On the way to Germany

Trip Start Sep 28, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Friday, October 7, 2011

We're currently on a train from Prague to Cheb. Cheb lies about 7 km from the Czech / German border. It’s the point where we will again start pedalling. Yes I know what you are thinking….they have bikes yet they are on the train again. Well it’s true we have taken a few cheating train / bus rides on the way from Tallinn, and despite the small guilt it was always part of the plan and seems to make perfect sense. This particular train trip is an easy one with bikes, there is a whole separate train carriage for luggage and for just 30 crowns (about $1.50) a piece we just pass the bikes to the man in the carriage and pick them up 3 hours later as we disembark.

Prague could be described in two words. Amazing and Overflowing. Neither of these descriptions really came as a surprise to us though, we had been warned. No matter what Prague had in store for us, nothing could take away the weeks in the Czech Republic leading up to Prague…..I think you could say this this has been our best cycling to date. The Czechs have implemented hundreds of signposted cycle routes across the country, and if you can manage to get a grip on which one goes where, they will take you to your destination on quiet, mostly car-free country roads, across intensively cultivated but amazing farmlands, through beautiful forests, and delivering you to the town squares of smaller villages every 15km for some coffee and cake……yes we have now become the coffee and cake cyclists. I think you could agree that every 15km we deserve a small reward!! With about 1500km cycled so far…..you do the maths!!

We arrived in Prague a little disgruntled thanks to being misguided into the city by these cycle routes that led us for 300km up until now. The last 20km into town took the best part of 4 hours, as we continually retraced our steps looking for the next sign, eventually giving up and jumping onto the motorway, following the signs to Centrum. Our mood quickly changed when we were greeted by Tobi, the 20 year old son of our host Peter. He was a perfect English speaking, perfect Czech speaking, perfect German speaking guy with boundless energy, just weeks away from leaving everything and joining his brother for some good times in Canada. He insisted we have a complimentary drink from the beer tap in the house as he got himself warmed up for a night on the town.

Each morning we were greeted by an equally enthusiastic Tobi as he made breakfast for us and a few other interesting guests. We had the best coffee we’ve had in a while thanks to him being trained by the coffee roasting house run by his sister downstairs. It was a good start to each day but not always an early one, with the breakfast conversations sometimes lingering till noon.

While not visiting all the attractions we did try to soak up as much of free Prague as we could, and spent a lot of time wandering around the city. And if we kept looking up at all the amazing buildings, clock towers and church spires we barely noticed all the souvenir shops and hordes of tourists at street level. The most important thing we did was stock up on some winter clothes. Despite the glorious weather we’ve had the last couple of weeks we get the feeling it’s about to get really cold, so gloves, jumpers and scarves have been purchased.

After a night in Cheb we have about a week and a half to travel 600km to Frankfurt, we are not really concerned about the distance as the route follows the Main River and appears to be relatively flat but we are a little anxious about the weather. As our AirBnB host said this morning, as of last night we are now "in the fall". After an unbelievable fortnight of magnificent sunshine and temperatures easily in the mid 20’s, (the Czech’s tells us this has been their reward for a crap summer)  the weather flipped during the night with some rain and temps not forecast to reach much above 12 today, with snow on the higher peaks. The first 50km across the border to where the cycle route officially begins in Germany is a little mountainous…..hmmm, that should make camping and riding very interesting. I think the winter we have been running from is now right on our back.
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Leenu Harris on

Hi Alex and Jason,great to hear from you and your travels! Great reading! I think you need to publish this! Love Leenu &Rick

Laura on

I am cold just thinking about it! Cycle faster to stay warm! xx

Gabrielle Bradshaw on

Always great to get your updates. Keep them up, how was the mountain ride ? Granny XX

Jan ohalloran on

Oh you two do the best blogs! I am now thinking i can miss Prague this lifetime as ive done it with you. Cycling sounds fabulous but that coming cold weather would be the end of me - but the coffee and cake would be excellent reward - travel well and keep safe (and warm)

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