We left Dresden early this morning, heading out back along the same autobahn route as we'd come along just a couple of days ago, to Chemnitz. From there, we turned south and drove through more delightful countryside to the Erzgebirge which I associate only with our lovely nutcracker and wooden Christmas decorations at home. Sure enough as we passed through small villages, we noticed houses with "schwibbogen" and shops selling the wooden windmills.
We stopped in OberWiesenthal, parking right outside a lacemakers shop and enjoyed a short walk around the pretty square. Here were more schwibbogen, candlemakers and a shop selling small pewter figures. Perhaps as well most of them were closed?
On then, towards the border - except the last turning on the right took us uphill to the summit of the Fichtelberg where the sun was shining and the views breathtaking.
After a short stop and a few lungs full of fresh air, we headed back downhill and to the border crossing.
The EU has left us with none of the romance of such places and there wasn't even a guard to wave us through - only the voice of our satnav to remind us that "You have crossed the border".
Less than an hour later, we arrived in Karlovy Vary, where the sun is shining, the day trippers are on their way home and where peace is upon us. We are installed in the GrandHotel Pupp which is as grand as you can imagine.
Now, where to have dinner?