Ammo for Sam, poppies and wheat(?) fields, and town.
After 5 days in Prague, we held our last practice. Now, we were just supposed to rest up for the tournament. However, my excitement to play at Worlds wasn't going to tolerate that. I was entirely too wound up and needed to do something about. Earlier in the week, someone had mentioned a bike tour out to Karlstejn Castle 20 miles away. That sounded like just what I needed. It would get me away from the city and use it up some of my spare energy.
A one pub town on the way to Karlstejn.
I got up early to dodge the oppresive heat and make sure I was in Karlstejn by time Hannan arrived via train. I started out on the city bike lanes and transferred to the bike paths along the river. I was in heaven biking without any cobblestone or tram lines to jar my ride. It was such a treat to just open up. I followed the Vltava River south past the villages around Prague. It was nice riding, but not super scenic. I think the most curious thing was the number of men out fishing. Some looked like they lived out of their cars near the river.
The Romantic Hotel, just outside of Karlstejn.
Eventually, I saw a road sign that said Karlstejn was off to the side. I wasn't sure how far I'd gone, so I decided to switch to the road since I didn't want to miss it and didn't have anything but my own hand drawn map. In many ways, this was a good preparation ride for finding my way to new areas during my up coming bike tour when I lack enough good information. As it turned out, I could have followed the flat river route farther, but the hilly road route was much more scenic. It took me into the heart of the Czech villages and pass farm fields. Also, coasting down the hills is always a treat. I definitely felt guilty for riding hills when I supposed to be resting my legs, but I had to do something to get the stir crazy out.
Bike trail? No, that sign means no biking.
A view of the castle from town.
After 10K on the road, I rolled into Karlstejn. Along the main road, there was almost nothing. However, along the single road to the castle there were more dedicated tourist shops than I had seen in all of Prague up to that point. After 2 miles of walking my bike up the hill through the pedestrian zone (that cars were still allowed to drive through), I finally arrived at the castle, but had to head right back down to Hannan, who, even though we didn't make definite plans, was walking away from the train station just as I biked up. Brilliant.
Hike in the woods.
We went back up the hill, off on a side hike to poppy fields, and through some wonderfully cool woods before finally getting up to the castle. After a short visit, we were back headed back to Prague on the train to try and meet up for a team activity.
Beautiful castle. Beautiful countryside. On my bike. Great day. I like any place more when I visit it on my bike so this trip could be biased.