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Day 16 ...... Dresden (D) To Litomerice (CZK) .......114 km (total cycled 1,127 km)

Today was all about cycling up the Elbe (again) and across the border into the Czech Republic. There was the small matter first of leaving Dresden first. 

We had enjoyed Dresden and all 3 of us pledged to return and spend more time getting know what looked like an interesting  city with its own unique vibe. Given the restoration work ongoing I’d say it will all come together pretty soon. 

A very famous photo taken just days after the city was laid to waste by the allied bombing program in February 1945.

They say had the Allied forces lost the war that “Bomber Harris “ , Head of Bombing Command for the RAF would’ve been tried for war crimes such was the perceived indiscriminate bombing of Dresden. 

From  Dresden to the Czech border it is a leisurely 50 km ride along flat and picturesque cycle paths, passing numerous  edifices such as this one carved atop and into the black rock that abounds in the area . Sandstone I believe . 

Trains, cliffs, smooth cycling paths, forests and a river. What else could you ask for. Ideal Spring weather I hear you ask . ✅ got that too. Want a slight tailwind thrown 

in for good measure ? ✅ got that as well. 

I took this photo because it was an anomaly. A working river cruise ship. The first I have seen in close to 4 days of riding the Elbe. For some reason I thought the river would be over populated with these  maritime beasts. Just as the Mosel and Rhine rivers were. WROOOONG. A stand out feature of our ride up the Elbe has been just how few commercial craft we have seen on the river. Like none. I have yet to see a cargo barge ply its trade on the Elbe. Again something you’d see every 10 minutes on the Mosel and Rhine. 

Time for a team photo as we cross the border into the Czech Republic. Almost instantly there’s a different feel/vibe . The quality of the cycle path into Litomerice for starters. Cheapness of food and beverages another . A willingness to offer you a glass of tap water for free another. 

Like her bigger sisters the Rhine and Mosel, the Elbe on the Czech side threw up some pretty magical views. We were tempted to ride to her terraces for a coffee. 

“Tempted “ being  the operative word. 

Surprisingly modern Czech engineering.

At the 75 km mark our stomachs began to rumble. Small issue was that the nearest village did not possess a restaurant or cafe of any description . Fear not. A poorly lit local corner store run by a family from somewhere in Asia came to the rescue. 15 mins later we were gorging ourselves on a smorgasbord of crisps, salami, sliced cheese, a punnet of cherry tomatoes , oranges , salted nuts and some Rye bread. A lunch of champions all taken in the shade of the shop. 

We arrived at an oversized ship lock and had to pick ourselves around it’s massive infrastructure.

My grasp of the Czech language ranks not much higher than a song by Rolf Harris. However I would venture to say that this business is in the hand and foot maintenance industry . 

As the day drew towards a close we got within 10 km of our accommodation in Litomerice when we literally stumbled upon a small riverside cafe with a massive terrace overlooking the water . Like Germany the Czechs pride themselves on their beer heritage and you’ll find a different lager or pils in most regions. 

Onto Prague tomorrow .  

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