Today we enjoyed an easier ride on Eurovelo 4 from Karlovy Vary to Cheb. Most of route was cycling along river, on good quality bike paths with fewer steep sections than previous days, so it was not so hard on the body. The route zig zagged along the bends in the Ohře river and between towns – so we ended up doing 72 km, even though the straight line distance should only have been about 40 km. The first part of the ride was through part of the Slavkov forest.
The bike path goes directly past the impressive granite Svatoš rocks, which are a national monument. Kris had to carry the bikes up a little staircase here and then we had to cross the swing bridge. The swing bridge was moved around quite a bit while I was crossing it!
Coming out of the forest, we passed through Loket – enjoying views of the bridge and the castle directly above.
We had an unplanned 3 km detour after Sokolov – we missed a turn off and ended up going up a steep hill around one an a half km. In the end we just turned and came down again. This was the major hill climb of the day (just keeping our hand in).
Kris had another flat tyre on his font wheel directly following our detour and we had a stopped to change it near a small closed up outdoor cafe (on cafe lawn). The cafe opened while we were still there and we got some ice cream and had a conversation with another cyclist who stopped to drink a beer. He is a retired German musician from Weimar, who loves Czech and regularly visits. He cites music and slower pace of life as key attractions of the Czech culture.
It was very hot again but a lot of the route was in the shade and we were able to maintain a reasonable speed – which keeps one cool. In the last 10 km or so we were cruising along at around 20-25 km per hour on tarred flat zig zagging bike paths to Cheb.
Cheb has a very lovely central town square. We located a bike shop and bought a new tube and found our accommodation, which is very spacious and close to the town square. It is not so easy to locate bike shop and hotel as tourist info marked them on the wrong places on the town map!
After showering and cleaning our clothes we spent quite a bit of time planning our route for tomorrow – we decided to hug the Czech border and head north.
We had a walk around the town square and an excellent meal (calzone, tagliatelle, salad, beer) at a place we spotted just off the town square.