hill top church slovenia
hill top church slovenia
  • Eurocycle2 Video Highlights #1
    • 27/07/2019
Yes! New and exciting! Video highlights of the Czech Republic! Note this is not a commitment to produce a video for every country etc.


Eurocycle2: Czech Republic from stuart pinchin on Vimeo.

  • The pinnacle(s) of Czech
    • 27/07/2019
Placeholder
Snezka
Adsrpach teplice
  • Giant Mountains
    • 21/07/2019
July 18th 19th
Short day today climbing into the Krkonoše (also known as the Giant Mountains - although there will be more gigantic mountains to come no doubt!) to arrive in the ski resort of Harrachov for a day off at a slightly dilapidated but functionally cosy (and cheap) hotel.
To intensify the recovery I visited a beer spa, where yes, you lay in a bath of hot beer and hops for half an hour to ferment. Maybe a bit gimmicky but it was extremely relaxing.
Spent the time mentally recapping the trip so far. Its only been about 2 weeks but feels like ages! I haven't been averaging as many km as originally planned, but have had a lot of tourist stops, and there are a lot of hills compared to those endless flat days in Holland last time around.
Have downloaded elevation profiles to use rather than the unreliable gps altitude, so can hopefully get more accurate ascent statistics, although probably need to reupload all the gpx tracks to date. Doable.

Was contemplating a hike to some nearby peaks but leg aches and forecast showers are making me sluggish!
Dragged myself out in the afternoon and did 15 miles, crossing the border to Poland and hitting a summit at 1300m.
Had to take a detour as a trail was shut due to nesting birds; Google translate said "if you wake the trumpets you might kill them" so I thought I better go around. To minimize the detour took a small track which soon disappeared and left me bashing through thick forest following GPS, eventually coming out on a a forestry track that looked like a warzone. Still, bilberries are in season and they see everywhere.

Next target is the highest peak in Czech, Snezka (1600m) Have moved around to a different base camp to start this hike, which unfortunately meant coming all the way down to the lowlands and back up again! Arrrr my calves are demanding a day off, which they are now duly getting.

These mountains are really geared up for summer tourists, with buses and ski lifts offering to carry bikes up the mountain, and scooters and ebike rentals everywhere.
By scooters I mean big wheel, gravel tracks scooters, not the kids ones we have in the UK. OK, picture required:



I do get some curious glances as I struggle to the top of some of these summits with my luggage laden tourer, but i hope i make people on e-mountain bikes and the Lycra brigade reassess their achievements when they're enjoying their celebratory ice cream!

Also loads of paragliders out today, and more alpine villages of chocolate box wooden chata, and wood carvings of bears and the local "Man of the mountains" bloke?

Now settled in a penzion having a relax and contemplating routes for hiking tomorrow...
  • Cesky Rock City
    • 17/07/2019
14th july
Setting off again refreshed and rejuvenated, there are still thundery showers but afterwards a beautiful smell of cut pine, and sight of steam rising from the forest, birds of prey hovering over fields.
Headwind again, why is it always a headwind

Arrived at Kutna Hora, which once rivalled Prague until its silver mines dried up.
Has several UNESCO listed sites, including another ossuary, thought this one was decorated using the bones rather than just tastefully stacking them. Quite the goth pilgrimage.
At the campsite I meet a kiwi couple in a camper van, tuned into the cricket world cup final. What a ridiculous ending to a game! To add to the excitement, the radio keeps cutting out at crucial moments.
I can't decide if the england win is the most dramatic of victories of slightly hollow given it is on a technicality after a tie game!

July 15th
Heading north for Mlada Boleslav and the skoda museum. Though it closed at 6 but closed at 5 so didn't need to rush.
Nice section along a river, hopefully a taste of what's to come on the Danube later.

Decided to go to Skoda in the morning tomorrow, so stopped for a goulash and some beers and camped on a hilltop with some old fort earthworks. Panoramic views with the sunset one way and the moon rising the other.



July 16th
Skoda museum, interesting. This factory was started in 1895 by two blokes making bicycles as they were dissatisfied with some they had bought from a German firm. Merged with Skoda between the wars.
Nice selection of historic vehicles and racing cars.
Onwards to Czesky Raj, a region famed for rocky outcrops. And containing lots of castles obviously. Flew the drone around a bit.


July 17th
More rocks.
Started the day by climbing the iconic twin towers of Trosky castle, then some short hikes around Hruska Skala and Besedice rocks, with their mazes of eroded sandstone pillars and such like. That took most of the day so just did 30km in the evening and camped on a hilltop.
  • Bitov a Hardegg
    • 13/07/2019
10th July
Dipped into Austria for a couple of hours because why not. Cycle route led through the middle of a massive industrial works, quite the contrast to the rest of the landscape of rolling hills of crops.

Enchanting little local trains chug through the countryside, halting at bus stop sized stations.
Ww2 pill boxes overgrown with giant thistles.

Quick stops at Slup water mill and Znojmo. A large and historic town perched above the river valley, but no time for that as I'm aiming for the adjacent national park.
Now naughtily camped in the "no tourists" area, surrounded by wild boar and crickets, hoping for clear starry skies

Too much light pollution but did see one good meteorite with a big fiery tail. Just missed capturing it in a photo but hey ho.

11th July
Bitov a Hardegg
Up and down the gorge, punishing on the legs.
Out of nowhere a vineyard appears accompanied by a small wooden shed, which turns out to contain a bloke selling chilled white wines. Its only 11am but can't pass up in a scenario like that!
The rest of the day involves 5 or 6 castles, wavering across the Austrian border again.
See drone footage...

Legs eventually gave out and took an unremarkable wild camp in a forestry plantation just to get off the road. Rain overnight.

12th july
Heading for Humpolec
Tried two airbnb bookings no response, so booking.com for a more expensive but more sensible apartment for two nights so I could take a day off to recuperate.
Several thundery showers on the way so lots of hiding under trees and in bus shelters, no shame in avoiding getting soaked.

13th july
Sat on sofa watching Wimbledon ladies final. Serena looks chunky and slow and loses.
Route planning day. Eating pizza day. Rains all day.


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