I had a couple of days spare after finishing the Slovakia End to End, so I went to Prague. I had no plan, but I had a bike, and that’s all you need.
The city is justly feted as one of Europe’s most elegant and visitable, and the cheap but excellent beer is a welcome bonus. But cycling in the historic centre is a challenge thanks to (1) the cobbles and (2) the tourists: it took me twenty minutes to push the bike through the selfie-snapping throngs on Charles Bridge.
However, up in Letná Park just a hundred metres away – vertically; more pushing, up the steep access paths – things were quieter, and I could enjoy the view down to the river with a stall Pils.
The second day it rained all afternoon – a chance to catch up with web-based admin in my hostel – but finally on the third day I got in a cracking little ride. My failsafe in any European city is simply to follow a bike path from the centre: I always have interesting experiences, especially if, as usual, the path takes you through a mix of areas from touristy to workaday local.
So, I followed the Vltava south for a dozen miles or so, upriver on the east side, and came back down the other, on the west side. This gave me a glimpse of two of Czechia’s long-distance cycle routes: A2, on the east side, and A1, along the west.
I was impressed: the path was segregated, smooth, continuous, pretty consistent, wide, decently-signed, and had a cool little ferry that enabled me to cross over from A2 to A1. It all bodes well for a possible future Czech End to End, to complement the Slovakia traverse I’m coming home from.
Great fun. But it’s time to go home. After three weeks on my folder’s twenty-inch wheels, it’ll be good to get back to a full-size bike.