Day 29, 25 6 2014, Pilsen to Melnik

We made a decision this morning to take a train to Prague, and ride the Elbe cycle route as far as Dresden.  The route actually continues to the North Sea at Hamburg.

The alternative was to ride more or less west back to Germany, re-crossing the same range of hills that separate Germany from the Czech Republic, that we rode over a couple of days ago.  The Elbe River has been on our list for some years.

We did not spend time in Prague as we have been here before.

We tried to get some information about bike routes that would get us to the Elbe, but there was no help at the station, so we just programmed a close Elbe town into TomTom and followed it.

As we left we were caught in a thunderstorm, that we thought would pass quickly, but hung around for a while.  This is another virtue of using a GPS, we did not have to stop in a shelter somewhere to consult a wet map.

The ride out was easy enough, but there was virtually no specific bike infrastructure.  We just rode footpaths and mixed it with the traffic.  There is a labeled route out, but we did not find it.  Perhaps it has more specific bike traffic support.

We were aiming for the township of Neratovice because it was on the Elbe, out of Prague, and we thought it would give us a good starting position for tomorrow.  But the town is horrible.  It consists of 8 story apartment blocks and little else, so we rode on to Melnik, which has quite a pretty town centre.

None of the riding today was inspiring,  The overwhelming impression is how much the Czechs have been made to suffer since the Nazi invasion of the 1930s and the subsequent communist administration.  There are patches that have been brought up to the standard of the west, but there is huge investment needed both in public infrastructure and private property and it will take decades.

We now know where the Elbe bike route goes, and will join it tomorrow.

We went to the supermarket for dinner,  A litre of beer cost a bit under $A1.

Not many photos due to the pouring rain.


46 wet Km for the afternoon.


Roz says:  Turns out using trains is way more dangerous than bikes for me so far!!  I took the escalator to the platform as I have done before BUT the escalator at Pilsner is way steeper and faster and has claw edges on the steps so OUCH.  Bike reared back and off down the up and I ended up raked, bruised and bleeding.  A lovely man stopped the escalator and man rider carried the bike up and really no more damage than an afternoon riding in huge thunderstorms and pouring rain could not fix!!  And we saw a very small group of PIGS, in a zoo type place next to the road!!!


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