* PHOTOS... we arrive sweaty and covered in bugs *
Trip Start Sep 16, 2006
69Trip End Sep 16, 2007
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we rode through the lipno lake region. west and then north through the southern czech hills which are well known bike trails. somewhere near lipno lake we met a young couple out on a mountain bike ride. we later found out they were taking it easy that day and decided they wouldn't need to bring a patch kit. the laws of nature... so they got a flat. when we saw the miserable looking biker walking a bike along such a beautiful road on a beautiful day, we stopped and helped them fix their flat. the weather had turned incredibly hot and steamy muggy toward noon, signaling a coming storm. the sky turned black, and though it stayed warm and muggy, it began to drizzle. the gnat population increased with the muggyness. we were getting more and more excited as we neared the smaller country roads taking us up into the mountains and into laziste, to where our parents live. and we made it back, sweaty and covered in a thick film of gnats. our parents were so excited to see us!! we found them reading books and lazing around the back yard, enjoying the weather. we celebrated with cream cheeze popsicles (a czech favorite), and since that day, hung out with our parents...
we spent a few weeks getting situated, resting our legs from leg two of our trip, and airing out/cleaning/organizing our gear, tuning the bikes back up, and planning our arrival / jobs / housing in the states.
our plan to bicycle to holland (where our flight departs from) was changed, and we had decided to take a car trip with our parents to holland instead... but then that was foiled too- after much planning and excitement, when the day-of departure, the car decided to not want to go. so we arranged a bus ticket to amsterdam instead. fortunately, our return to the laziste/prachatice area after several months of biking went somewhat un-noticed by the enthusiastic librarians (who are actually spies!)-- initially they had threatened to force us to do a town presentation of our bicycle adventure.
we spent the past months post-arrival, going on amazing mountain and country farm road walks with our mom, taking photos of neighboring villages on day trips in the south czech area, organizing and cataloguing our family photo albums into massive stacks of order, and reading reading reading!! also, watching b-grade dubbed american and french movies at night, and shifting our plans as new changes came our way... we had initially hoped to spend july visiting baltimore and north carolina, but now, as it turns out, we will be flying from amsterdam to the west coast instead. we ate incredible amounts of the world's most delicious gourmet meals, fresh fruit pies, and more fruit ice cream-- a la mom ocenas. we consumed the following in the last few days of our visit:
-28 lbs of apricots
-25 lbs of cherries
-4 bags of sour kraut
-2 huge blueberry pies in addition to about half a dozen variety fruit pies
-a large basket of raspberries
-a large basket of gooseberries
-all the strawberries of the yard
* thank god we left before the currants and plums and apples started!
to anyone who has never visited the czech republic, or who has only seen historic and beautiful prague-- we encourage you to come to the south czech sumava region-- it is incredible! it is considered the best part of czech, and arguably in this part of europe too. tiny winding roads, huge forested hills and steep mountain ranges bordering austria and germany, lots of informal ski lifts running up hills from village to village, the entire area dotted with historic villages and red rooftops, restored farm estates dating back hundreds of years, small farms, and people cycling everywhere. there are incredible amounts of seasonal fruit too, and wild forest blueberries and mushrooms and cranberries, as well as cherry orchards that let you drive up and pick from the trees. come for a visit, you won't be disappointed! the cycling is awesome here, and you can loop through austria and germany all through the super preserved and protected forests along comfortable and safe bike routes. we are sad to leave...
*we will post photos at a later time*