This is a story of Thonny, Michael, Vova and myself on a 3 week ride, in 2019, through Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, Serbia, Croatia, and Slovakia to ride a week in the Italian Alps (aka the Dolomites) with a group of Danish rides.
If you’re more in to watching, check out the YouTube videos here.
Starting very early in the morning, way too early for Thonny who opted to go the day before and meet with us on the German side of the border, Michael and I met at the ferry connecting connecting Gedser, Denmark with Rostock, Germany.
The ferry takes a little less than 2 hours and is a comfortable trip. Once inside the ferry, motorcycles are directed to a part of the ferry that allow the bikes to be strapped in case of bad weather. Although it is not cruise ship sized, it is quite a large ship and it takes a decent size of waves to knock the bikes over. But better safe than sorry.
A few kilometers on the German side, we met with Thonny, and rode highways all the way to Dresden. Shortly after Dresden we headed towards Pirna to ride along the Elbe river into Czech Republic.
The border area, known as Saxon Switzerland (or Bohemian Switzerland, if you’re on the Czech side) is a very popular place amongst the locals. I have no idea what Switzerland has got to do with it, being thousands kilometers away. I guess I could Google it, but I can’t be bothered. If you are an outdoor kind of person and are in the area, the sandstone mountains is worth a couple of days. Read more about here.
There is this medieval theme hotel and tavern, outside Prague that have long wanted to stay at. The restaurant’s light is candles, and there is live performance with fire breathers, belly dancers, music, all the things we’d like to think comes directly from the 16th century.
I had been there before, but I had only had the opportunity to have lunch there. This time we got to have dinner, beers, enjoy the show, and stay the night in their Knight’s room.
The staff was great, the theme interesting, but even with the modern facilities, such as flush toilets, I am happy that I live in the present.
At 1 am, a speaker system started to play scary sounds, 12 strokes on a bell, and witch laughter. It was quite funny, actually, particularly as I guess it was supposed to start at 12 am, but probably hadn’t adjusted for daylight saving time.
It’s a interesting place, very well planned out and the staff are great and all in to the theme.
After breakfast – also medieval styles – at least from a lighting perspective, we headed out towards the bone church in Sedlec Ossuary, near Kutna Hora, just an hour or so east of Prague. It was not the intention to visit Prague on this trip (at least not on the outbound leg) as I had been there so many times before. I actually lived there for a couple of years, way back.
When I lived there, which was before Czech Republic became EU member, and everything was had a little more Eastern European feel to it. Today, being a thriving Central European country, it offers all the bells and whistles, pros and cons of a modern society. I remember back then, not a lot would speak English and not speaking the local language, it was difficult to get by. Today English is widely spoken pretty much everywhere in the country.
It is a great country to ride in. Take the backroads, do a little research. The rolling hills throughout the country, the curvy roads makes it a awesome place to visit. And not only Prague has a beautiful town center.
The Bone Church in Sedlec Ossuary is an interesting place. A bit bizarre. It was made famous back in the 13th century when the abbot send a missionary to Golgata, who came back with some holy soil. Having that in the church, a lot of people wanted to by buried there, and there was a lot a dead people to chose from, due to the plague and the Hussit Wars.