An important test for us: our first cycling trip after the unhappy ending in China. How will Elmar hold? Well, actually very good! He’s back! Happy to be cycling again and enjoying our freedom on the bicycle, together.
After a night ride in the car we arrive in the health resort of Marianske Lazne in the afternoon. This village counts as many hotels as it does elderly people! With our presence the average age has dropped dramatically. We spend the rest of the day wandering through the pictoresque village and end the day with a Schnitzel in one of the many restaurants. We are ready to hit the road!
Czech Republic has an extensive bicycle route system and many are car-free. So, with good maps, we easily find the quiet roads through forests, hilly terrain and small villages. I have this map-fetish, so at home I study maps and try to find nice offroad routes and imagine us cycling there. It’s fun! But, sometimes I get a little too enthusiastic and I mistakenly planned a route on hiking paths! Like now… we have to push and walk on our first cycling day in Czech Republic! Anyway, it’s adventurous and we always love these kind of trips!
The next day the sun has left us, still being able to cycle again is worth so much, for us it doesn’t matter. We are enjoying the freedom and the amazing cycle paths. Czech Republic is really a good bicycle touring country. It seems that there aren’t many tourists and many hotels are closed and the villages are quiet and look deserted. Even the touristic places such as Zelezna Ruda and Sumava National Park we have them all to ourselves. Well, we are not complaining, this is what we like!
We cycle through dark forests and yellow fields and there’s not a day that goes by without seeing a deer or a fox. All we hear is the sound of the wind, the streams and the birds. Once we have reached the Lipno Lake we turn around and cycle back to Marianske Lazne and again we find ourselves on a hiking track. After pushing through mud and rivers for an hour and only gaining two kilometers, we decide it might be better to return and find ourselves a better route. With the sun in our faces and a last view of the mountains we reach Marianske Lazne again and are just in time to join the eldery at an early dinner. The heater is blowing in full speed to warm the ancient bones and with a last Schnitzel and a Real Czech beer we say cheers to a succesful cycling week! Yeah baby, we are back on the bicycle!