Czech Republic

czech_republic_sm02In September of 2001 we went to the Czech Republic to attend the Second Annual BMW GS Meeting sponsored by the BMW GS Team Denmark. We entered the country in the south east at a new border check point on the German border which put us on a new multilane highway for the first 75 kilometers of our ride. We were headed north east toward Prague. When the new highway terminated we found ourselves on well maintained two lane roads that we rode all the way to Prague. We avoided Prague by traveling on many country lanes that were in various states of repair and arrived at our destination in Litomerice in the late afternoon. See our page about the Second Annual BMW GS Meeting sponsored by the BMW GS Team Denmark.

We returned to the Czech Republic in July of 2003 intent of traveling around the country on our BMW motorcycles in order to explore more of the country during our adventure motorcycle travels. The Czech Republic is made up of Bohemia and Moravia situated in the middle of Europe. The country is approximately 78,864 square kilometers (49,083 square miles). About one third of the country is covered by forests. And, there are mountain ranges that run along the western, southern and south eastern borders. The population is around 10.28 million people.

In 1989 the communist party resigned from power and in 1993 Slovakia was split off and the Czechoslovak federation ceased to exist and the Czech Republic was born.

While there are many traditional Bohemian and Moravian folk festivals in the remote villages around the country we ran into a festival of a different variety when we arrived in Prague - Mick Jagar was celebrating his 60th birthday while the Rolling Stones were in town for a concert on their 40 Licks Tour.

Much of the country has suffered from acid rain that is a result from the use of poor quality coal at factories and thermal power stations. This has created one of Europe’s worst environmental disasters which has caused a majority of the trees in the Ore Mountains in the eastern part of the country to die. Pollution in Prague is rising due to vehicle emissions.

All of the country’s main rivers flow out of the country due to the high ground the country occupies. However, this does not mean that the country is safe from flooding. In August, 2002, the Vltava river overflowed its banks throughout the country creating an environmental and economic disaster. The water levels in Prague were about 8 feet up the wall in the hotel where we stayed and the hotel lobby was elevated four feet above the level of the surrounding streets. The normal level of the river is probably aoubt 20 to 25 feet below the level of the street where the hotel is located. Prague continues to recover from this disaster but for many there will be no recovery. The campground where we stayed while in Litomerice in 2001 no longer exists. It was completely destroyed - all of the buildings were washed away in the flood and the owner could not afford to rebuild. A shame really, because it was a very nice place to spend some time.

And, the Czech language is yet another that we will never understand. We were fortunate to encounter many people who spoke English and this made our lives much easier.


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