Brozany and Raby

No it’s not some dodgy Czech TV cop show, but two delightful places I paid a visit to over the weekend. I brought my longboard back over here with me when we returned from Ireland, and have been itching to go for a skate ever since. The weather finally took a turn for the better the other day and I donned my helmet (safety first kids) and skated down to the path along the river we had tentatively explored a few days earlier. The weather was an icy windy monster that day so we turned back before we could reach Brozany.

The path in question runs along the river Elbe behind the hydroelectric plant and continues parallel to the river before turning off towards the town/village/housing estate of Brozany. The path is as smooth as silk, as fine as china, as fast as a cheetah, as emmm pathy…..as a path can be. But seriously folks it’s glorious! I couldn’t wait to skate it after our brief stroll the other day.

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The smooth as butter pathway into Brozany and onwards to the castle beyond.
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Heaven is a smooth cycle path, along a river, with a view of a castle on top of a hill in the background. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
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Emmmm yeah the cold does strange things to people.
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Can you guess what water sports are popular along this spot?
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If I was to be picky, these trees aren’t planted very neatly, tisk tisk tisk.

On the day of our stroll it was icy cold and not many people were out on the path, but you got the impression that on a sunny day, this place would be a hive of activity. We walked past some pontoons on the bank of the river with steps going down to them and realised this was where the local rowing club had their headquarters. Sure enough a little further down the path we came across their clubhouse. The doors were open and inside were dozens of row boats stacked as high as the ceiling, like all of us, waiting for the Summer to come along.

Another thing we noticed on our stroll was the little lakes and bodies of water lining the river. Dotted along their shores are a host of little houses with beautifully kept gardens and walkways down to the waters edge. I can only assume these are Summer houses where jaded city folk go to put their feet up and forget about their woes. Near the rowing club we came across a rather innovative use of old infrastructure. An old railroad carriage converted into a small cottage, now who wouldn’t want to live in something like that?

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Not a bad view out your bedroom window….the castle in the background, not the branches…
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On a Summer’s day these little houses would be the perfect place to kick back and relax.
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Chooooo choooooooo I’m a house!
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It didn’t look very occupied but I guess the owner lost “track” of time….perhaps they got….”derailed”………or maybe even lost their “train” of thought. I have to stop punning I’m so sorry.
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It probably won’t be appearing on an episode of Grand Designs any time soon but home is where you make it.

After our walk was thwarted by an icy wind just on the edge of Brozany I was itching to come back on my longboard and make it all the way into the village we had come so close to and yet so far away. Working Monday-Friday meant a weekend trip would be the only option, and with the weather changing from sunny to snowy at the drop of a hat, I wasn’t getting my hopes up. But then Saturday arrived and brought with it glorious sunshine, albeit still cold and breezy. I skated out to the point where we turned around before and continued on excitedly into Brozany. To the glass half empty people it’s just a small collection of houses surrounded by fields, but I couldn’t wait to see it.

They say there’s no such thing as adventure anymore, everywhere has been explored, and alas it’s kind of true. But we can still have our own adventures, even if it is just a twenty minute skate into the nearest inhabited area beyond the agriculture. Brozany and Raby are like time portals from a by-gone era, just like the museum in Hradec Kralove. Sure there’s modern cars parked in the driveways, everyone probably has a flatscreen TV and an I-pad, but from street level it could still be the 1930’s.

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The suburbs of Pardubice are the epitome of quaint rural village life. Skating through the town was like a trip back in time, to a quieter, more peaceful time.
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Came across these chickens who had seemingly escaped from a hole in the fence.
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The sign indicating the end of Brozany and the beginning of Raby, the last village before the castle atop the hill.
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The streets were eerily quiet, except for the occasional Alsatian lunging at me through thankfully closed gates.
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This street reminded me of pictures I’d seen of Japanese villages. Don’t know why, it just had a similar look to it.
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Let’s hope church numbers don’t start rising or they’ll have to start turning patrons away from this tiny house of worship.
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Lovely view. I love those blue street signs, the child looks like he’s about to absolutely smash that football into his poor dad’s face, and the houses seem to be on sleds. I’ll have to do a blog post on the amusing signs they have here.
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Soooooooon I shall visit you castle, sooooooooooooon.
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Oh deer. Last pun I promise. The road through Raby runs straight on up this tree lined path up to the castle. I turned back around here as I ran out of exploration time.
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A monument to the First World War.

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My longboard resting after its first adventure in the Czech Republic.

Kunětická Castle will have to wait for another day, as will the lovely little pub I passed in Raby. I can see this pathway and the two little villages at the end of it becoming a favourite destination of mine when the weather warms up. On the day of my skate, many people were out on their rollerblades and bicycles enjoying the traffic free route along the river. Meanwhile on the river itself, rowers were soaking up the brief sunshine and rowing their way up and down the river. On a hot Summer’s day this place will be pure bliss….hurry up Summer!!! Go away snow!!!


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