100,95 $ There was no entry for “Praha – Hradec Kralove direction” at hitchbase.com, but I saw on a map that the highway E67 started right next to Cerny Most subway station so I went
There was no entry for “Praha – Hradec Kralove direction” at hitchbase.com, but I saw on a map that the highway E67 started right next to Cerny Most subway station so I went there. The main entrances to the highway were far too busy to allow hitchhiking, but where the local road from Cerny Most turned into highway there was a long stretch of road that was absolutely perfect for stopping a car. On the downside was that cars weren’t allowed to stop there, and that they had high speed. On the upside was that the road was so straight that drivers saw you a long time in advance, which helps. I rose my thumb at 11:45 and after 15 minutes car number 17 stopped. It was a taxi driver going to Podebrady. He knew some German and let me off at a gas station at 12:26.
There I asked people if they went to Pardubice or Hradec Kralove. They all said something that sounded like “no I am going to xxx” and since I didn’t know where xxx was and couldn’t speak Czech I just had to let go. So eventually I went into the shop and bought a road map of Czechia. Now I asked the drivers where they were going on the map and then – since everyone where going in the right direction – asked them if I could go with them. But I couldn’t. When I came with my map most drivers seemed to think that I just asked for directions, and when I asked if I could go with them they looked a little bit surprised and like if they felt tricked in some way. So after 53 frustrating minutes and 25 annoyed shaken heads I went to the exit to try the thumb instead. At least then there is no doubt what your purpose is. After 30 minutes and 43 cars I looked on my new map and saw that there was a local road going in the right direction 5 kilometers from here. I hate walking along highways: you have to either walk next to the road and listen to the sound of hundreds of roaring engines, or you have to walk in the field below and get your shoes filled with wet soil. The blisters on my feet were already large as cherries, but the gas station now seemed like the worst place on earth so I choose the walk anyway. To my delight I soon found a small farmer’s road running next to the highway and that made life a lot better. How comfortable! At 14:37 I came to the local road. It was really fast and narrow, so I figured I had better walk to the village 3 km away where the road should slow down a bit. I waved my thumb while walking backwards (walking backwards is my specialty skill). Car number 80 stopped after 22 minutes. He took me to Kolin.
Kolin was – like every city around here seem to be – very beautiful. I walked through it and at 15:41 came to a bus stop on the road south-east. It looked like a good place for hitchhiking and – tada! – a hitchhiker showed up and stood there. I was delighted, now I could just sit down and do nothing for a while. I ate some bread and watched the young man – who had no backpack – wave his thumb. Aha, they do the thumb in Czechia too; I’d better save the flat hand for Poland. After 22 minutes and 224 cars the young man got a ride and I took his place. After 1 minute and 20 cars I got a ride. The man who picked me up really liked talking so I think I used every Czech word that I had learned. I tried to ask him to let me off at the junction outside Kutna Hora, but he thought it best to drop me off at a village between Caslav and Chrudim. Measured in kilometers to Pardubice he was right, but since I would probably have to change cars in Chrudim it would take longer time. Whatever, at least I got to hitchhike in a cute village for a while. I stood between 16:31 and 16:50 and then car number 44 stopped. It was a truck driver going to Chrudim. He let me off at the road towards Pardubice and there I found a bus stop that looked excellent. Unfortunately, a bus blocked the bus stop. It went to Pardubice and I asked for the price. 50 cent! I won’t hitchhike to save 50 cent I thought, and jumped on.
When the Swedish army visited Pardubice in 1645 they were kind enough to leave a few renaissance buildings around the town square, and for those buildings I now went to find a tourist information. They were closing in 10 minutes but were kind enough to call a couple of hotels till they found a really cheap one. It was 9 euro and 15 minutes away. There was no reception, but a bar where they gave me a key and told me to pay some other day, sold beer for 40 cent and showed the Czech ice hockey quarter finals on widescreen. I wanted to go to the city and withdraw cash and get a decent dinner, but my feet were threatening to fall off so I stayed in the hotel and passed out at 8 pm.