Biking trip to Cesky Krumlov
Trip Start Jan 30, 2003
6Trip End Jun 23, 2003
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Where I stayed
We started out again and tried to find the beginning of the "Prague-Vienna Greenways". Before leaving, we read online that it is very difficult to find the beginning of the trail which was certainly our case. We biked around for about 45 minutes when we finally spotted a tree with a green flag and an arrow marked on it
We tried to follow the ambiguous map and ended up biking through someone's backyard and a farm. Growing cold and impatient, we trudged on. After about 1.5 hours we finally saw the infamous sign marking the beginning of the trail "Wien (Vienna) 423". Due to our late departure, sunlight was definitely becoming a factor - we knew that we had 2 hours and a lot of distance to cover before the first accommodations on the map. After 25km, we got to the first hotel and then saw an attached golf course and knew we would be in trouble. Their prices were through the roof and we knew there was another "H" (hotel) marked on our map 1km away so we continued on. We arrived at a decrepit and dilapidated structure that wasn't even open. At this point, we began to worry because we were 8km from the next closest place and we weren't sure exactly how much light was left. We pedalled as hard as we could and reached Hotel Valnovka and not a minute too soon
Our second day was much like the first: cold, snowy, and windy. The temperature was about -3 and was fine while we were biking, but when we broke for more than 30 seconds and the sweat began to freeze on our bodies, it became quite chilly. The terrain turned very ugly as we entered one of the mountainous regions of the Czech Republic. It was truly one of the most physically challenging days of my life. We even reached one mountain that was so steep and long that we had to get off our bikes and walk up it. It ended up being about 4km of winding path straight uphill with snow lining either side. We figured that our consolation would be a fun ride down when we finally reached the peak. To our chagrin, we were just reaching a new altitude level. We enjoyed a 1km flat and then the path went uphill again. We covered about 75km over 6 hours and reached our destination of Tabor, Czech Republic with a couple hours of daylight to explore it. We found a pension with the help of 2 Czech students from our university that we randomly asked for help. Also a coincidence was that the guy who ran the pension that weekend goes to our school.
We left early the next morning with just over 100km to cover to get to our final destination which was Cesky Krumlov. There is another major city (Cesky Budejovice) just 30km shy of Cesky Krumlov which was our contingency plan. The terrain was somewhat flatter between Tabor and Cesky Budejovice and we covered the 70km in about 5 hours
It was extremely rewarding to finally make it and we even had a couple hours to quickly bike through town and check it out. It was a true team effort - thanks for all of those 48 hour projects, Ivey, I think this was my favourite one.