Monday, 2 March 2009

Thaw Continued & Czech Driving Machismo

The thaw had the effect of melting the top layer of compacted snow on the roads leading to our village which then rucked up into tracks, below the snow was now ice. I therefore watched in awe as a number of Czech drivers attempted to drive up the hill to the village. It was essential to get enough speed up to keep the momentum going to the top but not too much that you lost control. Some made it, others made it half way and slid back and one drove his car into the pile of snow on the side and abandoned it.

But the prize for Czech driving machismo and bloody-mindedness had to go to the driver of the car who decided to drive to Horice Na Sumave via the little road. This road rises sharply as it goes out of the village and on this stretch is shaded by two lines of trees making the thawing influence of the sun intermittent. It is very narrow, only the width of one car. Add to this at the bottom of the hill as you exit the village there is a 90 degree turn, which means that you cannot get any momentum before you start on the hill. The final point to make is that this road only goes to Horice, which can be reached from our village via a better and easier road which goes downhill, and so any attempt to climb this hill was totally unnecssary.

But one Czech driver thought better. I watched him (I presume it was a him) make several attempts on the hill, the first time he got a third of the way before sliding backwards, the second halfway. He then disappeared for a while. Aha I thought he has realised the errors of his ways and is going the sensible route. Not a bit of it. There he was reversing (yes reversing) up the hill, again he made several attempts, but he did make it eventually. The very idea of attempting driving up that lane in those conditions was enough to make me shudder, but doing it while looking over one's shoulder hardly bears thinking about. Those mad Czech drivers!

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