19. Travelling (Cestování)
These days people travel much more than they did in the past. There are new means of transport, cars and planes have become faster and although the prices of tickets have been raising due to the prices of oil more and more people travel to faraway places. People used to think of travelling as something special but times have changed. It is quite natural to hear something like that: “ I’ve just been to Florida for a two-week trip, and in winter we are going on a skiing holiday to the Alps.” In other words, even the most distant places of the world have come closer.
There are many ways of travelling. Let’s start with the most primitive one and maybe the cheapest one – you can travel on foot. As for the distance, you will hardly get faraway, but you can get almost everywhere. For shorter distances the bicycle is a good means of transport as it is relatively quick, economical and environmental-friendly. You can travel by motorbike which is convenient only in the summer. People travel by car, bus or coach, train, plane or boat. In cities, transport is provided by different means such as buses, trolleybuses, trams, taxis and even underground or city trains. Travelling by bus and by train can sometimes be rather discomfortable but it has constantly been improving. Fast trains express, IC (Inter City), EC (Euro City), Pendolino are very quick and very comfortable. In better trains there are dining and sleeping carriages.
The car is by far the most popular mean of transport. Travelling by car is fast and comfortable, and we get to our destination without waiting for hours. There are a number of new roads, motorways and bridges. As roads have improved, the number of cars has also risen, and this has led to more road accidents. Roads are often crowded with cars and lorries and – on minor roads – bikers. Every person involved in transport must observe special rules called the Highway Code. The advantages: fast, comfortable. The disadvantages: environmental-unfriendly, more and more expensive (as the price of oil is increasing)
On oceans and seas, there are various ocean liners, luxurious steamers and tankers transporting oil, corn and other goods. Going on a voyage can be a great adventure. Ports are often used by smaller fishing boats but also by huge ships. The advantages: cheap, environmental-friendly. The disadvantage: long terms
Hitchhiking is a very specific way of travelling. It is mainly used by the young who do not need so much comfort, do not have so much money and are not afraid of taking risks. Hitchhiking can take you even to the most distant countries. Young people travel in order to learn new things, improve their language skills and to have some fun and adventure. They are seen on motorways waiting for drivers who are willing to give them a lift.
Travellers can stay in bed and breakfast, mountain cottages or in hotels. Hotels normally have single or double rooms, or even rooms with more beds. These days almost all hotel rooms have a bath-room and toilet, radio, TV set, telephone and sometimes even fridge or the Internet. In the hotel, there is also restaurant where morning, midday and evening meals are served. Hotel guests normally pay for half or full board. Hotels often have a café and a night bar. In addition, modern hotels have a fitness centre, sauna with solarium, massage centre and a swimming pool. Attached to the hotel are tennis courts or sports grounds. Any modern hotel must necessarily have a parking space or garage for guests.