We are now in the south eastern province of Moravia, which is realtively flat and very much warmer, temperatures are in the high 20s. This is wine country with harvest in full swing. Trailers full of grapes are trundling from vines back to the vineyards for pressing. Some are being picked by hand whilst the bigger operations have curious tractors with enormous wheels which straddle a row of vines pulling a picking machine behind it. In the interests of research, the couple of glasses we have samples are very good indeed.
Sunflowers are also grown here in great quantity. They too are ready for harvest. The seed-heads, on the totally dead plants, hang down like stick men waiting for the grim reaper. There are also many acres of maize here which is harvested when completely dry, presumably for the grain rather than cattle feed as is mostly the case in the UK.
Dusty work combining sun flowers
The cycling has been very interesting here on the border between Czech and Austria, many of the cycle paths are on the former cold war border patrol roads. It is very sobering to think that this nation of peaceable souls were literally fenced in with a double row of barbed wire packing 10,000 volts, then 2km of patrolled no-mans-land. After 6 years of occupation by Germany in WWII, liberation by Russia lead to Czechoslovakia ending up the wrong side of the iron curtain until the velvet revolution in 1989.
The only remnant of the 1,000 mile iron curtain electrified barbed wire fences
We ventured a few miles into Austria, passed disused border crossings. Whilst the landscape is very similar, the Austrian towns seam less careworn.
Czech is a very clean and tidy country and rates as the 7th safest in the world. It is an hidden gem with many grand castles and palaces being restored to their considerable former glory
Castle at Mikulov