Apr 27, 2004
variety of beautiful scenery, enthusiastic bar staff and helpful
tourist office lady
cycling on cobble stones working loose my screws
The pedal to Prague began at breakfast time on Tuesday 27th April.
I want to be there by early afternoon on Friday in time for the
celebrations at the weekend. I'll have to do about 100km per day
to make it.
After slipping around the Carpathian hills on the outskirts of Prague
I was amazed to find myself cruising along at 25 t o 30km/hr. I
was on another plain and the wind was behind me. It felt really
good. I paused long enough for lunch in Malachy and there is a spit
of rain as I set off through the farmland again, however the sun
is out again as I enter the lovely little village of Kuty a few
km from the border.
The main street is surfaced with black cobble stones. It looks great
but I can't help thinking of all the screws working loose as I shudder
along. I stop to take a photo of the church and the cobbled street.
A man walks over to me and offers to take the shot with me in it.
We chat a while afterwards and he explains that he is a geography
teacher who likes cycling also. Has toured in Croatia and Slovakia.
Martin is late 20's??, and has a friendly smile. Some of his students
pass on the opposite side of the road as we talk, they shout over
at him and he shouts something back. The girls start shouting over
"Hello, hello" and walk on giggling.
Martin tells me there is a lovely castle in Lednice, worth a look.
That becomes my destination for the night. I promise to post the
photos on this page as I say cheerio.
I cross the border on a small road, on the motorway about 200m away
there is a very long queue of trucks. The guard exclaims "Ah,
Irsko." on examining my passport and waves me on.
Lednice is indeed a lovely little village and after checking into
the Oynx pension, very nice, but a little expensive, I went for
a walk around the castle grounds as the sun set behind the trees
around the lake. The castle is more of a big stately home than a
fortified castle, and the grounds are like a mini Versaille, formal
gardens, lovely mature trees, and a huge green house/arboriteum.
In the little bar by the castle, I discover from the barmaid that
the Ice Hockey championships are on in Czech Republic. She is very
enthusiastic and produces a programme which I peruse over a couple
of pints. Apparently this place is very busy from May on. I can
well believe it.
The first village I passed through on Wednesday was Bulhary. The
spring tidy up was well under way. People tidying their garden,
weeding vegetable plots and the council out relaying pavements and
verges. It'll look great in a couple of weeks.
I crossed over a large lake, I suspect it's man made as several
large tree trunks stood in the middle of the lake like tombstones
to a drowned forest.
Home for the night was Trebic. I found the tourist office in the
main square., in the beautiful \y decorated town hall. The assistant
was very helpful and soon had me booked into a pension and there
was an internet cafe open till 10.30pm. Now 5.30, perfect.
Well, no. It was too easy. The pension was part of some kind of
civic building. the care taker was a very nice old man who spoke
no English. We went through all the formalities and I paid. Then
he showed me to the accommodation block, BUT the key would not open
the lock. HMM!! He went through the main hall and tried from the
inside but no good. (Why can't I go that way??) Amid much shaking
of head and apologies he led me back to his office and returned
my money. It was actually all very comical.
The helpful women in the tourist office tried again. This time the
Pension Pod. There I got a really comfortable little room. Unfortunately
the internet cafe actually closed at 7pm, so my well planned evening
became a bit of a farce. Things seem to work better when I have
no idea what I'm doing!!
I left Trebic at noon on Thursday after using the internet in the
library and having a huge breakfast in a restaurant. All very nice
but now time was a bit of an issue.