Praha, Czech Republic
Coldness. My permanent companion on my way from Würzburg to Prague. It's what makes sleeping in my tent a real torture. Or better to say waking up and packing together everything in the next morning. Like yesterday, when I camped close to a lake: There was fresh-fallen snow during the night so, as I was trying to pack up my tent, my hands were getting wet. This made it not easier to put it back into its cover. With every minute I spent there my hands were getting colder and number. Even when I started to cycle I couldn't warm up because the first 20km were all downhill. Temperatures below zero degree and the icecold wind made my fingers hurt like hell. I decided to stop for breakfast but soon realized the next disaster: My 'Nutini' (cheap Nutella) was frozen...
When I first entered the Czech Republic three days ago I noticed that I really don't know much about that country. For instance, I didn't know a single word of the czech language. That's why it was so funny for me to find out that 'Hello!' in czech means 'Ahoj!'. What I also didn't realize is that they have Korunas as a currency, not the Euro. On the first day, when I had no idea of the exchange rate, I just gave a handful of Koruna to the cashier at the supermarket and she sorted out the right amount of money. At least I think so.
It took me three days and 250km since the border to arrive in Prague. On my way I've seen some beautiful cities like Cheb, Loket and Karlovy Vary. I've also seen some pretty shabby czech villages. I crossed more mountain ranges and a lot of fields and forests. In Prague I was lucky enough to find a couchsurfing host. Olga, her flatmate and I were going to the cinema yesterday. 'The Wire' from Ethan and Joel Cohen. Today I have a resting day to recover my body and visit the city.
Vranov nad Dyjí, Czech Republic
Bohemian villages. Up and down. Up and down. Up and down - it's always wavy in Bohemia. You reach the top of one hill and in front of you appears yet another one. This continues for the rest of the day. On the one hand I love mountains, on the other hand it can be frustrating to make such a slow progress, especially when you want to escape winter.
I left Prague in rain and snow. The bad weather made it easier for me to say goodbye to this vibrant town in the heart of the Czech Republic. What kept me going south was the promise of forthcoming spring. Along the Prague - Vienna Greenway, a network of cycling trails realized to promote czech nature, history and culture, I made my way through Central and Southern Bohemia.
Today I arrived in picturesque Vranov nad Dyjí where I will spend my last night on czech soil. Austria will be next and I plan on being in Vienna on Saturday. The last two days which brought the first warm shafts of sunlight gave me hope that spring is slowly kicking in. Everything will be so much easier once temperatures are rising.