off into the nearest town instead, and just admired this collection of antiques instead….

    Heading back to the car park we then got to see a section of the wall that was 9 Meters thick….

    So then it was back to the carpark, by which time the ‘Attendant’ had woken up so we had no option but to pay the parking fee, then roll down the hill and into the village Lipnik nad Bečvou!....

    Where we found a very nice little Café which provided tasty and filling open sandwiches along with excellent coffee, all for less than £5 ($7) for both of us, and they also offered FREE Wi-Fi!...

    No idea so far as to what we are doing tomorrow so it’s going to be a case of watch this space!…..

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South Wales UK


    Overland to visit Stalag Luft III.

    Next part: Hranice – Frenstat pod Radhoštěm….

    Although it was relatively ‘peaceful’ at Autokemp Hranice with the railway at the bottom of the campsite we still managed to be on the road for just after 08:00 this morning, initially heading for a campsite called ‘kemp Beskydyn’ but more of that a bit later!.....

    Back on the main road this time and into the first village called ‘Belotin’….

    Straight on at the next crossroads....

    See quite a few of these places and they are a bit like the ‘Old’ Transport Cafes in the UK (BIG Mug of Tea or Coffee and a LARGE Greasy Bacon Sandwich as a snack!)….

    Another Castle on the hill while the houses take on a ‘Tyrolean’ style as we are entering winter ski areas….

    Now getting near to what was to be our next campsite not far from this village….

    Passing the Fire Station….

    We turn right into this single track lane for just on 1 mile with NO passing places and when we get to the entrance to ‘Kemp Beskedy’ we find it is for some reason closed! (Listed as being open from 1st May)….

    So after unhitching the ‘TinTent’ and hand-balling it through 180 degrees by the entrance gate, then pulling past in ‘Flamenco Red’ and re-connecting we are back on the road to our alternative choice for ‘Frenstat pod Radhoštěm (GPS 49.551760 N 18.204634 E)

    As we pass this rather inquisitive group of Wooden Cow Head carvings out of a single tree trunk!.…

    Passing more guest houses with a Tyrolean style roof….

    The mountains that you can see are called the Beskydn Range....

    It wasn’t very long before we came to the entrance to Frenstat pod Radhoštěm Autocamp, which having been here before and thought it was very nice we knew we would have no problems, and it still is very nice, but it is well maintained by the Town Council.

    After getting the Wi-Fi back which was ‘Not available’ when we checked in, we have been able to check on the weather and so make plans to head off into the Mountains to get to a very special and very old wooden church…..

    More hopefully tomorrow!...

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