Tag Archives: elbe


Day 6: Litoměřice, Czech Republic to Veltrusy, Czech Republic

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Start: Litoměřice, Czech Republic
End: Veltrusy, Czech Republic
Distance: 68.6km
Elevation Gain: 844ft
Elevation Loss: 866ft
Time: 6h10m
Reading Material: The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
Audio Material: Diane Rehm’s Friday News Roundup (Domestic & International); On the Media

Follow the yellow #2 signs, follow the yellow #2 signs. Sometimes they make sense, like long stretches right up against the Elbe. But, then sometimes they veer off into through fields of unpaved ruts. One time I dead ended and had to do some improvised hand gesture communication to determine the location of nearby private ferry (e.g. a smelly man with a small boat attached to a wire who will take you across the river for 20 Czech Koruna (about $1).

The day started a bit late as I hit up the O2 mobile store in Litoměřice for a Czech data sim card. If my mobile data addiction didn’t already feel bad, I had to endure 25min of an MTV show in English about the difficulties of preparing for the big homecoming dance while several older Czechs bartered with the salespeople. Maybe to them the show was soothing with its shots of school gymnasiums and lots of crying teenage girls, but to an English speaker in was grating.

In Mělník, the Elbe and Vltava converge and I bid farewell and follow the Vltava. Only about 35km more until I hit Prague tomorrow.

Cliffs above the Elbe

Day 4: Dresden, Germany to Děčín, Czech Republic

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Start: Dresden, Germany
End: Děčín, Czech Republic
Distance: 69.5km
Elevation Gain: 1278ft
Elevation Loss: 931ft
Time: 6h48m
Reading Material: The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
Audio Material: None needed, landscape sufficient


Majestic day. Now I realize why bicycle tourists prefer actual bicycle routes. Over the next four days, the Elbe river won’t leave my sight as I traverse the Elbe Radweg (Germany side)/ R2 Cycle Route (Czech side) all the way from Dresden to Prague.

So far the path is a middle-aged cyclists dream (paved, rolling, perfectly signed, hugging the river bank and passing all types of accommodations/beer gardens every few kms). I began the previous sentence sarcastically invoking middle-age, but it’s quite possible I’m already there.

A few small tweaks made while stopped in Dresden have dialed-in the comfort on the bike. These include: rotating up the hoods on the handlebars, tilting the nose of the saddle up slightly to counteract the slippery-ness of a new Brooks and a pair of black leather short-gloves from the Bike Center to replace my torn pair. Several times during the day I inhaled new leather scent and thought of Buzz Bissinger.

The Elbe appears to be about 150m wide and fast-flowing (opposite direction to my travel). Too cold for a dip (50F with layered clouds of purple and grey) but I had the chance to cross twice via diesel ferries (2EUR/trip). Sandstone cliffs cut by the river tower above. Cyclists of all ages abound–a few appear to be on short tours with small panniers but most are out for day rides (I’d do the same if I lived here). And, once I crossed into the Czech Republic the rollerbladers started to appear (no outdoor ice this time of year for the hockey loving Czechs). And, yes, Jagr mullets, fannypacks and day-glo windbreakers are still in style. Oh post-communism states, how I love you.