Inveterate dabbler in business, travel, gadgets & life

Getting to the start in Prague..

1-IMG_3331Once I’d decided to bike The Elbe (thanks Sandra for the idea) I needed to get the bike & me to Prague. I didn’t fancy the aeroplane way so with a bit of research I discovered from The Man in Seat 61 that there was a overnight sleeper train from Amsterdam to Prague coupled with the Harwich – Hook of Holland & Esbjerg ferries it seemed a good idea of starting the trip 🙂

The awful UK weather cleared a bit so that on Tuesday afternoon I set of to bike the 68 miles to Harwich it was still wild & windy but with only a couple of light showers. However, the road was flooded in a couple of places, which nearly meant a bent front wheel when I descended into a pothole 🙁 this coupled with a swipe across the face from a very long plant shoot meant I was non to happy. Also I must remember when plotting routes that the most direct & shortest is not necessarily the quickest (think crossing valleys). I made it to Harwich in plenty of time only to have to stand in the freezing cold for 2 hours to get on the ship. Thank goodness the boat has the most magnificent shower in the cabin so I could thaw out. Biking there did the trick and I slept solidly till arrival in the Hook.

Bike lane on the up!

Disembarkation was very speedy and I had a lovely surprise to meet Emiel (One of the Les Gets renters) for a quick coffee before the 67 mile ride to Amsterdam down the amazing cycle ways in Holland. Although beware if you happen to get on a road/bridge the drivers will soon put you back in your place. I stopped for some breakfast in Den Haag and then pedalled on to Sassenheim where I stopped for lunch, Total shock horror. I had left my wallet in The Haag 🙁 🙁 With the Moves app I could show the lady where I had been , she called them up & minutes later I was on a train going back, fortunately my spare hidden credit card was with me so I could get a few Euros for the train etc. All was retrieved and I continued, but much later than I liked so it was a huge rush to make the train. Only to find out that it has no restaurant car and had only a few pringles & beer.

I slept solidly through the night only waking up briefly in Hannover, so at least it’s comfortable, although with 3 in the cabin it would be totally dire 🙁

The various Stravas (with gpx files) are:

Cycling the Elbe & Vitava rivers

Over 4 months later and I’m back here 🙂 Although I notice over 40 folks a day still visit the site to check out my Scarpa boots posts etc.

D-Route10_gpxMy next little bike trip is now planned and I leave next Tuesday to get the overnight ferry from Harwich to Hook of Holland it’s 70 miles to the ferry but I might just let the train take the strain for that stretch.

After the ferry it’s a four hour or so bike ride to the main station in Amsterdam to catch the overnight sleeper to Prague. Arriving in Prague early Thursday morning ready to cycle the Vitava & Elbe rivers to the North Sea at (probably) Brunsbüttel after this I will probably do the additional  216km to Esbjerg in Denmark to catch the ferry to Harwich. This has to be before September 29th as the ferry ceases to operate afterwards 🙁

According to my Bikeline books it’s 500km from Prague to Magdeburg and then 500km more from Magdeburg to Cuxhaven (on the left bank) and pretty well downhill or the way so somewhat easier than the Sportivs that Sally has me doing here in the UK 🙂

I must give a special shout out to Øivind Langeland and his blog for all his positive remarks about my biking the Danube posts. It was great to follow him following some of my route 🙂 maybe next year we can do some of the Iron Curtain Trail. together.