I enjoyed nearly four weeks of holiday going south: from Salzburg to Italy. And actually, considering formal borders I visited quite a few countries: Austria, Italy, San Marino, again Italy, Vatican, yet again Italy, Switzerland, Austria.
The Ore Mountains I used the May Victory day holidays for a trip to Dresden. From the Czech side the Czech Ore Mountains and the “Saxon Switzerland” stand in the way. Stopping at Stadice, where Přemysl, the legendary founder of the Czech royal dynasty left his plough for a throne, I reached the foot of the mountains in Krupka and went up around the local castle (for a while I was also considering local chair lift that reportedly also lifts bikes). Upon arrival to the Ore Mountains it was interesting to observe the class segregation by altitude. The bottom – a landscape covered by smoke from the industrial zone, the decaying remains of the socialist-era industry around the revitalised (= overgrown) former coal quarries, housing only in aging prefabricated concrete…
A heatwave struck in the summer of 2016, so I made my holiday truly nordic: first, a trip to Norway across the polar circle and then cycling to a place where you can meet much fewer Czechs on vacation: the northeast of Poland.
A couple of pictures from a trip to the so-called Bohemian Switzerland: a ride under the legendary Říp hill, via the Terezín fortress, Litoměřice and cycle trails around the Elbe river to Hřensko, a hike among the rocks there (including the obligatory tourists target the Pravčice Gate) and back through Česká Lípa and round the Máchovo lake.
During the 2014 holidays I circled around Switzerland. The route was as follows: a night train to Basel, from there over the Jura ridges, around Lake Neuchâtel, second time over the Jura to France, just under the Fort de Joux border fortress, back to Switzerland around Lake Joux. From there downhill and towards Fribourg, around the lakes of Interlaken, over the Brünig Pass and through valleys of several successive lakes, including the Vierwaldstättersee and the Zurich see, then around Rhine to the Bodensee. And then just via Memmingen, Augsburg, Regensburg and Domažlice straight home.
In the summer of 2012 I went to the Bohemian Forest (Šumava): by train to the ultimate stop (Rybník), via Rožmberk and around the Lipno lake, mostly following the cycling track 33. And then further on following the German borders, via the Upper Palatine Forest area (Český les). It provided an interesting comparison of Šumava, which is getting quite commercialised, especially around Kvilda or Modrava, with the Český les, where the time has stood still since the Cold War era Border Troops have left, and one can be distrubed here by nothing but maybe a a herd of cows (with the exception of the Čerchov lookout tower, a turist target). I can recommend this route to anyone looking for a quiet hideout in the nature.
My first bikepacking trip started from the Austrian Innsbruck and followed the Alpine valley of Inn. Then, when the Alps were gone all of the sudden and immediatelly replaced by the flat lowland, I continued around the lakes of Simssee and Chiemsee, via Burghausen with its monumental castle, or Braunau, the birthplace of one famous guy the locals would rather want to forget, all the way to the point where Inn dissolves into Donau in Passau.