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Eastern Europe Trip

A year of adventure and misfortune - the story of our Eastern Europe trip, the accident and subsequent recovery, and our lives up until September 2008... For the latest blog, click on Blogs in the header...

Tuesday, 14 August 2007


Day 5 – Karlovy Vary to Prague

After having ridden over 1,000 miles already, at least today we’ve a slightly shorter ride into Prague.

The day dawned like every other, with the mist hugging the valley and shrouding the campsite in an early morning dew that soaked the tent but left us feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead…

Early morning at the Na Spici campsite

We waited until the sun had broken through the clouds and burnt the mist away so that we could pack the tent away dry, especially as we’ve 2 nights in a hotel ahead of us. When the bikes we laden again we rolled out of the campsite and back onto the main roads, heading out towards Chomutov. We bought some rolls, ham and tomatoes from a supermarket and stopped at the roadside for breakfast, eating and relaxing in the sun, just 65km from Prague, safe in the knowledge that we’d be there in no time at all, and we couldn’t check in to the hotel until 2pm anyway.

After we’d left our breakfast stop, we worked our way towards Louny then on towards Slany where I made a minor navigational error and we ended up riding down minor country roads as we meandered on towards the E55 – our chosen route into the city.

The benefit of riding a bike over any other form of travel (with the possible exception of a bicycle, but that’s way too much like hard work!) is that these mishaps become part of the adventure, and it’s always possible to stop at the roadside and admire the view…

At the roadside, somewhere in the Czech Republic with nothing for miles around…

… and what a view! For miles around there was nothing. Just endless fields, with scatterings of trees and small villages dotted about.

It wasn’t long before I’d managed to get us back on track – the satellite navigation proving it’s worth as a rolling map – and we joined the D8/E55 towards the centre of Prague with only 22Km to go. A final stop at a services just outside Prague for a drink and an ice-cream (and to re-focus our minds after such empty roads) and we were on our way. Having already studied the map, and programmed the sat-nav with the hotel’s address, it was a really simple job to ride into Prague, take a couple of left turns and we pulled up right outside the Extol Inn, our hotel for the next 2 nights. Check-in was simple, again because the receptionist spoke good English, and we had the bikes locked safely away in the secure car-park, chained together and unloaded for once. Carrying the heavy panniers up to our room on the 2nd floor in the heat probably made us look more like intrepid travellers than we wanted (and smell too much like them too!), but thankfully the shower was hot and powerful!

Our room at the Extol Inn

Quickly changed from motorcycle travellers to tourists, resplendent in shorts and sandals, we caught the tram into the city centre, something that was made much easier as we’d visited Prague a couple of years ago – although that was in December and it was much colder and less busy!

No sooner had we arrived than the heavens opened. Yes, our first rain of the trip, just as we got off the tram dressed in shorts and tee-shirts. Nice. But Prague, and the Czech Republic is renowned for one thing – its beer! So we popped in to a bar to let the rain stop and sank a cool beer.

Prague after the rain stopped

When the rain stopped we wandered round the streets, re-familiarising ourselves with the city and remarking on how different it looks without the dusting of snow, and with the over-abundance of tourists crowded into the squares, following umbrellas held aloft like sheep to a shearing…

The biggest attraction appears to be the Astronomical Clock, where huge crowds gather every hour to watch as the clock chimes and the figures surrounding the clock-face (Vanity, Greed, Pagan invasion, and Death, move in time with the chimes.

Crowds gather to watch the Astronomical Clock do its thing…

We wandered aimlessly round the streets for quite a while, walked on to the Charles Bridge and listened to the jazz band playing, before grabbing a beer and wandering some more…

Jazz band on the Charles Bridge…

… by now it was becoming clear that we were both very tired, 5 days of travelling and over 1,100 miles were taking their toll. Despite it still being relatively early, we found a restaurant and ordered a traditional Czech meal – yet more meat, and way too much, even for me! – before walking it off for a while, enjoying the early evening warmth until we could last no more, and then catching a metro and a tram back to the hotel and turning in for the night…

Hi U2

Tried to send a text but no success - so HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAUL.

Love M & R xxx
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