Road to hell leads via Austria border

And finally today - the summer holidays have started - with a vengeance. School broke up on Friday, and within a matter of hours there were long columns of cars and buses massing on the Austrian border as Czechs made a mad dash for the beaches of Croatia, Italy and Greece. The rush produced queues of several hours in places, and nerves began to fray as drivers fumed in their cars and border police were forced to work overtime to cope with the extra traffic.

"I haven't seen anything like this in ten years. The queue to the border is about 10 kilometres long!" said one irate driver. "I don't understand it. Our border police are working flat out, but on the Austrian side there's just two old blokes sitting there as if they're still working for the Austro-Hungarian empire," he said.

Several drivers tried to leave the mammoth queue and enter Austria at quieter crossings further along the border. This just produced more traffic chaos, as minor roads became clogged with cars and caravans. So if you're planning to leave Prague for the long holiday weekend, you'd better get an early start.