Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan

Last year I enjoyed a holiday in a bike saddle in somewhat remote places. So even if this year I had just two weaks off, I went to Kyrgyzstan, which again promised both remoteness and travelling in saddles. In addition to it I found here a landscape that is worth visiting due to its variability – from the hot valley around Bishkek, around local “see” Issyk-kul, through steppe plateaus with grazing horses and cattle, green mountain valleys all the way to snow-covered tips of local peaks reaching over 7000 m. The capital city itself does not offer many attractions. However, just south of it already raise the mountains – here Ala Archa and a route around the stream of Ak Say to the mountain camp of Racek under the Pik…
Read More
Nearby the Ohře river
During two July weekends I was attracted towards the Ohře river. First time I went by train to the industrial town of Lovosice and from there I trekked through the green Oparno valley, visited the castle ruin Oparno, Lovoš hill with beautiful vistas all around and then another ruin Košťál, again providing views all the way to the river Ohře, the legendary peak Říp and Elbe river and beyond. The second time I went by bike from Roudnice nad Labem, took a pleasant cycle path around Ohře to the Nechranice dam, where I spent the evening by the water and the next day returned back home via Rakovník.
Read More
Třeboň

Třeboň

During Easter, the forecast promised irresistibly beautiful weather. And it was true – no wind or tailwind, sunny, warm but not too hot, cloudless sky. Such weather had to be used for a bike trip. So I set out to admire the sights of South Bohemia – through Písek, Týn, Temelín and Hluboká to Třeboň, where I wandered around the ponds and branching streams of river Lužnice and thereafter back through Choustník and Chýnov.
Read More
Back home
I crossed the border at the Czech-Saxon-Bavarian border tripoint, heading to nearby Aš. So, with a small detour, I linked the most eastern and western towns of the inter-war Czechoslovakia, Jasina and Aš. And on my way back to Prague I verified that in Czech we have something for every taste – for example: mountain pastures in the remote border area, a bit excluded locality of Aš, where time slowly peels colours off the signs of night clubs and pawnshops that flourished during the just-post-communism era, medieval castle in Ostroh, beautifully repaired from a ruin thanks to stubborn volunteers from late eighties, pensioners’ spa atmosphere in Františkovy Lázně, in contrast to the luxurious spa for noveau riche Russians in Carlsbad, cycling trail in shadow of trees around Ohře river, which…
Read More
Germany again
I continued south via very relaxing cycling trails along the Oder meanders, most of the way in a pleasant shade, and turned away from the river just before Berlin. Berlin clearly demonstrates that it is the capital of all federal offices, all German hipsters, as well as those who arrived to Germany from Turkey, Poland and the rest of the world. Nevertheless, you can find places in the busy city where you can have a calm rest. And they are also well prepared for cyclists here. After inner Berlin I stopped at the seat of the German emperors – Potsdam – a town from all sides surrounded by parks, river and canals. While local palaces may not match Versailles in spectacularity, it seems the Kaisers decided to compensate that by…
Read More
Poland

Poland

Along the coast, over the islands of Usedom and Wolin located between the sea in the north and the lagoons at the mouth of the Oder river in the south, I got to Świnoujście. Here they also have no bridges, but the city ferry is free to use. There I turned south towards the Polish-German border on the Oder, arriving into the port city of Szczecin, which, while a sea port, is quite deep upstream on Oder. I just quickly passed through Poland towards the Oder-following bike trails back on the German side of the river. But on the way I had after a long time a chance to buy supplies for reasonable prices.
Read More
Eastern Germany
After some time spent in rich Denmark, Rostock made really East German impression: an industrial harbour, infrastructure more for cars than for people, housing projects made of prefabricated blocks.
Read More
Denmark

Denmark

To Copenhagen By a ferry I arrived in Helsingor, which, unlike the Swedish side of the strait, boasts a mighty fortress. While going south via Sweden, the Nordic wooden houses gradually disappeared, being replaced with half-timbered and brick walls. And here in Denmark this Hanseatic style really dominates. Right in Helsingor, besides the fortress, there is a beautifully preserved old centre with lots of such medieval houses – there was nothing like that in Scandinavia. While in Denmark there is such a centre with perfectly preserved and actively used historical houses in every town and village. The next thing noticeable in local towns is the cyclist infrastructure, even better than in Scandinavia. Into the residential neighborhoods leads a way accessible by car from one side only, but pedestrians and cyclists…
Read More
Sweden

Sweden

From the Norwegian border fortress Fredriksten I followed the strip of long Bullaresjön lakes all the way to another fortress, Bohus, which was captured by Swedes and thereafter it was use to watch the border from the Swedish side. By the way, regarding lakes, since Belarus I could practically any time stop by a lake or at least a river and have a bath in perfectly clean water. Sweden is the last place where this is possible, in Denmark are already just green ponds with water very far from clean, just like home. And then to Göteborg, where I, among other things, joined other visitors – mostly children – to crawl through the ships in local open-air maritime museum. While getting further south away from Norway, some pleasant things like…
Read More
Norway

Norway

Nordland I disembarked the ship in Harstad and continued south over the district of Ofoten. Some time ago I was nearby at Lofoten. And while then I had the impression that here beyond the Arctic Circle is already the wild north, now when arriving from Lapland and Nordkapp I had the opposite feeling of coming back to comfortable civilization – lots of villages, shops everywhere, reindeers replaced by sheep, horses and tractors, grass grows on meadows. The same day I sailed again (a small rural ferry), and the no-cash strategy from Belarus worked again: while the ferry is not free here, only at the pier I realised I only got cash in Euro (as otherwise they accept cards everywhere throughout Norway) – when I offered those, the ferry captain decided…
Read More