We stayed in the pretty north Austrian town of Gmund on holiday, remarkable because was split in two between Austria and Czechoslovakia after WWII. The other part of the town (now part of the Czech Republic) is called Czeske Velenice and was a mere 5 minute walk away across a now unmanned yet still imposing looking border post.
A little further on was the town’s (both portions) main railway station. Ceske Velenice inherited it as part of its allotted portion. Gmund’s station is tiny by comparison.
To my eye the station itself looks little changed from the communist era, though I’m sure the residents could put me right on that.
Having seen some stark contrasts between some of the towns and villages either side of the border, my husband had an interesting chat with one of the train drivers.
‘Are you happy?’ he asked. ‘Yes, I am’, was the smiled reply, ‘I don’t have the latest phone or car, but me and my family have a comfortable life. We don’t need the latest things to be happy with our friends and family’.
You might think that sounds a bit forced or rote, but hubby said his reply was spontaneous and genuine – remember I’m reporting his report of the conversation. In our world of must-haves and keeping up with the Joneses, it was food for thought.
I went to Bristol by train recently and was surprised to find this bright pink Gumdrop near the ticket barrier. I whipped out my camera to take this photo, much to the amusement of the ticket attendant.
“That’s new, how long has it been here?” I asked her.
“Oh about a year”, she replied. So much for my powers of observation then.
“Not only that”, chimed in a fellow passenger, “it’s made out of recycled chewing gum.”
I looked more closely and by gum, she’s right…
I’m not sure if the planters at bustling Covent Garden are designed to double up as benches, but those waiting there seem to think they are. One poor person’s phone is so heavy, they need to rest it on the roadworks sign as well 😉
A suitable post for Friday the 13th?
Here’s a selection of benches from Chippenham station for us to view whilst I try and decide which one (if any) was the bench Old Maudy used to sit on.
I devised a ghost walk for Pewsham Belles WI this week and the railway station was our initial meeting place plus the spot for our first ghostly tale.
More on Old Maudy to come after I’ve distilled our walk and the tales we told into an interactive map.
They really do take
weasels* ferrets for a walk up north! This was a surprise find when we visited the Tanfield Railway recently.
Later I met the owner at Causey Arch, a couple of miles from where this photo was taken. The ferret’s name is Peace.
* = Thanks to commenter rjbuxton for the correction. It seems my brain went on holiday for a while 😉