Here’s today’s map.
Much better surfaces today. This part of the Elberadweg also follows the river closely as it winds through a deep gorge.
Setting off a bit earlier helped too, as did minimal hassle finding our way back to the cycle route.
We didn’t stop in Dresden, but there may be a few blurry photos to accompany this blog when I make a proper website. Neither of us fancied being in big cities for very long.
So we decided we’d have a lunch-stop in Pirna, a few miles upstream from Dresden and then aim for Decin, a relatively big town 10 km into the Czech Republic.
After Pirna, the country either side of the Elbe rises up so that the river runs through a spectacular gorge. There’s some climbing, and at least two ferry-crossings if you want to avoid road-bashing
Also the route crosses the railway line a few times. But no matter, we made good time, despite missing a need to cross the Elbe on a wee ferry at Königstein. This cost us about 20 minutes.
After that the climbs and drops were more frequent. Not significant but a change from the very flat paths we’d encountered so far.
We also got slightly lost at Bad Schandau, the last town before the border. The final crossing was just before we’d have crossed the border on the east bank. The border runs along the middle of the Elbe for a while here, so we didn’t cross into the Czech Republic until 3 km later
At that point my left knee became very, very painful. We limped the last 10 km into Decin and then up a slight slope to Hotel Andy.
Lots of drinks later (2 of these: the cerny/dunkel/dark version is to die for) and any number of bottles of chilled water, we were ready to change, eat and then wander into town.
Czechs like their beers and nightclubs, it seems. No ice cream parlours but many, many different beers affected by bars and clubs. My last for tonight was a Pilsnet Urquell (golden lager, so not quite what I was after but considering I speak no Czech, I’m lucky I didn’t end up with someone’s clothes, boots and motorcycle!)
My knee is still tender, and my hip is sore from falling off yesterday so we’re going by train to Prague tomorrow. No worries: we’d have needed to go by train at least one day to be in Vienna in time, unless we had gotten quite far ahead of plans.
Next report tomorrow after drinking absinthe at Radosk FX!