Děkuji Czech Republic, it’s been Lovely

30 08 2012

As we rode into the Czech Republic Rose turned to me and said, “it feels different doesn’t it?” We both agreed that it did, although we hadn’t spoken to anyone, the environment was similar although the house’s were a little less preened and we were certainly cycling along the same river since Dresden. So although not much had changed barring the number plates on the cars we felt the atmosphere had changed, But would we have noticed this ‘change’ if we weren’t aware of the border we had crossed? I guess we can’t know for sure but we think it was our sub conscious perceptions of the Czech Republic that influenced our initial feelings of this new country. It would be nice to let a new place make a completely fresh impression on you with out any additives.  Just a thought, anyway that’s enough of thinking for now.

The other notion that struck us some 40km into CZ was that the beer prices outside the bars we passed were marked in Kc’s. “Uh oh,” was the communal dread! We hadn’t even considered the currency of this new country, so we found a bank in Usti and withdrew 2000Kc not knowing whether we had just gone bankrupt or not. However being seasoned beer drinkers we were able to pretty accurately deduce from the pub chalk boards that 30 was about a quid.

On leaving Dresden our friend Thomas had boldly declared that the Czechs do the best beer in the world, better even than the Germans. This statement  has more weight to it when you consider that Thomas is German. I must admit I was dubious having enjoyed the liquid cuisine of Deutchland a little too greedily for the last few weeks. That was until I met my new best friend (Mr) Braznak, who is a delicious dark beer.In the interest of Eurpean exploration we have sampled many more, all of which will be included in our future compendium of beer. It is worth noting that the Czechs like there beer so much that it is not uncommon to  see them drinking large quantities for breakfast, one chap camping opposite us had 3 before his coffee and breakfast.

Although we cook most of our meals ourselves we have eaten out a few times. The highlight of which has to be my roasted pigs knee with a dark beer sauce, if you like ‘meat’ and the fattier cuts then this has to be tried. Dad I thought of you when ordering this, remember the pigs ears and duck feet fiasco?

We of course went to Prague where we treated ourselves and our bikes to a double room in a hostel in the old town. Prague has the feel of most Europen capitals although this maybe more beautiful than many with wonderful architecture around every corner.

We were also lucky enough to bump into Vicky and Steve,  Roses good friends from Manchester.Another place of note has to be Cesky Krumlov which we accidentally stumbled across and has a fantastically pretty old town.

We have been following another bike route from Prague to Austria. It has again loosely followed the Vltava river to our current position alongside Lake Lipno by the border.

We even got to cheer on Team GB in the European rafting Championships yesterday, which makes up for missing the Olympics which we hear was quite average.

Unlike previous routes this has been somewhat hillier and a lot more rugged. The hills have reduced our daily distance to around 65km and the ruggedness has reduced my lovely soft Panasella Racer tyres to shreds, the result being that I have a temporary replacement tyre on and have arranged to pick up 2 new stronger tyres in Vienna.

As we prepare to leave the Czech Republic it has to be said that it has been a tougher ride than previous routes but it has completely been worth it. The views have been astonishingly beautiful, the people warm and welcoming, the food good if not gourmet, the prices cheap (excluding Prague) and did I mention the beer is OK too. Good ingredients for a holiday destination I’d say.

Austria and the Danube here we come!




2 responses

31 08 2012
Pete B

Hi jim

Great blogs. Sounds like you’re having a great time. Excellent descriptions of the places you’ve been. Very very jealous. There’s a job going at Stockport college if you want to cut your journey short and come home!!!!!
Keep enjoying and take care of each other

4 09 2012

Hi mate

Are you and the family well?

Thanks for the offer, equally there is a spare bicycle going here if you’re keen.

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