Day 7 – Cheb to Rakovnik

Posted: August 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

Instead of staying in a hotel in Germany, we stayed in cabins in Cheb in the Czech Republic – simply because it was a lot cheaper. What we didn’t realise, however, was that after yesterday’s 100 miles we had a 2-hour drive to those cabins. The original plan was to drive back into Germany and continue cycling, but we didn’t feel we had the time. And we were right.

Starting in Cheb, the difficulties associated with long-distance cycling in the Czech Republic were apparent from the start. Compared to our route in Germany the roads were lower quality (though still better than the UK), there were motorways everywhere, and it was a lot more hilly. There were several big climbs throughout today, including two Category 4s and me and two others didn’t hear the calls to stop before we climbed a Category 3 for two miles after we took a wrong turn. My thighs were burning, and I think that climbing Schiehallion was easier.

Experiencing the Czech Republic today made me realise just how comfortable I’ve become in speaking German during this trip. Not being able to speak Czech made me feel awkward about even buying things in a shop. This isn’t the case with German anymore, as I’m now at the point where if I don’t know how to say something I’ll just have a try. This is a big change, and I think it’s a crucial one for the future when learning German.

Cycling through the small Czech villages has been very interesting indeed. You can still see the remnants of communism, and there are many buildings that look run-down, and even entire villages that came across as abandoned. We stopped at a village café or lunch, where we were told that we were eating chicken…but it wasn’t chicken…

And so we have one day left. Rakovnik to Prague. One final push.

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