Czech Republic, Austria · 16 Days · 129 Moments · June 2017

Back On your Bike, Prague to Vienna June 2017

4 July 2017

So time to say goodby to Vienna & final closure on our bike tour, the entire experience has been fantastic from start to finish, loved the flexibility & spontaneity & the thrill of not really knowing what was around the next corner! We did have a few cycling challenges along the way, but where would any good adventure be without them! The bikes have been sold, the last coffees drunk, the last ramble around Vienna completed, the apartment vacated, off to the airport with only hand luggage! Unsure what the next adventure will be, but am confident it won't be ordinary or boring๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

3 July 2017

What a great weekend in Vienna! & we found a great coffee shop! had to walk 2 kms for it but well worth it! Wandering through Vienna early on a cool Sunday morning is so nice, discovered more quirky/fun & beautiful places. We also rode our last day together, over 40kms, through more interesting streetscapes, but mainly the big parks & nature reserves nearby, happened upon a huge music event for the young ones, just peeked in from outside! Easy riding, great weather & finally managed to capture our " condor poses"(see pics). Big news of the day, we sold 1 bike, other hopefully tomorrow. Had a magical evening started with the San Jose Youth Symphony concert in the Votivkirche, old Neo gothic church, magnificent! 1.5 hrs of amazing music, loved it, & all for free!! Finished the night at the Vienna Film Festval, food, beer & entertainment. Life's good, ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿค—๐Ÿพ

2 July 2017

San Jose Youth Orchestra
My last Austrian Castle๐Ÿ˜ฅ
Yea, the " condor" flies๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ˜ƒ
Not quite the "condor" but close enough๐Ÿ˜€
So who is the "tool" here๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜Ž
Sunday morning street clean
Winter fashion already on display
Someone is always watching!

1 July 2017

Made it to the finish line & still smiling
Down time in Vienna, such a gorgeous city, just love it, our apt is in a great trendy location with plenty of locally supported cafes and bars, so been keeping clear of the tourist areas & enjoying the local flavours. Also taken to the bikes again to venture to some alternate places, so getting to see lots of street art, beautiful gardens, & fabulous architecture, it's just everywhere. There is something interesting around every corner, although the wind is still blowing, it's tolerable as the cycling is on flat terrain. Visited the worlds oldest fun park, Prater Park, very colourful, decided to keep our thrills to bike riding, some of the rides looked" sick!" Splashed out & bought 2 pairs of shoes, it was an absolutely necessary, we were both dealing with the pong of my sweaty feet $ shoes for long enough๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‰
Prater Park, oldest fun park in the world, full of colour & screams of excitement
All the fun of the fair
Now that's a sculpture!
There's a cultural event on every week, film festival just started
The girls needed a flute player for their quartet
Stef's in the frame again!

30 June 2017

Some alternative art, on the banks of the "Donau"
Could Stef's pizza oven ever look this good?
Old & gnarled but still impressive

29 June 2017

Our apt block
D8, Mistlebach to Vienna, 71.5kms, the final leg! Total 565.1 kms Prague to Vienna, yahoo we did it, we have passed 2000 kms, total kms with both tours is 2,072!! happy dancing! ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿพ, both still intact, speaking to each other, looking & feeling very healthy, time for the bubbles!!. Much more pleasant day, although the wind is still dogging us, but we have had occasional boosts from behind!! Some great moments & fun today, we noticed the cost of everything has just about doubled, but we still managed a great apt deal Close to the heart of Vienna, our home for the nest 5 days as we try to sell the bikes before heading back to Switzerland next week! Big highlight today was a massive field of sunflowers as we approached Vienna, totally awesome! Stefan also got to ride his fantasy bike๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿค—
D 7, Valtice to Mistlebach Austria, 45.1kms, the " cyclist curse" returned with vigour & determination!! So much for the wine country, easy riding, no hills!! Today was horrendous, we had head winds in excess of 20 kms, on a 35c day! Even the locals said it was an extraordinary day! Not surprised why the countryside is littered with wind farms! Just a bugger it was in our face rather than up our bums!! After a late start, as we needed a wee bit of bike maintenance, (cheaper to do all this in Czech),& spend our last krones, we the boarder for the last time, & arrived in Mistlebach, a strange town, ( not really 1 for the tourist trail!), did find a we bit of colour & entertainment, interesting mix of people, but they did have a swim centre, so once we secured a room, we were off to cool off. Dinner was pretty ordinary, glad to get back to sleep & rest up for our final day on the ride!!
Gorgeous! Welcome to Vienna
We did it, the official end, Prague to Vienna
A musical interlude en route!
Stef ready for his next Big Bike Trip!๐Ÿ˜‰
I'm a country girl at heart!

28 June 2017

The weather was just too much for this old chap in Mistlebach
Who doesn't love a green bike
Hello Austria, here we come again!

27 June 2017

A beautiful evening sky to top off our stay in Valtice
D 6, Jarosvice to Valtice, 71.7 kms, total 448.6 kms. Said goodbye to the hill country, now it's wine country, sprinkled with more fields of gold, the wheat & barley are now being harvested, & the sun flowers have started to show their faces! We will be agricultural experts by journeys end, which is not that far away, only another 2 days till we hit Vienna! Lots of amusing signage today, as well as some stark reminders of the communist past, plaques & posters along the route telling of heroic feats behind " the iron curtain" We now travel on & off another Eurovelo route, aptly called "the Iron curtain route" Although today's ride was less challenging than yesterday, we had strong headwinds in the afternoon, which is also draining, I think we are slowly wearing out!! Just got to add we had a fabulous meal with local rose, absolutely delicious, on a perfect evening, life's good
Sunflowers on approach to Valtrice
Posters dotted along the route tell of heroic tales of attempted escape
Memories of days past
A memorial to lost souls
Cycle on!
The castle of the day, Mikuov, has the largest chandelier in Czech
Stef training for cirque de Soleil
Don't mess with these guys, there are consequences !
Been " storked" again in Czech !
Only one way to identify the crop!
Hope these horses can read Czech !

26 June 2017

D5, Podhardi to Jarosvice, 75.5km we are popped!! Just as we were believing we were coping well with the rolling hills, on comes the 15% -20% up & downs, it was seriously hard, we walked a number of inclines & we're very careful descending esp in the forrest terrain with a lot of loose rubble. Magnificent scenery once you took your head off the road to look around! Fields of golden wheat, barley ready for harvesting. Had a few Mr Ops moments, so the joy of our descents were soon gone when we realised we missed our turn, so back up we go!! it's amazing how heavy our bikes are when you are pushing up hill! Thankfully we had mainly overcast conditions. Wanted to visit a specific castle today en route, but it closed Mon! Big highlight of the day was picking cherries from the side of the road, there are cherry trees everywhere, so you just help yourself! Also visited a motorcycle/bicycle/everything museum on 1 of our "oppsie" moments
Tonight's accomadation, got a pub & restaurant, so won't be venturing too far
Picked a whole bag of cherries, just next to this old bunker
Our 1st suspension bridge crossing
Top of the hill!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป
Somewhere in the middle of the hill!
Bottom of the hill
The museum with everything
The castle on the hill, closed Mon, we cycled up to it, en route, & made a very rapid decent into town

25 June 2017

Got lucky with accomadation, but the eating options were slim pickings, it was pizza or pizza, everything else closed, but we tucked in, delicious with a couple of beers & a coke! Now this town held a few more surprises, a famous Czeck surrealist sculptor/artist, Lubo Kristek, lives here, worked with Salvadore Dali, & without even knowing this you'd have guessed it from looking at the sculptures & the Dali style house on show in the village. Really out there, & who should we meet coming home but the very man himself, Lubo, wow how cool was that! Have checked him out on U tube, he is interesting๐Ÿ˜„. The rain has now stopped so back to sunshine tomorrow. What a day!
Let's stay here
The Dali influence is very evident in his work
Lido sculpture
Lubo's work, & house, can you see the piano on the roof!!
Our surprise Penzion in Budi
D4, Jindrichv Hredec to Podhradi nad Dyji-85.4kms! before the rain set in! Much better physical, topographical & weather conditions today, gentle rolling hills, long stretches of forest tracks & panoramic views from the hill tops as we made our way through the Czech countryside. Some great downhill runs, cycling mainly on country roads, well sign posted, & not much traffic. Met a lot more cyclists today, including a tour group with Aussies & Kiwis, they had no gear to carry, all transported by bus to their next destination!The animal catches for the day were dear, leaping about in the fields of barley, rabbits also on show, but my favourite was a goat! The historic gems were the old bunkers, dotted everywhere & yes we had quite a few castles in various state of restoration. We set out today not knowing where we would end up, happened upon 1 place we liked, but no room at the inn, ventured another 5 km, saw what looked like a Penzion, no signage, heard voices so just asked, we scored!
Patricia in a Pea field! on top of the plateau
More war time bunkers than you can poke a stick at!
Gotta hand it to you Stef!!
Check this out, these houses can be seen in many towns & villages throughout the Czech Republic
Lunch stop Slovanice, very popular with cyclists
Seen lots of these fences with upturned mugs, no idea what it's all about
The graph represents our heart rate on some of the climbs!!
Hello from one goat to another

24 June 2017

D3, Tabor to Jindrichv Hradee 56km Slow start today, legs felt like lead for the 1st couple of hrs,esp difficult as we had to tackle a few hills early in the day!! The downhill runs just about make up for the strain of the uphill, & by afternoon, after numerous rests, a few up hill walks, & nutrition, we made it to Penzion Eve by mid afternoon, relatively small kms today, needed to give our legs a rest! A few highlights today, our castle of the day was Cervena Lhota, a popular site for locals & weddings, (there were 2 groups today), fields of white poppies& more wonderful forest trails & lakes. Saw a wild dear prancing about in a field of barley, gorgeous! The town of Hradee is really nice, mainly local tourists, famous for having the biggest mechanical nativity set up, we missed seeing it, went for a swim, followed by sausage & beer at the local athletics club, big spend this evening, $5 !! It was fun to eat with the locals, was kinda like have a beer & snag after sailing!
Say goodbye to another beautiful town
The lighting in the evening is beautiful
Nothing like a snag & a beer after a big day
A poppey just for you
Castle shot for today
Biking to lunch is big for families & friends
Well earned rest at our castle of the day

23 June 2017

Tabor - what a beautiful place, a very popular place for Czech tourists, & you can see just why, such a beautiful Old town, amazing streetscapes, & beautifully preserved buildings. We enjoyed a wonder round & our 1st real taste of some local specialities, yummo, delicious! The Czechs are renowned for their beers, everyone drinks beer from early morning till late, we are enjoying the wines esp as we are now in the wine region, so we ate like kings & queens for all of $30!! Everything is centred around the town square, tonight there were free disco dancing lessons, fun to watch, but we were too tired to join in๐Ÿค—
Got to put you feet up sometime!
Town square
These buildings are just so amazingly beautiful
How inviting & gorgeous is this archway!
Plenty of military celebrations a happening
D2, Bukobany to Tabor, 82kms! Up hill & down dale! We are rooted!! Wow what a day, beautiful rolling hills, forest tracks, farmland, & extensive pastures!! But what a test of endurance & leg muscles, totally unexpected, cause every rolling hill has an up & a down, the downs were superb, easily passing 45-50k speeds, the up hills were dotted with a # of walking phases, just couldn't get those same muscles to continue, but we have made it, & today's weather was so much cooler than yesterday! We ran out of roads a few times, which was fun as we tackled crossing precarious temporary structures & fallen branches after a wild storm last night. Regular food & drink stops along the way keep the calorie intake up, & managed a sing song on the final downhill run into Tabor๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜Ž
Fuelling up for the last push into Tabor
Now them are tall trees!
Running out of road again
Which country are we in again??
Ops just run out of road!
Breakfast bite!

22 June 2017

D1, Prague to Tynec nad Sazavou, 78 kms! Slight wobbly start to the day, the hotel could not find the keys to the room our bikes were stored in, big boss finally arrived & we were off, this time we transported the bikes to the outer suburbs of Prague by metro, & we managed to navigate to the official start of the route, feeling very chuffed! Cycled through a number of wonderful forest tracks, had a couple of minor " mr ops" moments, but were back on track in no time! Today was a scorcher, & we had quite a few hills! Our muscles certainly feel the strain this evening! But we had a few lovely stops en route, another castle with some magnificent gardens, the 1st with other flower than roses! Also stumbled on the Gaudi style Golf Club/wellness centre, a mad piece of architecture, but brilliant. Now we stay in a wonderful Czech pension, for all of $32, thankfully our landlady speaks some English, as we are still totally lost with the language! Had the best steaks for dinner, now we rest
Inside of Golf Club restaurant
Dun Atic, Golf restaurant, very funky, Gaudi style design
Is that Kermit???
Pruhonice Castle
P castle
Yahoo, found the starting point!

21 June 2017

Stef's next challenge!
18 Piece Ensemble taking their bow
Prague, last day a rambling, before jumping back on the saddle! Great evening with Gianna, Kate & Sally, Stef coped well with all us nurses! Great to catch up, exchange travel tales & have a lot of laughs! Leisurely day wandering about this great city, the architecture is just amazing & not a skyscraper in sight! Wonderful frescos, murals, street art, sculpture, surprises around every corner, but gotta say we are ready to get back to nature, & away from the touristy places. Last moment to share, as we strolled out for dinner, we passed an old church, which was the venue for a classical recital, so in we go with the locals for the princely sum of $8 each! It was fabulous, 18 piece ensemble which included 5 accordions!! After dinner we had to go check out the only Steam Punk pub in town! Ok now we are done
Hello There!
So long Prague
Prada frescos
Mirror, mirror.......
Cercey sculpture

20 June 2017

View from Gianna's hotel window, brilliant
Best window in town square, thanks Gianna's, Kate & Sally
And the crowds keep coming!
Witches of Prague
Berries in season, yummo๐Ÿ˜‹
Sugary traditional Prague treat
Time to explore this magnificent city, by bus & foot, bikes safely stored for a few days, Prague is not as bike friendly as Budapest, besides don't fancy peddling over all the cobblestone streets, & the throngs of tourists!!!! Found the right trolley bus to the castle on the hill, then ambled back with " the troops", beautiful day, lots to admire along the way, but don't think Prague has the same attractive vibe as Budapest, buildings & general streetscapes/architecture magnificent, but lacks the majesty & wow factor of the Blue Donau! Decided to send some gear back to Switzerland as the hot weather has certainly arrived & Stef reckons we may have a few hills en route to Vienna, so no need for extra kilos! Gianna, my sisters, sister in law, happens to be in Prague with 2 other Aussies, so drinkies together later
The next adventure has begun, bikes loaded on the train to Prague for a leisurely 8 hr trip to Prague. Had a compartment all to ourselves for most of the journey, before a Mum & her 2 extremely noisy kids joined us! Nothing much we could do, thank goodness I had my ear phones to catch up on some podcasts, I was just about able to hear them over the noise. But we arrived to our new hotel without much fuss, Hotel Bologna, in the old city, this hotel is definitely lost in another world, despite the fact they do charge a 5euro garaging per bike per night! And it's hot, & bulging with tourists!! Unbelievable, an never ending flow!
Looks like Mr Bean, has been here too!
Streets of Prague
Colourful Prague
Please join us for lunch
Prague Palace - check out the characters in this shot!

19 June 2017

The millennium clock, Prague
The famous Millennium clock
Town square
Bike for Steampunkers
Bike transport via train
Time for some planning