|No driving today...Breathalyzer be dammed!|
Once inside the van, the officer started processing my documents and after several minutes, they informed me that I was being cited for not having a highway vignette (a toll sticker purchased at a petrol station required for driving on the highways --- autobahns --- in the Czech Republic). You also have to buy an autobahn vignette to drive in Austria but unlike the Czech Republic, the signage on the highway when you cross into Austria makes it abundantly clear. In retrospect, we should have realized that the "partial toll" as listed on the Google Map directions referred to some sort of vignette, especially since we'd been driving for quite some time on the Czech highways before we were pulled over. Nevertheless, they wrote me a citation but unlike in the US, they tell you how much the fine is and expect you to pay it right then. Fortunately, they took credit cards because we didn't have 2,000 Czech korunas with us (approximately $95.00). When they finally finished writing up the citation, processing the credit card, and making me take a breathalyzer test (I passed!), they told me to buy a 10-day vignette at the next gas station and that I didn't need one for Poland (gee thanks). When we pulled away, they waved to us as if we were old colleagues and had just finished having lunch together.
The rest of the weekend was, fortunately, breathalyzer and citation-free. First stop was Auschwitz, the largest of all the German concentration camps from World War II, then a couple of days wandering around Krakow.
|One of the memorials in Auschwitz-Birkenau|
|Wawel Castle and courtyard|
|Narrow and awkward openings on the way up to the top of the Wawel Cathedral bell tower.|
|Narrow is the most operative word here.|
|It's almost the top of the hour! Ring it!|
|Drink: Żubrówka and apple juice (Żubrówka, otherwise known is Bison Grass Vodka, is produced in Poland)|
|Main Market Square at night|