Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Europe Bike Trip Part one

Well it's been a little over a week now since we've been back from a bike tour of the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria so I guess it's time to start going through my hundreds (um literally) of photos and pick out a few to show and tell.....

Jim at LAX with his new hat ready to go all 'Euro' and soaking in the last of the sunshine we will see for a few days. 

We arrive in Prague after being awake for more than 24 hours straight and have until the morning when we leave for first bike destination. We think 'okay- let's see this city- real fast- we can do this!'

 Yes the photo is sort of romantic and out of focus. That accurately depicts how we were observing things as we staggered around trying to take it all in.

The castle village on the hill above the city. Looks like Disney Land but it's the real deal.

And as we got closer to castle and it got later things got blurrier. We began to feel and even speak like two drunk people. We headed back to the hotel and were instantly asleep.

The rain started the next morning when we got to our first town. It is an ancient mediaeval city called Czesky Krumlov. (I think that's how you spell it). It is mostly surrounded by water with a giant castle on the hill (there is always a giant castle on the hill). We did a mini bike day just to get the hang our bikes properly fitted (and to get some practice biking in the rain) 

The view from out of our hotel room. 

                                  And across the water these nifty trees just budded out in red

Our hotel (above) it was the old convent and one of the largest original buildings in town. (the castle is across the moat)

 This building along the top part of this photo shows the castle. They just kept adding on. One of our favorite things was this hallway that went on forever leading to one of the oldest theatres still in existence (the other is in Sweden)

 Amazing theatre. Plays back in the day were 4-6 hours long. You sat on benches and it was all lit by candlelight and the scenery was all built to slide back and forth

The above and below are from the dance hall. It was covered with some pretty cool paintings and lots of mirrors. (notice that funny little face in the round frame above)

The next day was one of the most strenuous bike days with the biggest hill and it turned out to be raining just about the whole time. We were not about to miss anything so like the rest of our group we got really wet. 
Lunch was at an old farmhouse run in the traditional way.  As added income the wife cooks meals for little groups like ours (20 people). We ate in an old converted brick barn building. Traditional food. Yummy, with a fire lit in the fireplace, soup and of course some kind of shots at the end to really warm our wet selves up. 
This is when we could have gotten on the bike and done it all the way back again in the rain and we decided to hitch a ride in the support van back to the warm cushy hotel.

                                                               The farmer's tractor

 Probably took too many photos of this dome section of the castle but it was so colorful and I loved it.

                                   The Czechs are renowned for their puppets and marionettes.

Jim's birthday dinner a sweet little restaurant with a couple of classical guitar players playing that night.

                                                                  Miss tiny head.

                                                                     Mr. big head

And this is just a painting I took a picture of that I liked. It is of the town. You can see how the water surrounds the whole thing with a narrow bridge connecting it to the mainland.

And the next day we said goodbye to the cute little town to head into the forest where we would literally pedal into Germany were it would soon be sunny for the rest of the trip. (just coincidence though I'm sure)

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