September 17, 2019: Nová Bystřice to Slavonice - Praha to Wien Greenway Tour (Tour 19) - 2019 🇨🇿 🇦🇹 - CycleBlaze

September 17, 2019

September 17, 2019: Nová Bystřice to Slavonice

Geocaching past a castle

Hotel: Apartmán Špringerovi, € 30

Kostel Nejsvětější Trojice  - Near Nová Bystřice, Czechia
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We did the old self-supported bike trick so we wouldn't have to lay the bikes in the soppy wet grass. Just don't sneeze, or the bikes will tumble over. There was a geocache to discover up in that grouping of trees which we found after some minutes of scouting around. -- Between Nová Bystřice and Slavonice, Czechia.
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The second geocache of the day was straight up a steep forested hill. We dragged the bikes up a bit with great effort to get them out of view from the road below, then climbed up to a glacial erratic boulder where we found the geocache as well as impressive views across to the Hrad Landštejn. -- On the road from Nová Bystřice to Slavonice, Czechia.
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This photo is taken from near the site of the first castle of the second and 'newer' castle Landštejn. The dates of the villages go back to the 11th Century. -- Between Nová Bystřice and Slavonice, Czechia.
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Sitting at our lunch restaurant Besídka we could see this clock tower, and over to our right was the main square. This town is very pretty with many old buildings and not tainted by commercialism at all. -- Slavonice, Czechia
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The main square in town. We weren't sure where to eat so wandered a bit and randomly chose one where nobody was sitting on the patio - because it was 'cold' out. -- Slavonice, Czechia
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Restaurace Besídka, where we ate lunch. A very impressive building inside and out, we chose to eat out on the patio and were joined by an American cyclist from Pittsburgh. -- Slavonice, Czechia
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I chose a traditional Moravian meal of pork, spinach, onions, dumplings and potatoes. The photo does not look that appetizing, but it was tasty. -- Slavonice, Czechia
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This just gives a tiny idea of how beautiful the gardens are at this home. This is a labour of love. -- Apartmán Špringerovi, Slavonice, Czechia.
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THE weather didn't make up its mind until it happened. The forecast went from rain from 2am til noon, to cloudy all morning... but when I awoke it was lightly misting outside so everything was wet and getting wetter.

So what better to do than go downstairs for our 8 am breakfast? Another nice one, though simple. Breads, fruit, meats, cheeses, and all served in a nice room all to ourselves and the server. This whole lovely place with only us, which was sad. How can they continue with no business unless they are busy all summer or all winter? Please anyone reading this - please go to small town Czechia to visit. Beautiful Prague gets enough of your money!

At 9 am when we were away it was still misting but not as heavily misty and up we started to climb out of the town. Up, up, and up we went as mists came and went. The route was beautifully green in the mist as we passed tiny villages, manor homes and then what seemed to be a huge monastery or church on the banks of a small lake.

It was just past this lake that we diverted from the road and up into a farmer's field to seek out our first Czech geocache. There was a rocky and tree-covered high point where we were led and then began the quest to find the cache. It took a few minutes but soon there it was. We left a Canadian pin in the cache, signed in, then rolled back out of the field and back to the main road. We were on our way to the second geocache.

The road continued to climb as we approached Hrad Landštejn through thickly-forested hills of pine. The gps indicated a very steep climb up through the trees so we dragged our bikes up and off of the road to hide them from the road - this was trickier than it sounds. Up we climbed to a huge glacial erratic stone where we found the cache. What we also found were incredible views across the forests and valleys to the castle in the distance. By now the skies were starting to clear so the visibility was excellent.

Avoiding a number of wasp nests in the ground that we had not seen on the way up, we manoeuvred our bikes back down the hill to the road and continued to climb toward the castle. One spot was at the site of the old castle which had impressive views up to the 'new' one, then climbed some more until we were at the base of the imposing castle, first started in the 11th Century. What goes up must come down, and so we descended all the way to Staré Město as we reached speeds of almost 40 km/h. The sun was popping out from the clouds, the road was dry, so the climb following this fast descent was really hot so I had to remove my coat. The final few km were a long and fastish descent until we reached the signpost for the village.

With it being a short day we were in town early even though we had gone off-road exploring earlier. It was noon-ish so we headed to the town square rather than to our apartment. There was a small restaurant we stopped in, Restaurace Besídka, where MA had a capuccino and I tried a local beer. Soon we were both hungry, so for lunch I ordered a Moravian traditional meal of pork, spinach, onions, potatoes and dumplings, while MA had a fire-cooked pizza. Or as the menu stated, a pizza 'touched by fire'. As we ate along came another cyclist who was stopping for lunch so we invited him to join us. An American from Pittsburgh, he was heading from Vienna to Prague but was realizing that six days was a bit tight for him, especially this being his first-ever tour. We all parted our ways, though on the way through the square we met a supported group of American cyclists who were riding from Vienna to Prague.

Our host had messaged that we could come at 3 pm so we got to the door around 2:40 pm and within a short while along came a very pleasant woman on her bike to welcome us in to this pretty and sizeable apartment which is located about 600 m from the town square. We were able to bring our bikes into their locked garage, their home was surrounded by the most beautiful gardens of flowers, shrubs, trees and grasses. It was an oasis, really, though the town itself is quite pretty.

Once in the room she called her son who translated any of the suggestions and instructions for us, then when the hostess returned with the paperwork to fill out she brought us a plate of pastries her mother-in-law had made along with a bottle of sparkling white wine. Holy smokes, are we being spoiled here!

There is no breakfast here so we needed to get something for the morning. We got onto our bagless bikes and seemingly floated to the local Coop grocery store. Now prepared for the morning we would have a light breakfast before rolling out of town around 7:30 am tomorrow. It is a longish and toughish day so I would like to have enough time to enjoy it.

The evening was spent writing and reading just outside our room on the stone walkway inside the stone wall with views of the woman's gorgeous gardens - with a glass of sparkling wine. But not too much!

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Today's ride: 28 km (17 miles)
Total: 253 km (157 miles)

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