02 July 2008

Great Riding to the West!

On June 30 we left Cracow for Brno in Slovakia. I have already forgotten most of this ride, other than the fact that we got completely lost and encountered another water obstacle, and this time we could not find a crossing and had to backtrack a long way. Here's the offending waterway, Stuart was amused again:
Well, we had a hard time with directions this day, also got lost coming into Brno because the highway we needed was closed. We bumped into a Slovak biker who was kind enough to lead us about 30 miles to the right road--great guy! (sorry, no pic!!). Anyway, Brno was kind of grubby, and by the time we got unlost, parked, and went out, most of the restauarants, etc., were closed. We finally found a place but were a bit put out by the lame service. We went back to the hotel, a weird Slovak-Soviet monstrosity, and plotted a course to Austerlitz, the famous Napoleonic battlefield, which is somewhere near Brno.

Stuart wanted to go as well, so on July 1 he and I headed kind of southeast in the morning, followed the signs, and voila, found the battlefield. Here are a bunch of pix:
The parking lot attendant was a complete ass, although to his credit he let us bring our bikes right onto the grounds, as you can see above. Here Stuart is cursing him under his breath...
But that was just the beginning of a great day's ride. Something clicked with Stuart's GPS, and it took us down a bunch of really cool small roads--I generally had absolutely no idea where we were, and was firmly convinced that Stuart had no clue where we were or where we were going, but it was such a nice ride I didn't really care much. One of the pictures I wanted from the trip was to get the bike in front of some giant sunflowers, and finally found those along the way today:
But it was still early, and the best riding was still to come, in fact, the afternoon's ride was one of the best rides of the trip. Here is some typical countryside:
Then somehow we ended up on the Danube, and the things really picked up. Besides the river valley being incredibly beautiful, it is simply jam-packed with cool old castles. But first, here's the river (and me finishing off some raisons I'd bought a few weeks ago):
And here are some of the castles:
Just a great road along the Danube, not only castles but a very beautiful valley in general:
Finally arrived in Passau well into the evening after a great ride. Went downtown for dinner and beer; Passau typical German town, nice, clean, but very sterile. Too boring, no pix!

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