Tuesday, October 2, 1928
Tuesday morning I started out in a slight drizzle, which increased to a regular rain by the time I had gone 9 miles, so I stopped in a saloon for a half hour and watched a game of cards. When a break in the clouds came, I went on—up a 3-mile hill. It began to hail going down the other side. Gosh, but it was freezing cold and my hands were numb. A terrific wind blew directly against me.
Nine miles more and the rain began again in earnest, so I stopped in the station at Freiland, I believe it was. It wasn’t worth it to travel in that kind of weather. There was a train for Prague in 15 minutes, at 12, so I rushed to the Passkontrol, where I had a real surprise, for after 10 minutes he told me my visa was false. This made me mad and while we were arguing, he in Deutsch and I in English, the train pulled out. The seal on my visa was not that official seal of the London Consulate. I was informed that I would have to wait around until 4PM, so I went out for lunch. After eating one restaurant out of spuds, I raided a bäkerei to satisfy the appetite. They were evidently having a parade in town that afternoon for the many soldiers were all dressed up with their many medals and the “big boys” of the town wore their swallow-tails and high hats.
It was too cold to wait around, so back I went to my friend to find everything all fixed up. The rain had stopped so I decided to take another crack at the remaining 100 miles. I was going fast when I came to the German customs or Zollamt two miles farther on, so I didn’t stop. Enough trouble from them for one day. Not so much luck with Czecho-Slovakia, for they yelled at me. Had to pay a duty on the bike of 420 korun or over $12.50.
Once in my 13th country, I really had a tough time with the wind and did well to make enough headway to stay on the bike. Four miles of it and then I pumped so hard getting up a small hill the chain broke. My sprocket was also on the bum, so I started a 20-mile walk to Nachod where I could get them fixed, but having more luck than sense or cents, I was very near to a country railroad station, where I got a train to Prague an hour later at 4:32PM. The country is like a dream, all beautiful hills and pine forests with broad green valleys and tiny narrow ones winding around the hills with the familiar babbling brooks. The fields are finely cultivated and very neat, while on all other ground is grown grass, cut short like a well-kept lawn.
Arriving in Prag at 9:20 PM, I saw a YMCA but they had no vacant rooms. Two American boys living here while going to the Conservatory here spotted me and gave me an extra bed in the Y. It is a new building and a peach. The boys, Paul Paulus and [Norton and Nandor Kozell] are certainly fine to me. Two young men in my room speak very few words of English. This morning Paul and I took the bike down to get it fixed, then to the post office where I found a dandy letter from Vance I was sure glad to get [Vance Rogers would meet Hall in Honolulu over a year later], and then sightseeing about the town. It is very interesting and has some fine buildings such as the Opera House, the National Museum, and the Palace. At noon we had lunch with another American, Norton, a Phi Delta Sigma from Minnesota, who has just arrived here. They all have treated me fine, one of the men in my room even giving me lots of stamps for my collection. It is funny to see the women working on the roads in Germany.
Spent 61¢ yesterday and $2.30 train fare including bike. Spent 66¢ today.