Day 18: Blansko, Czech Republic to Olomouc, Czech Republic

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Start: Blansko, Czech Republic
End: Olomouc, Czech Republic
Distance: 69.6km
Elevation Gain: 2410ft
Elevation Loss: 2752ft
Time: 6h44m
Reading Material: The Czechs and the Lands of the Bohemian Crown – Hugh Agnew
Audio Material: WTF Podcast (Noah Baumbach interview); 99% invisible podcast (multiple episodes)

Here’s one thing bicyclists don’t talk about enough: bugs. While riding you are constantly bombarded by bugs. Smaller guys like to embed themselves on forearms where they blend in with your arm hairs. But, the worst are the ones that end up in your nose and mouth. After a long uphill stretch to start the day, I earned a refreshing downhill through the Dědice Forest that was full of bugs! Conscious effort was required to keep my mouth closed to avoid ingesting bugs. I could actually see them incoming like projectiles before splatting on my glasses (lucky) or nose (unlucky).

Opted for a fast lunch in order to arrive in Olomouc with some time for sightseeing. Olomouc is an ancient Czech city (oral history claims it was founded by Julius Caesar but written history first mentions it in the 10th century) and is the historical power center in Moravia. In early Czech history, political power oscillates between Bohemia (e.g. Prague) and Moravia. Olomouc was a seat of power for the Přemyslid House (a precursor to the Hapsburgs) and the last of the Přemyslid’s, King Wenceslas III, was assassinated in Olomouc in 1306 effectively ending the dynasty.

I had time to climb the tower of the gothic St. Maurice Church and get a nice aerial view of the city before eating a pig knuckle for dinner and immediately falling asleep.

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