The Czech Republic is more, far more, than Prague.
Actually, there are many beautiful towns and villages, especially in the south, which are well worth a visit especially if one wants to find somewhere quiet and less commercialised – and the walking trails are its other great attraction. These walking trails were established during the communist era (1945-1990), when people worked five days a week and on the weekends and holidays went walking, either as a family or in a group. There were walking clubs. There was also people who were permanently employed by the state to maintain the trails and ensure the signs and markers were accurate.
Different times alright. People didn’t work as hard as today, they were less ambitious – and they had more time to play sport, games, swim – and go walking. With the collapse of communism, they became more ambitious as the ‘good life’ beckoned – to have the material benefits of the western Europeans.
During the communist era The Czech Republic was amalgamated with neighbouring Slovakia and known as ‘Czechoslovakia’ (the languages of the two countries were similar). With the collapse of communism it saw a rapid rise in its national wealth, especially with its good education system and the money making asset of Prague. Slovakia declared its independence and The Czech Republic was born. Both nations saw their national income rise rapidly. People worked hard to buy new cars and new homes and new computers and new clothes and in the meantime, the trails were less used because few had the time to use them and still less the inclination. The government no longer employed people to maintain the trails and they, like the classical musicians, found themselves unemployed. In Slovakia many of the trails vanished because of the construction of ski lodges and infrastructure. In the Czech Republic, especially in the south and east, they realised that the trails were a potential tourist drawcard. An attempt was made to maintain most of the trails and the sign posting.
Today the Czech Republic is one of Europe’s great walking destinations. These photos were shot in 2017/2018…..
Categories: Czech Republic