from Friday 20 to Monday 30 July 2018
I started the trip with a flight with Avios points from Heathrow - Stuttgart and then an advance DB ticket to Erfurt. This trip to Germany was booked months in advance after a tour with a Ludmilla was announced taking one of the class to Blankenstein, a required branch so certainly appealing! However shortly before it ran news came through it was now a 229 and terminating at Wurzbach! What a waste of time that was! I did the outward to Saalfeld as I could then do the 120 turn north to Leipzig. I spent a few hours in the area and one night there. North to Stendal next day then to Berlin, Dresden and Praha and the start of the ČD summer ticket with a seven day first class upgrade add on. Next day I made my way to Plzeň which was my base for the next four nights. I made various trips out from Plzeň each day to Cheb, Klatovy, Praha, Ústí nad Labem and other locations. The temperatures were very high so keeping cool was the priority! I then moved to Praha for the last three nights the Saturday was all fresh air stock as some tasty track could be done, fine early in the day but later it wasn't nice in the searing heat! But the track bits were accomplished going to Jičín via one route, a 742 to Turnov and then a half decent sounding 754 back to Praha. Early trip to Pardubice on the Sunday for 193.215 which somehow appeared on Regiojet the previous day, then to Rakovník for the 740 on the old DMU trailers. I then had 749.121 back to Praha. Final day was to Brno via Hranice na Moravě and Břeclav and an over three hour late flight back home!