Tag: Czech Republic

Europe 2009: Mile 2487

Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch! OUCH! My bum hurts! Yep, a couple of records broken today: Longest distance (343 miles – longest by far!) and highest elevation (3204 ft). After a light breakfast of bread, smoked cheese and coffee while we watched two grebes doing their mating “torpedo” dance three times (something I had never seen) and also watching seven jays fly past in under a minute – wonderful. We packed slowly because we were sorry to go and then left the campsite. After getting back into the swing of biking (it’s like waking up rusty each day) at about Volary. After riding another couple of kilometres we turned on to the A4 towards Passau in Germany. This has to be, quite easily, the best road I have ever ridden! Sweeping curves through pine forests, snow still on the ground in places, mountains all around (it was here we hit our elevation record). Ups and downs, lefts and rights – just a pure joy. The sort of road you could ride again and again and again. Eventually it passes from the Czech Republic into Germany (as road 12) but remains as good. The sort of road bikes are made for. The other big plus is that there is very little traffic. I definitely feel a return visit coming on.

View of Passau, Germany

View of Passau, Germany

At the end the road runs down into Passau on the Danube. Here we could have turned left to Austria but, because of time constraints, we headed into Germany. The town is very pretty as it nestles along the river. We then turned on to the A3 Autobahn towards Regensburg before turning onto the A92 towards München. Miles upon miles of motorway riding to look forward to – nice! We stopped off at an Autohof (motorway services) for a bite to eat and petrol. We decided to try currywurst just to see what it was like and, to be honest, it wasn’t bad.

Trees in Blossom, Germany

Beautiful Blossom!

The München ring road (similar to the M25 except that it works) then on to the A56 with the snow capped German Alps in the distance. Now that is motorway riding 🙂 (I love mountains – not climbing them – I am a fat man after all – but they just bring me joy). After another stop for coffee and cake/ice cream and we were off again. After about 50 miles we were finally off the autobahn and on to side roads again. These were almost as nice as the roads this morning but not in the same way. They were more gently curved through a lot (and I do mean a lot) of orchards full of young fruit trees in full blossom (I am guessing apple mostly). Absolutely stunning.

Mr Teddy resting beside the Bodemsee

Mr Teddy resting beside the Bodemsee

We headed towards a campsite in Stockach near the Bodensee via a long detour because the main road was being repaired. No problem because it was a very scenic detour. Unfortunately we found that the campsite was upslope up a very loose gravel road – no thanks! We then looked for lodging on the GPS and found one that appeared to be directly on the side of the lake so we headed for that instead – it was about four miles away and, yes it is on the lake side. At about 70 Euro for the room (without lake views 🙁 ) it was slightly expensive but we were tired and sore and decided to take it anyway. We awarded this hotel

4 sarges out of 5

Having changed we had dinner on the lake terrace (on the lake edge) watching ducks, coot and grebes and smelling the ozone smell of a freshwater lake. Does life get any better? As the sun went down I had a schnitzel Forest style (i.e. with mushrooms) and Isabel had one with ham – very nice. The beer (Alpizsbacher Klosterbräu) wasn’t bad either. Some planning followed (with coffee) and then bed. These are the days touring on motorbikes are about!

Jetty and Bodensee evening light

Jetty and Bodensee evening light

Lessons Learnt:

  • Long distances can be done if you take frequent breaks to stretch your legs but they still hurt!

Adrian & Isabel

& Mr Teddy

© 2010 – 2016, fatman-overland. All rights reserved.

Europe 2009: Mile 2144

24th April 2009

Czech Petrol Pump

Czech Petrol Pump, Prostejov

What a night! We had fallen soundly asleep (and the beer consumed during the evening might have had something to do with that 🙂 ) when we were awoken by a very loud sound like an alarm. Eventually we traced it to the water system and found that flushing the toilet fixed the problem at least temporarily. It was difficult to sleep afterwards and when we had drifted off into a light slumber it happened again. Luckily that was the last time. When we woke in the morning we were very tired. Had a breakfast of ham and eggs (Adrian), eggs and bacon (Isabel) and a long smooch (Mr Teddy). We left by 09:00 which was a record for us I think. After filling up with petrol (which took longer than was strictly necessary thanks to the GPS) we joined the motorway, which was actually a very nice road. The confusing thing about Czech (and for that matter Polish) motorways is that the junctions are not sequentially numbered as in the UK but are given rather in kilometers from the motorway start point. Once you get used to that it is fairly easy to navigate.

At the Brno race track junction we headed off the motorway and cross country on normal roads. Initially this was OK but then between Třebeč and Telč it was little short of stunning! Lots of curves with correct camber running between trees and lakes. Very very beautiful. There were, admittedly, some parts that were a bit degraded but nothing dangerous and these were easily offset by other bits that were superb. And the fun didn’t stop at Telč. The road continued being nice after that as well.

After stopping for petrol again we stopped for lunch at Jasosov nad Než at a restaurant there. We had errrrr pass to be honest but it was very very nice. I had meat with pickled cabbage and bread like dumplings and Isabel had chicken with flat rounds of errr don’t know. Replete we set off through the town of Ceské Budějovice (home of the proper Budweiser and a very nice little (ok big) town) and then off towards the small village of Cernà v. Posumavi which sits besides a big lake.

Camping besides Lake Lipno

Tent set up on the banks of Lake Lipno

We decided to find somewhere to sleep so we consulted our camping map and our GPS and decided to try the Autocamp Jenisov which started its season errr today apparently. Well actually they specially opened up the camp for just us which was wonderful. We were the only people staying there so we had our pick of pitches to set up our camp. We chose one next to the lake which meant that we could be in trouble if it rained in biblical proportions during the night. The total cost for the campsite was 15 euros. We have awarded this campsite

4 sarges out of 5

Mr Teddy and beer

Mr Teddy and a beer - normality restored!

After setting the tent up we set off for a walk to a nearby hotel overlooking the lake for a beer (Mr Teddy and Adrian) and a coke (Isabel) on a very nice spring evening. Blue sky, stillness and a great view- wonderful! We also managed to do some planning for the next day which was a bonus. After that we wandered back to the campsite to cook an evening meal of sausage and onion – we really know how to live like kings 🙂 Since the campsite allowed small campfires we had a great evening sitting around one watching the sun go down – days don’t get much better than this.

Campsite by firelight

Campsite by firelight

Lessons Learnt:

  • Sometimes unexpected roads can be the best
  • A tent, a campfire, a lakeside = all you need

Adrian & Isabel

& Mr Teddy

© 2010 – 2016, fatman-overland. All rights reserved.

Europe 2009: Mile 1953

23rd April 2009

A cold grey wet day full of dark grey wet clouds! After another nice breakfast at the centre we loaded up the bikes and we were off. First stop was for Petrol and then off to Bielska Biala and the Honda dealer there. Today the extra ingredient of water was added to the usually bad Polish roads – What joy! The only way I have found to ride them is with loose shoulder, loose arms and clenched buttocks – it may just be me but I can’t seem to ride these roads at any sort of speed. At one point they got really interesting (for “interesting” read “dangerous”) where one half of the lance had been cut away by 5-6 inches for repair so you could either ride on the old rubbish road surface or on loose gravel – nice choice to have!
Eventually we arrived at the dealership only to find that there was no screen. Apparently Honda Poland put the wrong delivery date on the order – No comment! After that we decided to head to the Czech Republic. The road started off a bit “iffy” but improved along the way. We pulled into a roadside service station at Cieszyn in Poland for a cup of warming coffee because it was so cold. The road at the border is not in the best condition but after that it is very good. I have to say (and yes this does sound obvious) but from what I have seen the Czech Republic is a completely different country to Poland. It seems more scenic and somehow better off.

Church, Dub nad Moravou

Church, Dub nad Moravou

Anyway we headed for Hranice on a very good motorway. We stopped there (although getting into the town centre was a riddle!) for some case and food. Neither Isabel nor I was sure what we ate but it was very nice – a soup and a main course. During the meal we did some planning and decided to head further into the Czech Republic so off we went heading for Prostějov via Přerov. This was a nice scenic ride along a quite reasonable road. Half way along was the town of Dub nad Moravou which had an enormous and gorgeous church. Very nice.

We went past Prostějov towards Mostkovice looking for a campsite. After a journey down a precipitous slope that made us all very glad that last years off-road course taught us how to handle such steep paths! Not finding any campsites we decided to head back to Prostějov and look for either a Pension or something similar.

Mr teddy and new girlfriend

Mr Teddys'new girlfriend

Eventually we found the Pension Alberta which had a mad (in the nicest possible way) owner, a shy cook and a loud cockatoo. It also had a large stuffed bear (I am thinking a brown bear but what do I know) in the bar and Mr Teddy immediately professed his undying love! Personally I hope that it was a female bear and that Mrs Teddy doesn’t find out! The pension was basic but nice and cost 800 Kč (about £30) for a double room with with an “interesting” Red Indian theme. In all we awarded it

Three sarges

Mr Teddy waiting for food

A hungry bear waiting - never a good idea

The bikes were parked in a little nook in the garage out of sight (at the owners insistence) and we took the panniers upstairs and changed. After some more planning it was off to the attached restaurant (which was full of rock salt!) where we had a basic but good meal – I can heartily recommend the garlic soup, it will definitely keep the vampires away – actually it will probably keep everyone away! From there it was to bed.

© 2010 – 2016, fatman-overland. All rights reserved.