Metzgerei Güntner, Wiesau, 10:55
We're in a pub/butchers. It's actually more of a pub/storeroom. The last renovation must have been in 1959. Got to just love all that formica. Doesn't look like it gets much pub action any more. But there's a lovely smell of meat and the sound of butchery from the back. Just 25 minutes until our bus to Zoigl Land comes. It's so exciting. Mike can't sit still.
I order a beer. Well you have to, don't you? Mike is on Apfelschorle. Saving himself for Zoigl.
Scherdel Lager (bottled): Beery with just a touch of goodness.
What great opening times: Monday to Thursday 08:00 - 18:00.
Mike is intrigued by a map on the wall. "I don't recognise any of the towns."
"That's because it's part of the Czech Republic."
"But the place names are all in German."
"That's because it's the Sudetenland, Mike."
Mike is still confused. "But I still haven't heard of any of the names before."
"That's because they changed them all into Czech ones after the war."
After we pay, the landlady explains that they lived over the border before the war. There's a photo of their old farmhouse come pub on the wall. That explains why this place reminds me of a Czech pub. It obviously still pains her that they had to leave. The expulsion of the German-speaking Czechs in 1948 - and the pogroms that preceded it - is a dark chapter in the Czech Republic's history. One many Czechs would prefer to forget.
Rock Bistro Endstation, Wiesau 12:14
Mike misread the bus timetable. The bus at 11:25 only runs on Fridays. Which gave us time to really look at Wiesau. Not that you'd really need more than 5 minutes. There's no obvious centre. We eventually wandered into a large square with the town hall. No pubs, and no building more than 30 years old. Really, really dismal.
The whole town just about is postwar. I'm quite good at dating buildings. "Oh look Mike - Altneubau." I said earlier. Mike wasn't impressed. "They just look like boring flats to me."
One of the half dozen pubs we spotted had its doors open. But that was just for the decorators. They weren't trading. We finally gave up and came here, the only place open. Despite it being a smokers hell. Again we're the first customers of the day and it's like sitting in an ash tray. Vile. It's a sort of rock pub, but everything's so tatty it's depressing me.
The landlord has come in, accompanied by what looks like a pitbull. He takes off the lead. Great. It comes and stands on the seat next to me so it can look out of the window. Super great.
"You're not keen on dogs, are you Ron?"
"How can you tell?" I say, edging away from the pitbull and trying not to attract its attention. It finally moves away.
The landlord gives the dog a fag end of rope to play with. As it walks by Mike, he grabs hold of the rope, playing with the dog. Its slobbering gob, razor-sharp teeth are just a couple of centimetres from his hand. Is he totally mad?
"Are you crazy, Mike?"
"What do yo mean?"
"Playing with that dog. It could have your hand off."
"It's perfectly friendly." Yes. Now. Just wait until its jaws are clamped around the bloody remains of your hand.
The dog gets bored of playing with Mike and moves off. I can breathe again.
Mike's even more excited now. Like a schoolgirl meeting her favourite boy band. "It's Z minus 25." he says. That's 12:35 for everyone else.
Zoigl. Almost time to head to Zoigl land. I can't wait either. Can you?
Rock Bistro Endstation
Wed - Mon 10:00 - 01:00,
Tue 10:00- 14:00
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