Location: Czech Republic
Km on the clock: 1,390
Just a few kilometers after entering Czech Republic I made my first 1.000 kilometers on this journey. It took me only two weeks of time. I know I could have been way faster but since I stayed in Hamburg, Berlin and Dresden for a few nights I was happy to be here by now. It's was the second time ever in my life that I cycled that far. Two years earlier I cycled the length Germany on my old mountain bike. It also took me two weeks but it would have been way longer if I had stayed in the cities for a couple of days like I do now. Additionally, I had to keep moving every day to be back at work on time.
This time is very different! I basically have unlimited time which makes this trip way more enjoyable and I got another bicycle which is more made for bicycle touring. I really had no idea before that there are such big differences in sense of bikes. Reaching the 1.000 kilometers mark I thought: I wish I had that bike already two years ago. That would have done my life so much easier. But at that time I just took all the equipment that I already had and just head off. That's basically what I also did in preparation of this trip - besides the bicycle.
Just the next day I made it into Prague where I stayed for a few nights. Prague was the first place on this trip that I was really excited about to visit. I was here before and always liked it. As soon I got connected to some free Wi-Fi I booked the cheapest hostel that I could find. Getting there was quite a challenge because the address provided by the website wasn't correct. Fortunately the host picked up the phone right away when I gave her a call and sent me the directions via text message.
I met Matt from the U.S. at the hostel. He's also a long term traveler and we clicked right away. So we spent the evening's together and explored Prague's nightlife. Throughout the days I mainly did sightseeing which included lots of walking. At times I found it even more exhausting than cycling the days before. :D
Although Prague is such a touristy and crowded place, I enjoyed every moment - especially walking alongside Vltava River and discovering the markets. But the best thing about this city are probably the street artist. They're just everywhere and it's a lot of fun to watch their performances. Here I liked the buskers most.
The day I left Prague I made it almost to the city of Votice. It was a hot and partly rainy day. So I had to put on and off my rain clothes numerous times. Although I didn't get wet from the rain I got wet by my sweat anyways. Sometimes I was even wondering about the sense of putting those clothes on and off all the time.
I followed the cycling trail signs between Votice and Tabor which turned out as the hardest ride that I ever did in my life so far. All the time it was only going up and downhill. To be honest, going downhill is a lot of fun! At one point I even reached a speed of over 54 kilometer per hour. However, going uphill with a gradient of up to seven percent isn't that much fun. Especially with a fully loaded bicycle and if it feels like hours reaching the top. At times I made my way up the hills with an enormous speed of not even 7 kilometers per hour. As I reached another top of many that day I didn't even know if I should laugh or cry. I was just so happy that I made it up but at the same time I was already so exhausted and I could already see the next steep hill which made me want to cry. I rolled down the hill and tackled the next one.
That day I made only 70 kilometers - usually it's 80-100 - but I was more exhausted than any other day before. It took me one more day to leave Czech Republic and make it into Austria.
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