Wednesday 5 to Friday 7 July
Next stop was Olomouc to see fountains. At least seven of them are set in the big square and the small square and scattered around the tiny town. Arriving there created its challenges as there were road works surrounding the town. We have learnt to look out for the orange arrows on road signs indicating a detour. There were many of them.
We treated ourselves to a typical Morovian restaurant, although the food was typical of what we had seen in Czech. Beef cheek with mashed potato, served with a heavy sauce, and Bruce’s duck leg with red cabbage and bread dumplings really were amongst the best we had tried. The young waitress was amazingly efficient and the her level of service level was better than we had seen before.
Whilst we would have preferred to sit on the verandah, it was full and we had to go inside. The weather turned cool and as we left the verandah was empty – good choice.
One of the things that we have had to contend with was the changeable weather. There seemed to be a constant flow of black threatening clouds which would clear to present the brightest blue sky. Of course the temperature rose and fell, depending on how the sun managed to shine through the clouds. Quite suddenly we would get a heavy shower, which generally lasted between 30 and 60 minutes.
We finally took delivery of the Renault. Jeanne who had driven from Frankfurt came, changed cars and left again with a half hour – he was diving back to Frankfurt. He said he liked driving – you would have to with the heavy traffic and road works we had experienced since leaving Frankfurt.
The fountains in Olomouc are amazing – Greek mythical characters such as Jupiter, Neptune and Hercules as well as Arion the poet, singer and lyre player who was rescued by a dolphin, the all too familiar Marian column remembering the plague of 1713-1715.
While Paris has its Eiffel Tower and Rome has the Colosseum, Olomouc boasts the Holy Trinity column, built by Vaclav Render in 1716 to thank the heavenly protectors of the city for rescue from the plague. It has the largest group of Baroque statues in Central Europe.
The town squares also boasted a lovely Town Hall, under renovation, with an interesting astronomical clock and a rather nice relief map of the city.
We climbed the tower of St Maurice’s church to get a view of the town, then found our way to St Wenceslas’ Cathedral where we enjoyed a late lunch admiring the amazing Gothic spires.
Olomouc was a walled city and a walk through the garden in the former moat was a pleasant way to end our sightseeing.
Finally, we were ready for our first drive in the newly delivered Renault Captur. After negotiating the TomTom we then had to negotiate the actual streets. This was tricky with many of them closed for repair. TomTom’s Cyber Sybil kept taking us around in circles until Mary Lou on Maps ME came to the rescue and we got out of town.
But our drive didn’t get easier, in our attempt to ‘avoid toll roads’ we found ourselves in a village with no way out. The road to Brno was closed. We followed those orange detour signs, only to find more dead ends. It took an extra hour to make the planned one hour journey and we learnt how to look out for the pesky detour signs.