A day of absolute beauty

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Where I stayed
Cafe Hostel

Flag of Czech Republic  , Jihočeský Kraj,
Sunday, July 11, 2010

Day 17, Sunday July 11

Get up bright and early at 7:30 today and pack up. When I finish my watch now says 7:10. No doubt even when I’m travelling I am still half asleep when I wake up in morning. I seem to be the first visitor when I reach the Zvikov castle grounds so I eat breakfast before seeing the sights.

Another 20 km along I reach the small town of Pisek, a small pretty town. I’m treated to some particularly great sights. The first being the reflections of the perfectly calm river, and the second a pair of beautiful doves doing a dance and showing off on the bridge. Pisek is the kind of town where you really get the feeling that you would find little treasures like this every day here.

A ways out of town the bike route I’m following turns up a mountain and becomes a tiny goat path. It’s a nice change of pace and terrain. On the way back down the mountain the trail is very rough. My water shakes loose and gets a big dent as it goes under the rear wheel. Generally the bicycle routes are all really well marked here in the Czech Republic, but occasionally you have do some reverse navigation looking for signs going the opposite direction or make an educated guess on which way they turn based on the map. This one has lost all marking whatsoever for the last several km but there aren’t many turn offs and it’s not difficult to follow the map.

Another marked castle isn’t to be found, but there are people swimming in the river next to where it should be. I take a few dips and sunbathing sessions. It isn’t until the second time in that I realize the bottom is shallow enough to stand from, and I don’t need to worry about drowning. Keeping yourself in one place however is almost as difficult as swimming against the current.

Now I have seen many pairs of shoes hung on telephone lines, but never have I ever seen anything like what welcomes me to the center of Hlubowka. Someone has managed to hang a bicycle from the telephone lines. It’s like an invisible E.T. forever bicycling away over the town.

It is another scorching hot day and I buy a slushy for the climb up the hill to the castle. It is certainly the most palatial and extravagant one that I have found yet.  On the way back down I stop for more cooling hydration, this time for some lemonade. The worker’s dog seems very calm, until I try and photograph it.

The rest of the way to Cesky Budejovice is almost entirely on dedicated bicycle trails. It goes through beautiful countryside before following the river into town. The whole way the trail is packed with people out enjoying the last of the weekend.

The guest house mentioned in the Czech bicycle atlas is too expensive for me, but the receptionist calls her friend who works at a hostel in town for me and they have a free place. I can be counted as one of the first few people ever to stay at Cafe Hostel, they only opened the place a week before I got there. They have a nice place going and I hope everything works out for them.
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