Daily Digest – Day 121 to 130 (GERMANY, CZECH REPUBLIC, AUSTRIA)

Day 121 – 2 October 2018

Innsbruck, Austria to Rosenheim, Germany

Transport: Bicycles 125km, 21km/hour

The flatlands: we got up and had some oats and yogurt courtesy of Gerhard who had sourced the products from a local farmer 😋. We had to get going early due to the ride pencilled in and said a quick goodbye to Gerhard ☹️. Looking back at our stay with him reminded us of every time we go home to Canberra and stay with Emms parents. We felt that he looked after us as if we were his own kids…truly a gentleman.

It was a crisp morning as we saddled up and started our pedal towards Prague (our next main destination goal). The ride was pretty uneventful to be honest following the river out of Innsbruck towards Rosenheim which is where we parked up for the night. It was nice being able to spin higher cadences as we have found riding in the mountains means grinding cadences at regular intervals…fun for all ages 😬.

Typical Austrian Road block VIDEO

Cats in Fields and Winter is Coming VIDEO

Anyway we arrived at Rosenheim just as the temperarure started dipping and met up with Eric (warmshowers) who was hosting us for this night. We prepared some dinner together and then chilled out together for the next few hours. Eric helped us out planning a more detailed route though the Balkan countries using the Kamoot app which is a powerful hiking/biking app very popular in Europe. We all ended up packing it in at different times (Emm first of course 🙄) and it was a honestly such a relief being indoors as the recent cold weather temperature swing has meant nights have been below zero ❄️.

#TheCasualtyList…Items worth counting on this epic…
Status quo from 11th Sep

Day 122 – 3 October 2018
Rosenheim, Austria to Massing, Germany

Transport: Bicycles 90km , 20.3km/hour

Meeting the Klein’s: this morning was a slow burner and we didn’t get going to almost 11am! Hey it’s hard when it’s nice and toasty inside and outdoors you have the prospect of freezing cold rain showers ⛄️. It was lucky for us that the rain which was forecasted did not entirely eventuate and for the 90 odd km spin we only had to don our waterproofs once or twice and missed any heavy downpours. In terms of the ride it was another flattish spin with typical wheat/corn farmlands as far as the eye can see. Emm had contacted Michael Moser a bike packer enthusiast who has accolades such as the TransAM and Silk Road bike race under his belt. We met up with Michael and his mum who were both home when we arrived. After having a shower and getting our stuff in order Michael and his partner Katja took us out to a local restaurant (thank you again Micahel + fam 🖖) where I no joke had the best chicken schnitzel (it’s all in the coating 👌) and Emma had this ridiculous good goulash 😍.

Note there is no photo of my schnitzel above as I was in the process of inhaling it well before thoughts of Instagram and this blog entered my thoughts.
Now Michael and Katja are two pretty cool human beings who happen to both look like they have stepped fresh off the cover of some Calvin Klein model shoot. Katja is 99% a primary school teacher whilst Michael is the ol farmer boy dealing with all things machinery. Going out to dinner with these guys reminded us of times back home when we would meet up with old mates or family for dinner in the city somewhere and it made for such a pleasant evening. We cruised back to Michael’s family home and soon crashed out but not before Emm was ‘talked into’ having half a block of Milka halzelnut chocolate by Michael’s Mum Christina 😂. This is a joke obviously no prodding is required when chocolate is involved.

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Status quo from 11th Sep

Day 123 – 4 October 2018
Massing to Cham Germany

Transport: 122.8km , 19.9km/hour

The borderlands: we woke up and were treated to some fried eggs, German pretzels and some pretty tasty oats . Needless to say we had a feast for breaky which would set us up well for the next few hours of riding towards the German/Czech border. We said farewell to Michael and the family for a thoroughly relaxing and refreshing stay and started heading further north. The ride was another decent hit of kms taking all day with a few rolling hills interspersed but the weather was on our side so it made for an overall good day of pedalling.

We cruised into Cham and headed to Anje’s place (a WS host) and spent the night with her and her good friend Andreas chatting a lot about German politics and travels in Australia. It was a pretty interesting discussion and we found ourselves tucking into bed at 11.30pm being thoroughly exhausted at this time (mainly due to the 6+ hours ride time in our legs).

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Status quo from 11th Sep

Day 124 – 5 October 2018
Cham Germany to Míšov Czech

Transport: 119.9km , 18km/hour, elevation gain 1376m

Bavarian Cycle Ways VIDEO

Journey through the iron curtain: we woke up and after sharing a very Euro style breaky with Anja we rode towards the German/Czech border the ride into Czech provided a stark contrast to the Austria/German/Slovenian territory we have been traversing for over a month.

Crossing into the Czech Republic VIDEO

The roads were pot holed and many of the buildings were in disrepair. I was pretty surprised to be honest expecting perhaps naively that Czech would be similar the aforementioned more affluent euro countries. As we rode further into Czech we did find that the roads improved and the house quality did improve (we later found out the at the western border of Czech was previously occupied by Germans who were outed after World War 2 which meant this land although bequeathed to Czech people has not been developed to the same degree as other areas (think of govo housing).

The ride itself was high on the difficult scale due to the rolling hills landscape combined with the often crappy road conditions.

Czech is lumpy AF VIDEO

Drafting Sunset Shadows VIDEO

It took about 6.30 hours ride time 😳 to finally arrive in the small country village Míšov where we were greeted by the soon to be mayor of the town (you heard it here first!) Dan and his lovely wife Alena. These guys are seriously amazing people who are really down to earth and so full of life. We felt so welcome arriving at their place and they immediately had as in hot showers followed by beers afterward and had prepared a seriously and I mean seriously delectable dinner consisting of a beef vege soup and a slow cooked plum pig vege mix as a main 😍. This meal was so on point I have requested the recipe!

Dinner 1 in Czech Republic

We stayed up with these guys till 10.30 and could have easily stayed up a few more hours (as we were really having a great time with the pair) but knew it was best that both us and them got to bed as we both had work scheduled for the a.m (well riding counts as work right?? 😜).

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Status quo from 11th Sep

Day 125 – 6 October 2018
Míšov to Prague, Czech Republic

Transport: 100.3km, 19.6km/hour

Gotham city: waking up was a real treat with Dan prepping a pretty massive spread of breaky. It was like walking into the dinning hall of a hotel, there were pastries, brioche, soup, spreads and smoked meats 😋😋😋. Seriously good tucka once again. So we did our duty and proceeded to hook into the smorgasbord of food. I personally favoured the soup which was like a pho beef soup sans the noddles 👌.

We then got our stuff together and Dan chaperoned us down the hill and through the reclaimed old military forest paths knit the locals know about.

Once we got to the bottom and onto the river cycle way that would see us to Prague Dan bid us farewell and we pedalled the mostly downhill route towards the capital city. It was a really nice leisurely pedal and we arrived in Prague at 5pm. We even had time to have a super long parkup about half way and even busted out the trangia for a hot lunch 🍴 or sauerkraut bacon on bread…weird I know but trust me it works!

Sauerkraut Lunch VIDEO

The pedal in Prague itself was pretty hard going as the city centre is littered with cobbled and despite not being peak season there were still hordes of people walking about. We made it through unscathed and met up with Moira (warmshowers) who we had contacted a while back and who was happy to have us for a couple nights. She had prepped a vege lasagna type dish which really hit the spot. Both me and Emm opted for seconds it was that good! (We have definitely been pretty lucky with scoring some delicious feeds from a number of our hosts recently. Moira is a American expat who is generous in nature and has a really engaging personality. She has a good head for history and a current affairs and gave us some pretty sound planning advice for cruising the city of Prague. We all went to bed with full bellies and tired legs a recipe for some much needed deeeeeep sleep.

#TheCasualtyList…Items worth counting on this epic…
Status quo from 11th Sep

Day 126 – 7 October 2018
Prague, Czech Republic

Transport: Walking 27000 steps

I’m a traveller not a tourist: today we cruised the city of Prague. What’s there to says about our adventure…

1/ we played tourist walking through the old city centre, Charles bridge and the iconic gothic cathedral….

Charles Bridge is stacked VIDEO

Love for the cathedral VIDEO

Coffee Stop for Bike tourers on a Budget VIDEO

2/ we had some pretty delicious Czech style goulash and bread dumplings for lunch at a cafeteria type restaurant – Havelská Koruna (a must do for the budget conscience traveller).

3/ we were so stoked on all the tourist activity we decided to go watch the movie Venom which was screening in English with Czech subtitles.
Overall, Prague is a very beautiful city and one which justifies its own hype. It has many stunning buildings and features and the cost of food and drink is low compared to the western euro countries. It is a very popular city though and the epic tourist traffic was a minor deterrent which led us to watching a movie in the late arvo for some down time.
After the movie we cruised back to Moira’s place and prepared a Gnocci dinner and pancakes with stewed apple (we had hand picked) for dessert 👌.

#TheCasualtyList…Items worth counting on this epic…
Status quo from 11th Sep

Day 127 – 8 October 2018
Prague to Postupice, Czech Republic

Transport: 15.3km , 68.6km/hour 1000m elevation

A punchuer’s stomping ground: we woke up and made a stack of pancakes to fuel the ride towards Vienna our next main stop. We said our goodbyes to Moira and got pedalling just after 12…a slowish start. The pedal out of town was surprisingly ok, sure there was lots of start/stop typical of any big city but overall we clocked about 20km before we the thoughts of lunch had us stopping. We had planned to ride to Vienna in 3 days but knew at lunch that this was going to be a tall order. The rolling hills in Czech are not hard but they are constant – ie you are always climbing or descending which brings the overall average speed down. We rolled another few hours and decided to find a parkup once we hit the 60km mark (well short of our normal mileage 😬) as night was setting in. We decided to try our luck with the door knock trick and were knocked back twice before we scored success with a nice family on the edge of town. The mother Stèphanie was a super nice lady and set us up in a backyard campervan which had a mattress and allowed us our own place! We couldn’t believe our luck. Stèphanie has previously lived and travelled throughout England and has a love for travel. This is a common theme for positive responses we have had when door knocking for a place to sleep. Having done this type of travel for over 4 months now makes us a lot more receptive of this type of traveller when we have our own place in the future 🖖.

We prepared dinner which was a kilo of sourcrat with bread and crackers (very simple I know but the sourcrat was on sale 😂). Now this amount of sourcrat between 2 people is huge and it led to some bad stomach aches for me later in the night. Let’s just say the saying ‘beans beans the magical fruit the more you eat the more you toot…’ has nothing when compared to sourcrat. As the chill in the night set in (the walls of the camper van were paper thin) we got into our warm sleeping bags and called it a night.

Caravan Antics lol VIDEO

#TheCasualtyList…Items worth counting on this epic…
Status quo from 11th Sep

Day 128 – 9 October 2018

Postupice to Strmilov Czech

Transport: 88.5km , 15.9km/hour 1411m elevation gain

The hills still abound: we woke up pretty late in the morning owing the the cold night and the fact we were sharing one sleeping bag 🙄 (I thought we would be sweet being in a camper but the cold still permeated the internal atmosphere). After some oats and apples (did I mention there are apple trees all over Czech lining the sides of roads 🙏) we got rolling and it was another day of just pedalling through the rolling green countryside clocking up the elevation meters. The riding is pretty good to be honest but if you are looking for grandeur scenery such as riding in the alps then this area may not be for you (you have all the hard work of the alps in terms of altitude gained but less of the spectacular mountain scenery).

Let’s get foggy Czech Republic VIDEO

We eventually made camp near the edge of forest just off route (#stealthcamping101) – our first proper camp out for quite some time now. We had a hot dinner and were shortly after sundown.

#TheCasualtyList…Items worth counting on this epic…
Status quo from 11th Sep

Day 129 – 10 October 2018
Strmilov to Röschitz Czech

Transport: 19.1km , 16.6km/hour elevation gain 1000m

Brutal headwinds: so today was another transit day grinding kms towards Vienna. According to the profile we knew the ride would be exiting the hills and heading moderately downhill 😆 – so stoked or so we thought…as soon as we cleared the forest we were greeted by a block headwind which coupled with touring panniers (ie wind amplifier) made for a brutal day of riding the front (ie think going down a slight downhill where you would normally average 25+km/hr and riding at 17km/hr 😠.

Emm binned her bike on some gravel later in the ride but was surprisingly unscathed. She would argue that this tiny tiny bruise on her hip was testament to some serious battle wounds 🙄 but we all know ‘if the bone ain’t bending/broken you just pretending’.
We decided to call the ride a bit earlier due to the fall and opted for a pretty supreme camp side parkup near a wine vineyard at the top of a berg right near a dedicated bicycle bench parkup.

Tonight’s dinner was a worthy mention of pumpkin soup with mushrooms, zucchini and gnocchi! Seriously try this at home a real tummy pleaser. With a full belly we hit the sack once again spent.

Gourmet Dinner Austria VIDEO

#TheCasualtyList…Items worth counting on this epic…
Status quo from 11th Sep

Day 130 – 11 October 2018
Röschitz to Vienna Austria

Transport: 84.5km, 18.9km/hour

Brutal headwinds round 2: today was much the same as yesterday with respect to a block headwind however we had the benefit of knowing we would be having a warm shower with a roof over our heads for our stay in Vienna. Fuelled with this knowledge we pedalled out the kms and eventually linked up with EuroVelo 6 which follows the Danube river all the way to the Black Sea (prob Europe’s most popular touring ride).

Headwind at the Danube River VIDEO

Riding into Vienna was actually really nice. Normally riding into a city can be super stressful dealing with traffic and multiple roads however the ride into the city along the Velo is very straight forward with a few different cycle paths all heading in the same direction 👍. Cycling as a sport seems to be pretty popular as we passed a fair few cyclists doing their arvo threshold session.
We concluded the ride by meeting up with Johannes (warmshowers host) who couldn’t spend much time with us as he had a night meeting scheduled and this left us to our own devices at his place. Of course whenever we have access to a kitchen I’m straight into Emm badgering her for some pancakes so we ended up having scrambled eggs for dinner (aka the healthy option 🙄) and the real dinner pancakes (aka dessert for dinner 😋).
After doing some admin (ie this diary which is our only responsibility in life atm 😂 ) we hit the sack.

#TheCasualtyList…Items worth counting on this epic…
Status quo from 11th Sep

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