Lázně Bohdaneč

Christine rides along the path by the Elbe in the rain.

After almost a fortnight of train and ferry travel, gentle rides by the river, city hotels and dining out, it was time to ride out into the countryside for self catering in less lavish accommodation. First we had to negotiate our way out of Prague which was painless. I’d chosen Absolutum Wellness Hotel for its position close to our arrival station and ease of leaving the city, it was also handy for tram and metro into the centre and in a quiet location.

Our luck with the weather ran out, it rained until mid afternoon which marred what would have been an enjoyable day’s cycling, passing through a variety of arable farmland, woodland and riverside paths. We rode through pleasant villages and noted that the verges were free of the litter that so disfigures British roadsides. The rural bus services were a lot better too. Road surfaces were similar, some smooth, others patched and potholed.

Shopping opportunities for tonight’s meal were very limited, only a couple of small shops with limited fresh produce. We found carrots in one shop and scored a courgette in another, which formed our dinner with a can of kidney beans, chili sauce and dried macaroni.

We reached Lázně Bohdaneč around 17:30 and checked into Penzion Art where we were the only guests. The owner spoke little English but sufficient for communication. He left some free drinks in the fridge, Christine didn’t want wine so I had a can of lager which was poor stuff. It was only 3.5% abv, lager needs to be 5% to hold any flavour. I tried the wine which was only slightly better, a nice touch though. After washing our wet socks and cooking, we had a quick look round this pleasant spa town. I was surprised to see it is serviced by a trolleybus network.

At 112 km (70 miles) this was by far the longest ride of the year and fairly easy despite the rain, we were lucky that the wind was light.

Usti Nad Orlici