I have this project which Lady doesn't take part in. In 2004 I started walking through this country from north to south on the E10 footpath. It crosses into the Czech Republic from Germany at Varnsdorf and leaves the country for Austria in the south near Vyssi Brod. The original idea was to walk one stage a month so the trip would be over within 2 years. This project has spent long periods on the back burner with the gas on low but it has always been kept on the cooker.
And so with 9 stages under my belt, about half way through and some 50km south of Prague, it was time to press on. There had been a week of very hot weather dampened down by some welcome heavy rain. Conditions were ideal and it only required the inspiration of reading of George's walking trip across the UK to get me back on the road.
An early start got me to the village of Obory (approx 49°41'N, 14°13'E) by 7.30, where I'd left off last year.
This part of the walk is not regularly walked, a sturdy hazel stick served as weapon against the undergrowth. I am not the first to have had difficulties here, a local legend tells of Jan Luxemburg (king of Bohemia in the early 14th century) who got lost here while hunting and built a chapel as thanks that he found his way out again. To tell the truth old JL was never really at home in Bohemia, he agreed to marry Eliska, the last of the Premyslid dynasty which went back to before St. Wenceslas. Jan brought his own men to Bohemia to serve under him which didn't endear him to the local nobility. His son, Karel, or Charles, was a different matter and a story for another day. No kings about today but four-legged friends:
The path then followed small roads giving a completely different rhythm to walking, the stick now employed as a propellor rather than for path construction. High octane fodder in the form of strawberry tart preceeded the descent to the Lisnicky stream where gold has been panned in past centuries. Any there?
After following the stream for a couple of kilometres the path climbs over a small hill to the village of Smolotely where there is a rundown chateau dating from around 1730, built on the site of a late gothic manor house.
The owners of the chateau introduced many exotic species of trees and shrubs during the late 19th century. They also planted an avenue of acacia trees, still quite small despite their age.
The path then follows the road to Bohostice where a pub provided a late lunch before the final kilometres (including a deviation due to creative navigation) to Kamenna, where today's stage finishes. Just a short walk to Cetyne to get the first of four buses to get home.
7 hours ago