Saturday, November 24, 2007

Driving Home to Katowice

Our quick visit to Vienna ended just after noon and we headed back on the highway to get home. We thought it should take 5 or 6 hours, depending too on the waits we might encounter at the Czech and Polish borders. We elected to head north and then northeast, which meant we would only cross 2 borders. Driving east would have taken us into Hungary and meant another border crossing. Time was of the essence as Tyler had missed another day of classes by now!!

I got pretty good at taking pictures through the van windows! It helped when the other passengers would watch for trees or signs and yell "Now!" or "Wait, wait."

This route took us through some of Austria's agricultural land and we thoroughly enjoyed these glimpses.

The only crop still left in the fields awaiting harvest were the sunflowers. They were all dried up already.

There were lots of vineyards along the highway. I think the grapes had all been picked and there was just some pruning being done.

Still castles popping up as we drove. I don't think I'll ever tired of looking for them!

The gently rolling farmland gave way to these amazing cliffs as we got into the Czech Republic.

People walking along the roadsides, especially close to villages, were a common sight.

The highway through the Czech Republic was a new divided highway - in some places! In other places the highway was still under construction so we had to detour through the countryside and small villages. In one place, about 4:30 in the afternoon, the local factory must have closed because there were suddenly bikes all over. I think people were pedalling home after work. Tyler was able to navigate us through it all and there were only 2 times were we took the wrong turn. As soon as we did it, we knew it was the wrong way so we were able to turn around and get back on the right path before going too far astray. Mel had worried about this trip home because she knew signs would be very little help when you can't read the language! And she wasn't sure if the map would actually show where things were and if indeed they would be what it said. Thankfully it all worked out okay. God is a marvelous pilot!!

The Czech Republic has many areas where restoration and improvements to buildings have not yet been made. People really do make the best of things and they always seemed to have some garden space for growing food for themselves.

As we got closer to Katowice, these stacks began to appear. We were back in the industrial coal producing area of Poland. Our calculations about time were pretty close and we were back in Katowice by 7 p.m.. Home sweet home!!


  1. Great pics. Too bad I couldn't navigate and get a good shot of all those bikers...there were at least 20 of them at one stretch! Sometimes it's hard to capture all the differences between the clean cut, clean air (love those windmills) Germany/Austria and the bare bones, coal billowing Czech/Poland side of things. Things have come a long way here. Thanks for the memories.

  2. Hi Crystal,
    I'm so enjoying all the pictures and captions of your trip. I think sharing in several posts is much more enjoyable. Vienna looks like such a fascinating and beautiful city.

  3. Anonymous9:19 PM

    I'm inspired by how many people ride bikes in other countries. It's a perfect form of transportation--so long as the roads aren't full of cars!

    Beautiful scenery!