« on: January 22, 2009, 03:42:59 pm »
I have done some bicycle touring in Czech. I did not get to Praha. I entered Czech from West Germany near Schindring, Germany and Selb. The first thing I noticed at the border was that the general, overall, standards of just about everything took a plummeting decline. In Czech things seemed to be in shambles. The roads were ok, but in some places they were unbelievably potholed, crumbling, and rutted. The vehicles were very old and worn. They used low-grade, leaded gas which produced dense, voluminous, clouds of gray and black poisonous fumes. The prices for food in restaurants were extremely low by American standards. Check this out: large meal with salad, apple pie, and two Pilsner beers for about forty cents; no charge for the virulent dysentery and the viral hepatitis. It was one of the nastiest places you could possible imagine. Keep in mind, I was cycling through that area to see the country, and not as a tourist who goes to some tourist area for a quick time and flies home. I was out seeing how people live in the countryside, and in the farming areas. I already knew about European cities and tourist circuits. I have spent years in Europe. Take out anything sweet out in the countryside in Czech in summer or in warm weather,and you will soon be swarmed by honey bees. I do not want to put the place down, but where I cycled in Czech, and I went all the way through the country by bicycle and into Poland and Ukraine and Moldavia and much farther,
it was nasty and filthy beyond belief. I could give you detailed, vivid descriptions from my highly detailed journal, but let it suffice to say it was a very low-grade part of the world at that time which was 1994.
Here is where I went on that tour. I flew from Florida to Paris. Cycled from Paris to Germany, and across Germany to Czech. I cycled across Czech to and across Poland, and into Ukraine. I got to L'vuv, Ukraine and cycled across to Kiev, and south to Odessa. I cycled to Ilyachovsk. I went to Michaeliav. I got a bus from Michaeliav to Odessa. Then I got a bus into Moldavia. I cycled across Moldavia and into Romania by way of Layoshina and Hoosh(pronunciation not spelling). I took trains through Romania and Bulgaria, and cycled into Greece, and trained to Thessoloniki. Got a bus to coastal Greece, and shipped to Brindisi, Italy at the eastern terminus of the ancient Appian Way. I cycled 660 miles north to Milano where I got a flight to JFK airport in NYC. Then I cycled from JFK to south Florida, ending November 9, 1994.
I know I have not given a very flattering description of Czech, but I assure you I kept highly detailed descriptive records of everty day of that entire tour from beginning to end. It may not be a nice description, but it is a true and accurate one from that time. Ukraine was quite a bit worse than Czech. It seemed that the farther east you went, the more the standards declined. It was gone to the dogs.
If you have any particular matters you are concerned with for cycling in that region, maybe I can answer them for you.