Elbe route Day 2 – Melnik to Usti via Terezin

Hotel Jaro Bedroom view at sunriseAfter a wonderful sunrise awakening it was down to a very cheesy breakfast. It was drizzling as I fixed the front wheel back on after it’s puncture repair but that soon cleared away as I zoomed down the hill back onto The Elbe.

It was staggering to see the height of the floods on 14th August 2002   marked about 30 feet above the current water level!  It will be interesting to see how much of the new super duper bike path survives the next flood.

Whilst having a coffee in Roudnice I met up with the two guys from Hamburg, they are doing one week of biking  with their old town bikes, actually one of them is on his wifes small wheeled electric bike! He was complaining that when he put on the brakes the motor surged into life wanting him to go faster! Highly dangerous – He didn’t take me up on the offer to cut the electric supply cable 🙂

I then noticed that 3 had cut of my account with the cell display resolutely displaying “No Service” Even though I paid them another £5  this morning for another days Euro Internet Pass – that will teach me to even get a local SIM for 2 days of internet use. Hopefully, I will be in Germany tomorrow so I can get a local SIM & it will be goodbye to 3 until I get home.

1-IMG_3444After coffee I took the ferry to make a tour to Terezin where major atrocities took place in the second world war. There is a poignant memorial to the 22,000 Jews whose ashes were thrown into the river in 1944, although it’s now surrounded by a golf course. Interesting how time changes events especially after  my recent visits to memorials in Vukovar, Vietnam  and Cambodia. It still had a very creepy feel to it.

I then bumped into my Dutch acquaintance again who was telling me about his custom made SNEL bike from Utrecht, especially designed for easy welding & repair in remote places. Maybe for Africa….

Going up the 25% hill, yes I made it! at Cirkvice I scored another puncture, this time a thorn in the rear tyre, this had to have a inner tube change. Finally making it to Usti.

I managed to get in the rather deluxe Na Rychte Hotel cum brewery for 900 kroner (£26) including breakfast.

The paths are starting to get very busy with bikers, some of which are scary huge guys on mountain bikes with an evil look as they pound towards you! Give me an artic. any time..

The Strava for the day shows 50.6 miles biked and 855 feet of climbing. the pictures are here

 

Day 1 – Prague to Melnik on The Elbe river trail.

I arrived in Prague at 9.30am on a gorgeous sunny morning. Fully refreshed after over 8 hours sleep on the train. Fitbit said I was restless for 32mins and awake for 4mins of that time 🙂 Biking is good for sleeping!

1-IMG_3356Prague was glorious although totally rammed with tourists, think Kings Parade. I really loved how the Central Station has been renovated with the old domed entrance fully restored with the huge modern concourse buried in the basement. Its a pity that it’s stranded behind a high speed dual carriageway 🙁 but eh ho I descended again and popped up further across in the square.

The route worked fine using the Gaia app on my iPhone and I soon left the city via the delightful Stromovka park, hitting my first diversion of the day outside the zoo. The path alongside the river is MAGNIFICENT filled with roller blading kids at summer camp & lots of cyclists of every description. Such a great use of EU infrastructure money

The bridge I should be crossingI stopped for lunch by a lock and treated myself to a beer and cheese sandwich, what a shock the total price was £1.63. I had to leave the riverside and do some climbing at Husinec finally hitting the river again just after  Maslovice after another diversion for sewer works. At Nelahozeves the railway bridge couldn’t be crossed 🙁 so with Open Street Map and some help from locals I worked out my own diversion to Veltrusy where in the woods I managed to get a thorn in the front tyre giving me a slow puncture.

At the ferry near Luzec I met up with two cyclist guys from Hamburg whilst chatting to Ren & Steve on Facetime. Great amusement ensued at the nearby pub with Ren chatting to the regulars in Czech 🙂  After another pint of Pivo  (A whole 60p) I continued onto the delightful hilltop, fully restored, city of Melnik where I parked myself in the Hotel Jaro for 840 Koruna (£24) a night including breakfast, fastish internet and a bedroom with a whole 3 piece suite in it 🙂 A delight to fix the puncture in such comfort 🙂

An excellent first day biking on The Elbe biketrail with 43 miles covered and 1,338 feet of ascent! The Strava is here and pictures here.

By the way more photographs can be found on geoffjones.net also you can sign up for these missives via email, see top right hand side at geoffjones.com