Welcome to Bohemia
We were hoping to arrive in Czech Republic the day we left Passau, the Austrian climbs, no detailed map and some wrong turns up very steep hills, hills leading to know where, resulted in one night by the river in Haslach Im Muhlkrreis. The camp ground was closed but exhausted we squeezed between the fence and pitched just in time as thunder and lightening brought rain and with the rain, unhindered sleep.
Earlier sheep had stopped their grazing to stare, also a tractor blasting AC/DC towing a trailer of young revellers seated at a wooden table, cheered, us silently wobbling, up and up, I wanted to wave an arm both to the tractor and the sheep but it took all my remaining concentration to keep the handlebars steady and bike on the road. It felt like balancing a bike almost stationary up the greater inclines.
In the morning we had our fill of pastries and second coffees in Aigen Im Muhlkreis before a slow often push , rather than pedal in the mist towards the Czech Republic. Then we were flying, then hitting the brakes as the border came into view. A small sign and more alarming, a change in road surface not suited to 53km per hour in any vehicle.
We took obligatory photographs before I peed simultaneously in two countries. Not trying to be a smart arse, you really go need to take any opportunity to go to the loo when cycle touring. There was no one around and despite a relatively rural route we have never been far from the sound of people, farmers, walkers, cars, trains, so a pit stop must be taken at every opportunity.
We then made our winding way through
farms and villages, turned back as roads became tracks then quagmires, tadpoles and leaches, found the major road 39 leading to Chesky Krumlov, UNESCO heritage site, and straight to Hostell 99.
It appears not many people arrive and then leave Chesky. Welcomed by expats and Czech alike we celebrated our arrival until 2am. Conversation flowed, we were introduced to “liquid bread”, followed by a mighty hangover and and extra days rest and exploration of this magical old town. It is probably fortunate that the tight “S” shaped river that wraps the old town was fast and ready to burst. Usually at this time of year the river bars are full of people floating from one end to the other and I suspect we would have lost ourselves to Chesky Kromlov.
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