Bad Schanda (Germany) to Ústí nad Labem (Czech Republic), 50km
After a hearty breakfast, we start for our 2nd day of biking at 9am. Fresh temperature and a cloudless, blue sky promise for another fantastic day!
Today we will cross the border and enter the Czech Republic. A “first time” for me. It is also the home country of Doris’ parents. I very much look forward to it.
At the German-Czech border town of Schmilka we crossed the Elbe to the other side of the shore and continued to our bike path.
Soon we were at the border and entered the Czech Republic. The bike path border is marked only by three poles, without any border control, given that we move from one EU country to another. Interestingly enough, the Czech Republic is one of nine EU countries which use their own currency, the Czech Koruna.
It would be great if we can travel to all countries freely like this!
21km later we arrived at a cute town of Decin. It was still before noon. On the second day of biking we got used to this mode of travel and we were riding our bikes like champs.
For lunch we went up the hilltop castle Decin Castle and settled in a simple courtyard cafe. The staff spoke only Czech und with Doris’ translation we managed to order tasty Bretagne-style galettes (pancakes) with spinach. The castle garden was breezy and quiet, with not so many people.
A ship pulling four barges shows that the Elbe river still plays an important role as waterways to transport coals and minerals.
Along the bike path we came across a colony of animals called the Elbe beaver (“nutria”). They seem to live around in the muddy riverbank and are not at all afraid of our existence. This animal family with small babies delighted Doris, a passionate animal lover, and she did not want to leave the place…
Our blissful bike path continues along the Elbe…
After 50km we arrived at today’s destination, Ústí nad Labem. The city looked rather impersonal, compared to the other quaint villages and towns which we stayed or passed by. We navigated ourselves in the busy city quarter to our hotel.
We happily toasted to our successful second day of biking in the local brewery restaurant which Doris recommended. I am no beer drinker, but for this occasion I tried a glass of local dark beer! Hicks!