To Austerlitz

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by mhpr262, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Banned

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    I returned from a four day trip to the site of the battle of Austerlitz in the Czech Republic and through some of the most beautiful parts of Austria two days ago. It's been a while since my last ride report on here and so I decided to write a new one. There was no - well, very little - drama, mostly it's just pictures of serene landscapes, just to give you fair warning :D

    This is my itinerary:

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    I took this pic about 20km from Erding, just to give you an idea what the country looks like around my hometown:

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    A little break at Neumarkt St. Veit:






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    I crossed the Danube at Vilshofen, north of Passau:

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    Looking down the river towards Passau:

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  2. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Banned

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    Two pics of the landscape and a random village east of Vilshofen:

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    My next stop was in Grafenau. I had dinner there - Schnitzel and French Fries ...

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    From Grafenau I rode northward to Frauenau, Spiegelau and Zwiesel and crossed the border at Bayrisch Eisenstein - exactly the route I had ridden on my last RR while retuning from Pilsen. The Vietnamese street hawkers at the borders still have exactly the same stuff on offer:

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    I rode this road the last time too - to Hartmanice:

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  3. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Banned

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    This time however I had decided to travel right through the densely forested part of the Bohemian Forest National Park. I rode through two tiny villages - Prasily and Srni. It was easy to tell this part of the country is a favourite holiday spot - there were bicyclists and hikers everywhere, literally at least two for every car I saw.

    The country is still rather open here:

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    Cobbled road, two miles or so of it:

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    Prasily:

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  4. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Banned

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    More scenery after I had left the forest:

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    I didn't take any pictures inside the forest, it was just the road and a lot of trees ...

    I took another little break in Volary. The church bells were playing a really nice melody when I arrived, but I didn't remember that my camera was capable of video and sound recording until the very end. The bells stopped the second I pressed the record button :D I bought some ready made dinner in the supermarket on the right and when I wanted to leave again I almost dropped my bike into the wall of the building. I had forgotten I had parked the bike right next to a very shallow culvert to drain away the rainwater, and when I swung a leg over the bike and wanted to put both feet on the ground, my right foot stepped into emptiness. I barely, barely kept it up. Those 570 lbs would have done some damage to the wall, not to mention what would have happened if I had broken a mirror or worse, the front brake lever...

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    Between Volary and the Moldau lake:

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    My first glimpse of lake Lipno:

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    The lake is situated right next to a town with the nice name of Horni Plana:

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    the ferry takes people across the lake. I had read in a german bike touring magazine that it was possible to ride all around the lake on super small roads but it was getting late and I still had some way to go, so no tour around the lake.

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  5. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Banned

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    My destination on the first day was the town of Cesky Krumlov, an UNESCO world heritage site. I was using a Navi with pretty old maps and had programmed it to direct me over the most scenic routes, A few miles behind Horni Plana it directed me off the main road onto this road:

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    It looked pretty promising at first, but quickly turned into this:

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    It was bumpier than it looked too, with lots of sharp rocks ... I asked the Navi how much further I had to go and it said 10 miles! No way - I turned around and took the nice modern road to Ceske Krumlov. Upon arrival my Navi decided to play some tricks on me again. First it wanted to make me drive straight through the castle gardens ....

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    When I declined it took me first over some dirt roads and then down this road ...




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    well, suffice it to say I finally found the pension I was looking for. The final few hundred yards were nice:

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    #5
  6. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Banned

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    In the evening I walked into the historic city centre. First across this covered bridge ...

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    then along the Moldau ...

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    and through some narrow alleys ...

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    Here at the top of a huge stair in the distance you can see the gigantic, towering castle that dominated the whole city:

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    you cross a bridge to get into the city proper:

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  7. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Banned

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    The bridge itself:

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    the view to the left:

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    a road in the old city:

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    One wing of the huge castle:

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    the other wing with a huge aquaeduct like bridge:

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    Seriously, Neuschwanstein has nothing on this massive thing as far as impressiveness is concerned.
    #7
  8. BMWRich

    BMWRich Long timer

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    Nice!
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  9. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Banned

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    A view from the bridge over the city:

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    In the morning I had to clear my room :lol3:

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    This is what my Bed&breakfast looked like from the outside. I had the room with the single window right at the top:

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    In the morning I left for Austerlitz and took some pics on the way.

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    My Navi somehow messed up again and I ended up in Ceske Budejovice - Budweis in German, the place where the Budweiser beer originated from. They had cool public transport - electric buses that received their power from overhead electric lines which you can see in the upper corners of the pictures. No pics of the buses as I was in a bit of a hurry and I had already spent almost a quarter of an hour in a big traffic jam.

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    #9
  10. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Banned

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    I took a short break at the lake near Trebon:

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    Some more pictures along the way:

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    Don't do it, you'll go blind!!!

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    Somehting you don't see every day; there were at least a dozen storks on this field, I could photograph only half of them:

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    #10
  11. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Banned

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    One more pic before I arrived:

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    Here I am finally in Usted u Brno, at the utmost southern tip of the field where the Battle of Austerlitz took place. I wonder if Napoleon himself stood on that hill in the distance, it is certainly the highest point for miles around. The white ball is an observatory or some antenna, nothing to do with the battle.

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    I saw quite a few of these info signs in the area ... the headline say "The Battle of the Three Emperors".

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    I asked a friendly Czech woman for the way to the monument and she tried to tell me the way. Instead of following her advice I decided to give my Navi, which had misled me quite a few times already, another chance. I ended up here:

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    WELL, FUCK YOU TOO!!! :lol3

    I did make it to the monument in the end, and it is impressive:

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    Looking west over most of the battlefield:

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    IN MEMORY OF THE AUSTRIAN, RUSSIAN AND FRENCH WARRIORS WHO FELL IN THE BATTLE OF AUSTERLITZ ON DECEMBER 2nd 1805.
    #11
  12. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Banned

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    Another view west:

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    I left Austerlitz and rode south, towards the Austrian border. A little break on the way (my behind was killing me by then, the Suzuki Bandit 1250 has a seat that is too soft to begin with, I weigh almost 280 lbs and the extremely bumpy Czech roads hadn't helped ...:cry)

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    Here is the Czech town of Mikulov where I spent the night, just a few miles north of the Austrian border:

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    The next morning I rode into Austria. My first pic there:

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    #12
  13. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Banned

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    I rode on to Krems, the eastern endpoint of the famous "Wachau", a famous and extremely beautiful stretch between Melk and Krems along the Danube.

    In Krems I suddenly felt some nasty rumbling in my guts which I knew only too well. I had been about to leave the city but immediately turned around and rode to the nearest filling station. I had to stop at two traffic lights on the way which seemed to have ten minute red light phases.

    By the time I arrived at the station I myself had arrived at the point where the sphincter has already given up and the only way to prevent catastrophe was to clench you cheeks as tightly as possible and walk like a robot. I felt i wasn't going to make it inside and steered for a large plastic flowerpot on the ground, with my hand already on the belt buckle. Thankfully the spasm passed one last time, I hurried inside the station and rushed to the toilet and just barely made it.

    That was the first time something like that happened to me .. from now on I'm going to pack a stash of emergency toilet paper on longer trips ... :lol3

    A pic of the bridge over the Danube in Krems:

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    from Krems I rode west into the Wachau:

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    My next stop was Melk, the western end of the Wachau and home of the famous Benedictine monastery (have you seen the movie "The Name of the Rose"? Sean Connery's young acolyte is called "Adson from Melk", i.e. exactly this place)

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    It was difficult to get a good shot, but the monastery is freaking huge:

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    #13
  14. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Banned

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    The next part of the trip was possibly the best one, all the more so because it was totally unexpected. Initially I had planned to do a long ride to Zell am See to ride the Großglockner Hochalpenstraße again. I programmed my Navi to the quickest route but then looked at the projected distance: almost 175 miles, and by rear felt already raw.

    No way I was going to ride so far that day. I quickly changed my destination that day to Gmunden at the Traunsee, which left me enough time to tell my Navi to take the most scenic route instead of the fastest, and this time it did deliver :clap it directed me over the "Hochkogel" mountain ridge and oh boy that was among the best riding I have ever done, second only to the Großglockner.

    An incredible view, surprisingly good roads, woonderful curves, hardly any traffic, it is a looong road, and unlike the Großglockner it is also free. The route took me through St Leonhard am Walde to Waidhofen an der Ybbs. the pics don't really do it justice:

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    Waidhofen an der Ybbs :huh :

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    #14
  15. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Banned

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    A lot of the route to Gmunden took me along the river Enns. Very scenic and obviously super popular among motorcyclists, I think I spent more time waving with my left hand than with it actually on the handlebar.

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    Luckily I found a room in Gmunden, but it was a rather shitty one and more expensive than my previous two room in Czech republic put together :eek1 (65€), well, it is still midseason and I was lucky to find a room at all I guess ...

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    At least the hotel had its own private beach/wharf by the lake. It was pretty scenic too:

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    I slept tight that night, spiderbro kept watch over me from the corner of the room above my bed:

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    His mate kept watch at the foot end of my bed. Have I already mentioned the room was shitty?

    Took a pic of Gmunde from the bridge over the river feeding the Traunsee, but traffic moved on pretty quickly, so just a snapshot

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    #15
  16. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Banned

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    from Gmunden I rode west to the Attersee and Mondsee:

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    The Mondsee:

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    The road back home took me through Mattighofen, home of so many people on this forum's orange bikes:

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    I crossed back into Germany in Burghausen:

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    THE END :lol3

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  17. BenThere

    BenThere Been here awhile

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    Thanks for taking us along. This thread gives me a big sense of nostalgia. I went over to Prague in 1991 as an English teacher. That was not long after the fall of communism, of course, and we did all the tours of Ceske Krumlov, Pilsen, Ceske Budovice... things were a bit more drab back then, but you could see the tremendous potential.

    I went back again in 2010 and then again in March-April of last year. I took a bus from Prague down to Vienna, and I was struck how, just after I crossed the Austrian border, I started to see so many wind farms... Those big turbines must be perfectly balanced, "cause they seem to be spinning when the leaves on the trees aren't moving at all (but that's a topic for another thread).

    Anyway, again, thanks for posting (and I enjoyed your other reports, too).
    #17
  18. maergat

    maergat n00b

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    Thanks for sharing this. I am fascinated by the battlefields in Europe and try to do one every chance I get to Europe from the States. I like your pictures and enjoy the mess your navi makes - been in so many similar situations in Europe with navi's not knowing what the difference is between a road and a mountain bike trail!!!

    BTW, have you thought about getting another bike so you can stay in the saddle longer???:D
    #18
  19. IslandMonkey

    IslandMonkey Been here awhile

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    Very much enjoyed your report. Thanks for posting.
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  20. bomose

    bomose Long timer

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    Very beautiful country! I put your Jackov sign in the 'Great Road Signs' thread. Very funny.:lol3
    #20