Let's go to Prčice!
It is nice small town situated in south part of Central Bohemia, in the middle of romantic highlands.
All begins many days before important „departure day“. Our friends know well that we have the intention to walk on foot to Prčice, together with our small, two and half years old daughter. We are pleased that we could become, after finishing this route, partially heroes or madmen, (depends on point of view) getting some positive feelings of exceptionality and bravery, trying to go there accompanied with small child. We know that the terrain we have to overcome would be quite difficult and return journey will be twice so hard. However, we get out into heavy rain in the morning. We looked forward a lot to this excursion, maybe, we decide to stay at home, at such unfavourable weather conditions. Anyway, we decided to go just today, when general pilgrimage to Prčice is declared, and it is absolutely impossible to postpone this journey!
So, we get on the car and watch the rain which is stopping slowly. However, the sky is cloudy and forecast could not probably be good. Small daughter is curious to know if somebody would be walking to Prčice when it rains, so she is asking: „When we shall be there? I wish to go to Prčice!“ We inform her that it would be possible but it would be cold outside and her legs would be grieving after such march.
We drive in direction Votice, there is no big traffic on the highway as well as on main road leading for Tábor. We arrive in Votice shortly before 8 o´clock a.m., and stop on empty parking place. It is good luck, the rain stopped, so the child cannot be wet through. Never mind, on the square, at a fountain, we buy a map, indicating and describing 23 kms long children route (we assume that this distance coud be overcome). Nevertheless, we find that we are not alone at starting point, to our surprise.
The people around are preparing their belongings for walking. They have rucksacks or hampers on their back, several intend to go with baby-carriages (including us), even some dogs run around, taking their small bundles on. It is wonderful, our crew is despatchready and our walking, in direction Prčice, begins!
First way-section from Votice. Our small human queue is moving along pavement and we take quite good rate of speed. We wish to be out from the town, in free nature, as soon as possible.
We feel it soon, by slow mounting, we have to put forwards the baby carriage, where the rucksack is placed. Our small daughter is sitting on the top and observes the countryside with great interest. It is true, this walk is too quick for her legs, so it would be quite favourable to walk the distance having good humour. First stop is made near solitude house of Lysá, after 1,5 kms of walking. Here, we receive control stamp. So, we got the second stamp of cow (marking of children route). On this point, there is dividing a route for adults, turning aside to the right. We continue our walking but in slower wasy as before, suiting more children legs, leading across meadows, reaching bee-house. Anyway, thanks to today´s cloudy weather, we cannot be afraid to pass along. Our small child has therefore no fear to be attacked from these insects. We enter the forest. A piece of straight path, following isohypse, and again mounting to St.Ethelbert chapel. Daughter´s legs hurt, so use of baby-carriage will be required. But first, her dad has to bring her on his backs. The roof of a chapel appears somewhere among trees, and it seems that the distance could be great. Finally, we arrive on the top, first real relax stop is preferrable for all adults.
Now, more comfortable part of the way is waiting for us. It is, thanks to recent rain, rather muddled. The baby-carriage undergoes hard tests of resistatnce, driving across puddles and mud. However, this carriage does not persist it and is broken, after bumping across roots of trees. Anyway, a piece of string could repair this defect. Suddenly, the rain is starting. So, could we be get wet soon? It is nothing serious, some drizzle only, and shortly afterthat, the sunshine is coming and the sky is full of sunshine again.
The route continues across hills and valleys, through wonderful forests, around small ponds, passing former stronghold of Buchov. The highest point of „Bohemian Siberia“ (Mezivrata – 714 meters above sea level), we nearly cannot register. We look round the countryside and have good feelings in our bodies as well as in souls. We pass several refreshmnent points, where some pilgrims take so many drinks and meals that they have to cut or even cancel their walking. We pass the community of Ješetice and obtain another control stamp. We are surprised that 6 kms only are necessary to be overcome, in order to reach our target. Even other pilgrims are laughing despite the fact they are exhausted with meals and drinks. They had a relax somewhere in the grass, amd slept for a while, before they continued in beer drinking (on the other hand, the baby-carriage was missing to them).
At 4 o´clock p.m. we can see Prčice church tower, the finish is situated there nearby! So, we take a biscuit, hang small yellow shoe on our neck (we obtained both in a finish) and visit local market. The square is full of kiosks with sweets, sausages and refreshment, and even with some souvenirs. The pilgrims are highly satisfied that they walked finally in Prčice. Our full-stop point could be done in following way: we go by bus to Heřmaničky railway station. Later, in Votice, the baby-carriage was crumbled completely. Nevertheless, our small daughter is still full of energy, so her mother is more exhausted now as before.
So, are we heroes or not? It is a fact that this route to Prčice walked more than 7000 persons. Anyway, we are heroes, we reached it with our small daughter.
Finally, at 8 o´clock p.m., we are sitting in our car, satisfied, but tired. At exit from Votice, grandmother, short skirt, thin legs, Indian tress, is hiking. We stop and this old lady says to us:
„ I see you went to Prčice, from where, am I right?“
„We walked from Votice, with our small daughter, 23 kms altogether.“
„O.K. I myself walked this route, too. Since 5 a.m., from Prague, 70 kms, and now, I return back!“
„It is a pity, we do not go to Prague, we intend to turn aside at Benešov in direction to Kamenný Přívoz, Sázava!“
„It does not matter at all. Would you take me to nearest point in Prague direction, I continue alone ahead on foot!“
I am very pleased that even heroes could walk to Prčice!
Text: Oliver Kucka
Photo: Zdeňka Kucková
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