Today’s ride was easier going overall, but still very hot. In all it was 46 km from Zlutice to Karlovy Vary, a major stop on the Eurovelo 4.
It was a bit of a climb out of town, on through Ratiboř, after which we entered some woods on an off road path. This was marked as a dotted line on the cycle map app, so we knew it may be marginal. Some parts of it were certainly not easy, as can be seen from the photos. I also saw a small deer scuttling away in the brush (near the muddy bit).
As we were riding along these sections, Kris made several remarks that we may already be on the Eurovelo 4 – as there was no other way through here. I thought he was joking, until we emerged from the woods at Polom (just a few houses and a junk heap here), to see this sign. The small blue stickers with 4 in the centre are the Eurovelo 4 designation.
The rest of the ride was less eventful, our route took us through Údrč, Bochov, Dlouhá Lomnice, Pila and Kolová. We saw a few heards of cows for the first time on the ride – must be a sign that the landscape is getting less mountainous.
We stopped for ice cream and water at a small store in Kolová, and Kris was asked for some advice on car maintenance (to help identify the brake fluid holder using an English car manual) by the Chinese owner.
The rest of the ride was on nice easy contoured roads and mostly downhill. We approached Karlovy Vary through a long downhill forest stretch, which was pretty satisfying.
Karlovy Vary (formally Karlsbad) is famous for its hot springs, and was founded by Charles IV of Bohemia in the 14th century (there is a silly story about a hunting dog falling into a spring and being healed). It has lots of ostentatious buildings and many hotels. Also plenty of cafes and high end shops aimed at a wealthy clientele (Pierre Cardin anyone?). It was really hot when we arrived and we couldn’t resist a beer at a pavement cafe – further tempted by the jaunty music from a nearby busking accordion player.
Kris spent about an hour in the heat re-balancing the wheel on my bicycle. It seems the tube is of poor quality and maybe a little small so is causing a dent in the tyre near the valve. Kris spent about an hour in the heat re-balancing the wheel on my bicycle. It seems the tube is of poor quality and maybe a little small so is causing a dent in the tyre near the valve.
We found a good restaurant to eat a pizza and Cabonara pasta for supper, after which we had an early night.