My transit-hopping day began with a lift up the hill a mile to the local bus station in Zvíkovec, and Igor confirmed the transfer details with driver, so I was able to enjoy the milk run across the small hamlets of the upland, transferring at Zbiroh, on my way to the nearest rail connection at Karez. We passed through several towns of increasing size, beginning at perhaps 100 and progressing to maybe 5000. Only the largest had an identifiable grocery, and maybe another half dozen shops. There is infrastructure work in progress here, laying new rail bed and building a new (regional-size, single track with one siding) rail station. A fair number are embarking in the direction of Prague, but only a few go with me toward Plzen. The paint companies are doing quite well in Plzen, I must say. The old Communist-era blocks of flats have been brightened with multi-hued geometries. The train station is getting a new tile floor in Art Deco style. The cast iron columns supporting the roof over the boarding platform appear to date from before the war, even if the corrugated metal roof itself is of more recent vintage.
At least a half dozen touring cyclists debarked from the express inbound from Munich an hour late, along with an equal or greater number of backpacks. So I’m not far off the season. There is very regular rail service between Munich and Prague by way of Nurnberg and Plzen, and Plzen is even included on the Deutsche Bahn regional rail pass (Bavaria and Bohemia for a group as large as five).
As we board the outbound express, a German couple who live south of Munich joined me in my compartment, and we enjoyed a lively afternoon of conversation. Turns out the German chestnut trees differ from those in France; nuts from German ones can be fed to animals, but only the French ones can be eaten by humans.
Schwandorf, a town I did not know previously, is a rather big place! Especially after being in Czech forests and hamlets for two weeks, I am experiencing a bit of culture shock. Today is Pfingsten Montag (Pentecost Monday in US, Whitmonday in UK) still a holiday here in very-Catholic Bavaria, so it took a few tries to find a pension open, but I was successful.