from km 5 872 to km 6 243 total 371 km
Finally I was at the border and had only one destination, the campsite shortly before the Czech border town of Nachod.
I settled on the bank of the river and enjoyed a quick dinner. We slept very well on the Czech soil and during breakfast I loaded my mobile phone at a slightly more remote power connection. Soon we packed our belongings and left. I enjoyed the ride along the river, although it often went up and down a bit. Around noon I wanted to buy something and then I noticed that I had forgotten the phone in the campground. What do I do now? There was a petrol station and here I parked my dog with bike and trailer. I took a taxi and was back after a little over half an hour, including my phone. So everything was fine again. On the way, I enjoyed the landscape between the border and the town of Hrade Kralove with its wide, slightly undulating fields and beautiful towns, which lay like defensive castles above the land. One of these towns is Nové Mesto nad Metuji.
In the late afternoon I was in Hrade Kralove, my destination for the day, and I decided, after a wonderful Tartar in a restaurant on the market place, to cross the city and to search a few miles further for sleep.
I peddle so easy through the streets and was then overtaken by a man with his son (also on his bike). Five minutes later, the mother came with her daughter and overtook me as well. Not much later we got to a closed railway barrier and we had to wait a long time. People started talking and suddenly the father of this family invited me to spend the night with them. That was really convenient for me and I came to a nice dinner and a rich breakfast. We had an interesting conversation and I was able to get some impressions from the Czech way of living and the history of this country. Thank you Martin Pacal and family.
The next destination was the capital of the Czech Republic, Prague. Now I drove, coming from the hilly foothills of the Sudetes, on mostly flat terrain against the Elbe valley. The fruit crops were ready for picking and larger groups of roe deer grazed in the harvested fields. This picture has become extremely rare in Europe, due to the urban sprawl.
From a distance, I saw a few horses galloping in front of a cloud of dust and quickly saw that it was a thoroughbred breeding farm. Of course, I was more interested in it and visited this place. Although I have been retired for a few months, my professional curiosity has drawn me to this farm. Over a cup of coffee, I heard that the breeder also works with racing coaches Miro and Renk, two customers of my former veterinary clinic.
But until I reached the river Elbe, I still had to cycle past many smaller and larger villages. It would have been a great Sunday trip, if not the NATO`s everlasting bomber fights had not disturbed so much. I had the meaning that the "Cold War" is over?
For a short time I rode along the river and this made cycling easy and only the repeatedly inserted sections of unpaved paths were a bit tedious.
Shortly before Prague my GPS stopped working. I actually only needed it in the city for the finer navigation. It was getting dark and I could hardly orient myself without a map. First of all to the McDonald for a Wi-Fi. On the phone I could find out the route to the campsite I wanted to meet some of my family. Unfortunately after a short time the battery failed and so I had to get a map at the next gas station and with its this and the friendly gas station attendant, I found the place at about 23:00 o'clock. Closed. After a while a nicecouple with an electronic card opened the door and told the night watchman to open the big gate and to give me a place to pitch up my tent. Dead tired, I fell into a deep sleep after midnight. The other day my family from Switzerland was arriving: Astrid, Annina and Emma.
After breakfast we went sightseeing in the city of Prague. A beautiful old town with spacious squares and impressive buildings.
And later in the afternoon over we crossed the Moldavia River over the Charles Bridge, an elegantly stretching medieval arch bridge (14th century).
After some days I was on my way again and left Prague along the river Vltava. Passing the zoo and I was already out of town and cycled for a few kilometers along the river. The cyclepath did not always follow the river and it was a constant up and down, which was really tedious. The villages and farms on the plateaus were also worth seeing and I felt comfortable in such a quiet landscape without significant traffic. Just before the city of Melnik the Vltava flows into the Elbe, I had to cross the former again - this time in a ferry, which hangs on a wire rope and only crossed the river with just the power of the flowing water.
When I reached the Elbe in Melnik, I suddenly heard a Swiss German dialect. There were tourists who walked from the city on their Elbe cruise ship. An entire ship in Swiss hands - and loud it was. I went on and then found a nice place to stay at a restaurant on the river. Here I also had to try the national drink of the Czechs first. There was no loss of hops and malt. Both types of plants made in this area probably a fair amount of acreage.
In the early morning again a glimps back towards Melnik and then I rode again along the Elbe. Quietly, the river flows past castles and churches like made by children with simple wooden building blocks and soon you could see the mountain range where the Elbe has to pass before it flows through German soil. The fact that the Elbe can also be a really wild and dangerous river, one can see at the towers where the different high water levels are marked.
Wenn man so eine lange Strecke vor sich sieht, muss man mal wieder eine Siesta machen. Ich wählte dafür einen gemütlichen Platz bei einer weiteren Fähre – nur für Fahrradfahrer und Fussgänger.
In the town of Roudnice I had to leave the Elbe cycle path again and I got lost in the town and "lost" over an hour. Being back on the river I hurried up and in the evening I reached the village Usti nad Labem.
This is where the mountains begin and the Elbe valley becomes noticeably narrower. There is just enough room for a street, a railways and long-drawn-out villages.
The castles mount high above the slopes and the last city on the Elbe on Czech territory, Decin, is the beginning of the Canyon towards the German border. The river gets always narrower and flows now faster over rapids to Germany.
By riding through this Canyon I wanted to be as fast as rafting boat which started at the same time. I reached the Czech-German border on 19 September at 11:00 clock after 6,243 km.