Four Wheels Around - A Road Trip from the UK to South Africa

In February 2009 we are setting off on the trip of a lifetime from Brighton, E-Sussex, UK to South Africa. Furthermore, we are raising money for the British Red Cross along the way. This blog will cover our preparation until we leave and our adventures whilst we are on the road.

Monday, 2 March 2009

What I have learnt...

Ok so even though we are still in Europe, and even in Western Europe I have made a few observations regarding locals cultures that have amused me. 

France:

  • The French like to put seemingly pointless traffic lights at every junction that they can.
  • The French LOVE one way sytems and Alex and I in the old Land Rover, not so much!
  • Everything shuts on a sunday. -This seems synonymous through all the Countries that we have visited so far!-
  • There is a hell of a lot of dog shit on the pavements. Walking along the street is like playing a game of dodge the poo. However many evil eyes you send in the owners direction as their dog has a massive poo right in front of you, it is to no avail and off they trot on their merry way leaving a trail of poo for some poor foreign and unaware victim like Alex to stamp in.

Germany:

  • The Germans seem to love their dogs, every where we went people were walking their dogs at all hours of the day and night. They seem to really care for them and clean up after them...point number two..
  • There is less shit on the pavements. They even have doggy doo bins!
  • The Germans seem to be very sporty. They especially like jogging. Even in the Black Forest and literally in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by 4 inches of snow people were jogging along getting fit whilst we were shivering away watching in disbelief. There are vast amount of cycle lanes as well -which is great-. Lots of gyms too.
  • the Germans, although sporty like to smoke. They appear to disregard the smoking ban and there are cigerette machines on every street corner. Many selling not just cigarettes but condoms and various other gadgets and gizmos.
  • A German campsite = a field full of massive German motor homes the size of my house. Our poor little Land Rover looked tiny in comparison.
  • Alex is quite good at speaking German!

Czech Republic:

  • Similarly to the French, the first thing that has to be said about the Czech Republic, or maybe just Plzen where we are currently staying.. is that there is a lot of dog poo. Again Alex has fallen victim and me, well not so much. However, I haven´t seen many dogs...
  • The Czech, well at least the locals in Horšovský Tyn like to drink and can drink A LOT! Alex and I just couldn´t keep up. They plied us with alcohol and seemed completly unaffected by the amount that they consumed. Us on the other hand, we staggered home and suffered imensly the following day.
  • They make good beer. Pilsner Urquell more specifically. We went on a very informative if overly fancy tour of the local brewery here today.
  • They don´t speak much English and seem to find my rubbish pronounciation of ´Dekuji´ pronounced something along the lines of ´Deacoy´ and meaning ´Thank You´ rather humourous.
  • There are no locks on toilet doors.
  • Campsites do not open until at least April.

Obviously these are somewhat generalisations based on just a few days in each of these Countries so don´t take them too literally. However, everywhere we have been so far people have been so friendly and often gone out of their ways to help us. For example, we were a little lost, avoiding the toll roads on our way to the Czech border. We stopped in a very small town to ask directions and the poor Woman in question hopped in her car and drove us all the way to and across the border. 

We have been in Plzen for a couple of days which has been lovely and even though we chose not to vist Prague I feel like I have had a good taste of the Czech Republic. We have visited a very small town, Horšovský Tyn which was charming and full of character and where we met some locals and we have spent a good day or two exploring Plzen which is the forth biggest city in the Czech Republic. We have stayed in a lovely hostel here, not in the useless Lonely Planet guide book -surprise surprise- called Hostel River. Run by a helpful chap called Viktor -who incidently pointed us in the right direction towards some great pubs- it has a great deal of character and is quite affordable. 

We are heading off towards Slovakia tomorrow which I fear will be an expensive experience as they have just joined the Euro. the Euro means bad news for us.

Will update soon. BYE for now!

P.S: On the Czech keyboard I can´t find the bracket symbols hence where verytime you would expect a bracket I have used a dash. - 

3 Comments:

Blogger Getafix said...

Thank you vary much for your informative blog ...curiously following...
By the way when are you planing to reach Turkey and will you pass throug Ankara.
Best Regards

3 March 2009 at 12:00  
Blogger Four Wheels Around said...

Hello there, we imagine we will reach Turkey in another week or to and yes Ankara is on our route.....? Glad you are enjoying the blog.

6 March 2009 at 18:02  
Anonymous Markus Hesselmann said...

No dog shit in Germany? Come to Berlin, enjoy. Meanwhile, please see here:
http://london.tagesspiegel.de/?p=248

20 March 2009 at 07:36  

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