Author Topic: Prague to...  (Read 6227 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline bern

Prague to...
« on: November 28, 2008, 03:08:44 pm »
Beginning planning phase of a trip starting in Prague or ending in Prague.  My boyfriend and I have friends living the Czech Republic so a visit would be in order at the beginning of the trip or the end. Unclear of the distance,but open to just about any length of time! time of year would be late spring early summer of 2009- Self supported and camping nightly would be our preference with a couple days of hotels if we need the R & R!  Does anyone have any cycling experience in this part of the world? Possible tours completed? and just about any information you guys have that would be helpful!! With the research I've done so far...it looks like Vienna to Prague sounds interesting.  But I think a longer trip would be great.  Also, if there are other posts on ACA regarding such a trip please let me know, so you don't have to repeat yourselves.

This message was edited by bern on 11-28-08 @ 12:14 PM

Offline Frankp

Re: Prague to...
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2009, 06:38:25 pm »
Prague is one of my favorite cities! I take a group of graduate students to Prague in the spring. This past year about 8 of them connected with a bicycle tour outfit and rode bicycles out to a beautiful old castle. Lunch was provided and they had a great time. I think it was pretty much an all day trip. If you would like any further information on the tour let me know and I'll send out an email to the former students   Frankp

Offline raybo

Re: Prague to...
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2009, 02:20:17 pm »
Visit the on-line bike touring archive at www.biketouringtips.com

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Prague to...
« Reply #3 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.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2009, 03:51:16 pm by Westinghouse »

Offline geegee

Re: Prague to...
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2009, 11:37:24 am »
I went right across the Czech Republic as part of a longer tour from Hamburg-Berlin-Prague-Budapest then on to Ljublijana-Venice-Innsbruck-Munich in 1999. There are some gems to the south of Prague, towns like Ceske Budejovice and Cesky Krumlov. If you want to stick in the Czech Republic instead of heading into Austria along the Danube (which is an overly trodden and touristy route), you could wander like I did though Telc, Znojmo and Mikulov which are really pretty historic towns. The rural roads along there go through interesting rolling landscapes, lined with apricot and plum trees (which I snacked on frequently, as they seemed to be on public land and fruit was just falling on to the road). At the time I went there things were ridiculously cheap -- Hotel rooms for $10 and full course meals including beer for less than $5 -- but I would imagine things have gone up with closer integration with the European Union. That year I also chased down the  total solar eclipse in the middle of Hungary along the shores of Lake Balaton which had a lot of western Europeans visiting the east.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Prague to...
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2009, 09:12:51 am »
I cycled in the Czech Republic back in the summer of 1992.  It was one of my favorite countries in Europe.  Very rural roads with no traffic.  Small towns.  Back in 1992 it was not the most modern of countries.  But that didn't bother me.  I entered in the south from Austria and went out the north into former East Germany.  Met several families in Czech that I spent several days living with.  And that might be one other reason I liked Czech, nice people.

Offline pptouring

Re: Prague to...
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2009, 06:02:46 am »
**Bump**

Hello All,

I had to bump this back to the top after finding it. My wife and I are planning a similar trip this summer from Prague > Vienna > Budapest too and pretty much like Bern are looking to camp most of the time. So if anyone has any locations of campsites along this route that would like to post them that would be great. 

Thanks all

Offline geegee

Re: Prague to...
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2009, 08:52:20 am »
I used the Michelin map and it seemed to have all the campgrounds marked on it.

Offline pptouring

Re: Prague to...
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2009, 05:50:16 am »
Thank you Geeg! Have you been back since your tour in '99?

Offline Reinier

Re: Prague to...
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2009, 04:27:00 pm »
I have done some bicycle touring in Czech. (...) 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.

Much has changed since 1994. I was there in 2001, and by then old communist-era cars had become scarce. The streets where dominated by shiny new Skoda family cars. Around Prague, there was construction work going on everywhere. The standard of hygiene and living was lower than in my native Netherlands, but it still far above the sort of third-world level you describe.

And now it's 2009, so the Czech republic must have gotten even more developed. According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Human_Development_Index, the human development index of the Czech Republic was about equal to that of Portugal or Malta (both former West) in 2006.

Offline pptouring

Re: Prague to...
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2009, 10:16:03 pm »
We were in Prague last summer and it was awesome!! We can't wait for this August when we'll return for a bike tour!

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Prague to...
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2009, 01:49:37 am »
Places change. People change. Fifteen years have gone by since I bicycled through that part of the world. I always thought the people of Eastern Europe would move forward and upward on the scale of civilization with the communists off their backs, and I stated that explicitly in my journal fifteen years ago. In 1994, going from West Germany into Czech was like going from a prosperous part of the US into a desperately poor part of Mexico. The contrast was stark and staring out at me from every doorway and every field of crops. Czeck is a very different place today.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Prague to...
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2009, 09:30:16 am »
In 1994, going from West Germany into Czech was like going from a prosperous part of the US into a desperately poor part of Mexico. The contrast was stark and staring out at me from every doorway and every field of crops.

This seems a bit harsh.  I was in the Czech Republic in 1992.  Obviously it was less modern than West Germany.  The former East Germany was also less modern than West Germany.  I recall the exact spot on the road where I rode from former East Germany to West Germany.  The road literally changed.  And it seemed the trees were more lush, sun brighter, grass greener, etc. once I crossed that line.  But it was not that awful on the East side.  Czech and East were both older looking.  Unmodern.  Unkempt, gritty but not really bad.  I did not notice any poverty like we see in the US.  Everyone was less rich of course.  But I did not notice any extreme disparity amongst the people.  And the people I met in Czech were some of the nicest I met on my entire trip.  Which is why I like Czech.  Czech and East were probably comparable to the US in the 1920s-30s-40s when I visited in 1992.  Not bad just not up to date.

Offline bern

Re: Prague to...
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2009, 01:02:17 pm »
Hi All!  Well, I'm glad to have sparked a good Prague conversation to say the least!  I've been in Costa Rica, than Utah and am just now catching up!  I wanted to send some shout outs!  Frank, thanks for the email offer, I might take you up on that!  Westinghouse, I really appreciate our honesty and all the details of your adventure, VERY HELPFUL.(thank you for the offer to let me request journal info!) Russ and Geeg,  Details, details...I love them. Definitely going to check out the Michelin map for camp spots.  Like Robenne, I will definitely be looking for camping opportunities.  Also, thank you for both for detailing the rural area descriptions...Exactly what I was wanting to hear! 

Offline geegee

Re: Prague to...
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2009, 09:45:01 pm »
I haven't been back to Eastern Europe since that time (so much of the world to see!) but regarding campgrounds, my observation is the ones in Europe are so well established that map makers confidently publish them unlike here in Norh America where the situation changes so much from year to year that it would render maps obsolete quickly
« Last Edit: February 28, 2009, 09:34:35 pm by geeg »