Day 10- Camping Thorwaldblick, Germany, drive through Czech Republic
Quote of the day “I have no idea how much I just paid for that tank of gas.” (Matt in Czech Rep.)
I awake to Arleigh wailing. Stella has been antagonizing and it’s obvious. Stella, is talking back and purposefully inciting arguments in the tent with her siblings. I immediately picture her seven years down the road with a syringe sticking out of her arm as she’s sprawled across a bus station bathroom. She is the child for whom I needed to learn Lamaze childbirth breathing. Not to use in childbirth, but to invoke years later, breathing deeply through these idyllic moments. This is one of the times I begin Lamaze breathing.
I pull myself out of the tent and note that the Italian family next door is staring. “Sorry” I offer, sure that they just witnessed the exchanges Stella has dealt. “It’s Ok” they offer in return. “It’s the same here.”
I’m grumpy, tired, and feeling like I should move our tent to a Starbucks front doorstep. We pack up and Matt waits in line at the reception for a refund from the stupid laundry tokens that weren’t even necessary in the first place.
This is the day we drive through Czech Republic. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to be back in the Czech Republic anytime soon, so I was looking forward to this part of the journey. Yet 25 minutes across the border I find that I can’t keep my eyes open. Eventually dilapidated but charming towns turned into a full blur. I passed out and awoke with a crick in my neck and a rope of slobber connecting my pillow. Through the Czech Republic, the kids watched Superman to keep quiet as I caught up on lost sleep. Normally we shun movies in the car because we think the sticky folks in the backseats learn more looking out the window. In this case, however, Superman was our hero. For at least 50 km, there were signs posted for sex, erotic shops, and lots of billboards that were a tad raunchy.
We passed by various casinos, as well as truckers who obviously sported twin ideals of corruption and incompetence with equal fervor. All the folks around here seemed to have been squeezed from the same tube of toothpaste if you know what I mean.
We were however, taken by the landscape, (minus the billboards) as it was more alike our hometowns in PA then anything we’d seen in Europe so far. Even the road resembled Interstate 80 in a regrettable, but genuine way.
Eventually we arrive at our campground, near to Dresden, after no less than 2 hours of wandering the quiet local villages. Our camping guide had the zip code listed incorrectly which led us on a wild goose chase. We settled down after finishing the last of the food stores and went to bed, just happy to be out of the car.
One of the best parts of riding through Czech Republic was our opportunity to stop and purchase the traditional wafer cookies. They are a very special, light, sweet treat. We love an excuse to gobble these up, so of course, it was all smiles when we cracked open a box before bedtime.