Travelling with a trumpet

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Ian’s trumpet has been silent for three days. It has been riding along on the back of the bike in comfort thinking it didn’t have to do anything. Ian’s hard earned chops need to be kept in shape. It seems that 90+km on the bikes in the Czech countryside doesn’t combine well with music practice, so a new plan was made for today – tourism in Olomouc, trumpet practice in an appropriate location and a train to Ostrava.

The first two have been achieved and we are now waiting for the train as a thunderstorm approaches.

Olomouc is full of history, churches, fine buildings and gardens. We watched the astronomical clock (socialist era), visited St Wenceslas Cathedral with its amazing stencilled decorations and St Michael’s Church (baroque with cherubs). One of the 2 main squares, Dolni namesti, is under renovation and has now become an archeological dig.

Later… the trains were in a state of slight chaos, apparently due to a freight derailment. We became more familiar with the Olomouc station than intended, but eventually a train to Ostrava arrived and it brought us here rapidly (160kph).

We are staying in the garden cottage of Zoja, only a couple of minutes walk from her 3rd floor flat, overlooking the city. She greeted us bikini clad in true European style – she comes here to relax after work each day. Zoja runs a construction company that was left to her by her husband. She remembers when Ostrava was so heavily polluted by industry that the snow was black. This is a former coal mining city, still industrial but now much cleaner.

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