A good morning of July 16th – next destination ahead PRAHA BABY . Leaving the comfort zone of a hot shower and an actual mattress for the last three nights
– 4 waterproof Ortlieb bags (2 yellow, 1 blue, 1 read)
– 1 Vaude tent
– 2 sleeping bags
– and 2 camping mats
found themselves tied back on 2 bicycle racks of two sun-tanned women – sun-tanned until the lower tip of the thighs where the cycling shorts end. Accompanied by
– 1 blue sky
– 1 glittering 8am sun
– 1 dozen of fluffy white clouds,
we from now on chauffeured ourselves along the paved slim roads along Elbe river in the direction of Czech Republic. Starting to cycle somewhere in the calm outskirts of Dresden, the next gentle but determined convolution of Elbe brought us straight in the heart of the city center. Passing beneath massive lithic bridges from another century, we slowly approached Dresden´s cultural landmarks. Complying with the devotion of hertitage-gazing for a little while, we then soon reclaimed our purpose: pushing those pedals.
In the afternoon of that day we reached the sharp ridges of Elbe sandstone mountains. Though the view was now mountainous – thank god – the cycle path remained relatively smooth, keeping our transpire rates on a moderate level. Then, after another couple of hours pushing ourselves through the scenic landscapes of Saxonia, the daily business of where-to-sleep arose?! Being in the area of a german spa town, people haven t been really in favour with us wild camping on their accurate cut lawn. But then – completely unexpected – this one hotel with a homelike garden restaurant and an adorable herb bed next to the river bank said y e s . Deeply greatful we built our temporate home, in the high gras, next to the tree with the swinging bench inside. We then returned to the terrace, which by now was dipped in the cozy atmosphere of a dozen light chain bulbs and ordered some delicious vegan dinner – while we couldnt get rid of a big fat smile in our dirty but sun kissed full of freckles faces 🙂
And good morning virgin Friday of July 17th
Still jaunting in between worlds of awake and not yet – we maneuvered our tired bodies into the shallow waters of Elbe river. Morning bath under the blue sky with a panoramic view of forests sugared with mountain peaks : priceless! After the by now routine of dismantling and storing luggage back on the racks, we hit the road. Soon we crossed the czech border – wahuuu – trading recent neat and tidy german towns against a more raw and wild czech evolving landscape. Being forced to rush on broad busy country roads for a little while, we shortly after sneaked back on wild romantic bike paths : the pleasure of slow travelling. And slow travel makes you see more things:
Close to Decìn we cycled between 2 fields of some cotton kinda flowers and with this gentle breeze stroking over those fields, an armada of white fluffy pollen arose from the ground, dancing around us, like a summer snow flake storm. It was such a surreal moment – at the same time exceptionally beautiful. And what about all those insects residencing on the concrete streets? Why would they choose this grey dead stripe of asphalt over the juicy green grass next to it? Snails, an abundance of beetles, wasps and bumblebees and even more butterflies … all apparently having a thing for hanging out on the hot concrete roads and then while we silently approached on our two rubber laminated tires , they took off – like a broken helicopter – accompaning us for a few dozen meters. What an amusing show*
Sun set time, looking for a place for the night. This time it was a little corner of trampled down gras next to Elbe shore with our own private beach access. Being unsure if wild camping was really tolerated here, we waited until dusk to build the tent, passing time with swimming, cooking and improvised beat boxing underlining (or underminding?) the lyric choir of the cricket chirr. Good night.
Good morning July 18th , a sun kissed day from the first awaken hour. Hence we were in a hurry to get on the bikes in order to escape the merciless midday heat. So instead of pedaling on the melting away concrete at noon we would actually find ourselves on a beautiful backyard terrace in the city centre of Roudnice. Protected by luscious green leafes, through which the blue sky winked at us whenever the breeze swept through the canopy, we generously recovered.
Then once more pushing ourselves along the river, passing fields and forests, at evening hour we approached the city of Mělník. A beautfiful little town next to Elbe, with a crookbacked hill and a church on top. Underneath the apparent embellishment of vineyard terraces. High above this scenery a swarm of birds sliding through the gentle colours of the evening firmament . Instantly in love, we decided to hook up with this beauty tonight. And we pitched our tent right in front of the church – opposite river bank though – again, sitting in a postcard scenery. Later that night – I clearly remember – I was amused by the variations of sounds Magali made while sorting up her technical equipment in the tent : a diverse mix of voilà and alors and ah non and mais oui joining the ripple of the stream while I sat outside to gaze at the stars.
Good morning July 19th .
For now the last day of bundling up everyday life routine, because we would reach Prague by today. However, not before we proceeded another day of rolling along those czech bikeways again. Adjacent to lawns, next to meadows of flowers, under the whistling leafes of hammock-trees, besides little beaches with bathing people, through little villages. Every now and then stopping for ice cream breaks, taking pictures breaks, making short video breaks, applying new sun screen breaks and avocado & baguette breaks. Among them one break we would have liked to avoid, as it meant carrying up and down 2 bikes, all our luggage , ourselves and the muggy air as an additional burden to cross a bridge.
At noon the sun continued torturing us with 35°C sun rays from above, which were reflected by the concrete we were cycling on, hence frizzling us evenly from both sides. However the beautiful scenery where the river curled itself slowy but steady in direction of the czech capital fully made up for the oven-like conditions. The first precursors of Prague appeared in the form of an increasing amount of people on roller skates. Soon the wild river bank jundgle was replaced by loose bushes and grasslands and eventually taken over by concrete buildings. As soon as we hit the inner circle of the city, we got lost for a while, trying to find the way with a really shitty piece of a self drawn map – my fault 🙂 We eventually reached the flat of Mathieu – a very good old friend of mine – where we would stay for the next couple of nights. Days with absence of cycling – „hoooraayyy“ both of our butts shouted.