Rewind to the days of the Eastern Bloc and the Cold War. The now easily-missed oversized shed in the first photo below was once the border post connecting what was then Czechoslovakia with southern Poland. No such checkpoint exists anymore, you are free to wander across at will these days and the building is now a cafeteria with some fine views of the Olza River, which forms a natural border between the two countries.
Former border post between Poland and what was then Czechoslovakia
The border nowadays – the Olza River
On the Polish side of the border is Cieszyn, a picturesque town that is well worth visiting if you are ever in this part of Europe. On the Czech side of the border, the town is called Cesky Tesin. It used to be part of Cieszyn but was divided under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles in 1920. Cesky Tesin is not as interesting as its Polish counterpart but, coming from an island nation (United Kingdom), it’s always a novelty for us to be able to walk between countries and besides (and I hope our Polish friends won’t mind me saying so), the beer is better on the Czech side so that’s reason enough to keep hopping from one country to the other!
If you do visit Cieszyn, be sure to stay at the Hostel 3 Bros’ – you can check availability here. The hostel has a great atmosphere (and that’s coming from someone who tries to avoid hostels!). If you do want more privacy, they also have private apartments.