29 April 2007
At last, a posting! Cheers from Prague!
I apologize for what must seem like some sort of blogging practical joke! It seems that, whenever the internet has been mentioned, it has been quickly discarded in favour of sightseeing, or unavailable in the little towns that we have been passing through.
The cycling has been great! Our cycling computer indicates that we have cycled 520 km so far, from Berlin to Prague.
We landed in Berlin, spent three days in that incredible city at an apartment in Friedrichschain, which is a cool neighbourhood with lots of little places to eat and drink coffee. We cycled around the city and familiarised ourselves with the sites and architecture. The former Berlin Wall space was especially fascinating; it is interesting to see the way that the large swath of land has been used for various architectural projects / green spaces since it came down in 1989.
We took public transit with our bikes to Potsdam to avoid cycling through the urban madness, and, upon arriving in Potsdam, decided to spend a night there to research some route options that we hadn't previously known existed. We had planned to cycle along small roads to join the Elbe River bike pathways at the town of Wittenberg; it turns out that there are many paved cycle-only trails all over Germany! We were able to cycle all the way to the Elbe, and then all the way along that river on nearly exclusively bike trails!
The weather has been very hot and sunny since we left; I would welcome clouds and rain for a short respite from the heat that has been baking us.
We were also able to camp all the way through Germany (and the Czech Republic), which was another budget-saving bonus. We have been enjoying the cheap and excellent beer through both Germany and the Czech Republic.
We crossed the border into the Czech Republic three days ago; the change in architecture and lifestyle has been fairly remarkable given the proximity of these two countries. There have been a lot of dirt roads / busy highways to navigate but all in all the cycling in the CR has been good. We came into Prague yesterday and had to scramble around a bit for accomodation as this is, apparently, the busiest long weekend of the year in Europe. We found a cool little apartment, though, near Old Town Square, for not too many crowns. Since arriving, we have been alternating between walking around the city and cowering in our room from the tourist throngs that are swarming everywhere - after two weeks of cycling through rural Europe it definitely feels like sensory overload. But, again, the beer is the highlight; so good, plentiful, and cheap!
From here, we are considering taking a train with our bikes to Linz, Austria, to join up with the Danube River cycle path and give us a little more free time to explore some of the other cities that we will be passing through (Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest). Love to all.