Two weekends ago our Saturday dawned spectacularly beautiful. The Oldest Teenager and his visiting girlfriend were in Salzburg, and the Youngest Teenager was busy with academic matters, so once again Tony and I were left to our own devices. When we lived in the US bicycle riding was a favorite activity, whenever we could sneak it in between familial obligations and homefront chores. And after our 52 kilometer Mom’s Day ride, we were anxious to get back in the saddle.
Earlier in that week information about the annual “official” opening of the Liechtenstein Trails in the Czech Republic came across one of my news feeds, and we were intrigued. But how to get our bicycles to Breclav? The train seemed an obvious choice, but the connections and times were not compatible with our schedule. I contacted the Volvo dealer to inquire about adding a tow hitch to the wagon so that we might add a bike carrier to transport our rides, but the cost of bike carriers here in Austria is more than that of the GDP of small countries, so that idea was nixed, as well. And then the lightbulb turned on. Why not load the bikes into the back of the wagon? Problem (temporarily) solved!
We hit the road for CZ around 08:00; by 09:30 we had collected our map, shared a small pivo at the Breclav Brewery, and were off!
The Liechtenstein Trails wind through terribly scenic Southern Moravia, which we and (literally) 1.000 cyclists shared peacefully. This is the castle in Breclav, a bit hodgepodge in style.
Cycling across the River Dyje.
St. John’s Castle, a romantic fake ruin and hunting lodge built in the early 1800s.
The little pop-up tavern outside the castle. Vegan soda! Something for everyone, even if it does cost almost twice that of a small, and delicious, Czech beer.
A lovely former Imperial hunting lodge.
The first of two slightly tedious stretches; at least this one was flat!
In Lednice, an “exceptional example of the designed landscape of the Enlightenment,” so we paused for lunch. We have toured the complex previously, and it rates as one of our favorites.
Our request for, “Wasser mit Gas” (sparkling water) was received as, “Wasser mit Eis.” Small matter, as it was much appreciated refreshment on a 25° day.
As were the His and Hers Pilsners.
Shocking, but I did not order Zander for lunch! Instead, handmade tagliatelle tossed with herbed pesto. Little did I know how important that carb load would become along this 50km ride.
Satisfied, and just a wee bit tired from lunch, we then faced a 2 kilometer incline through some of the most absolutely dreadfully boring Moravian scenery ever.
Soon enough, though, the Three Graces Arch offered a welcoming and photogenic resting point. Those Liechtenstein’s certainly knew how to keep the cycling scenery interesting!
Except when they didn’t. Past an old stable, across train tracks, and through trails “closed to vehicular traffic” we found ourselves cycling.
Then, when it seemed all hope for random faux ancient artifacts was lost, Apollo’s Colonnade offered up pretty views and another rest stop.
From this point our return to Breclav was an easy breezy 10 or 12 or 15 kilometers through a Moravian Nature Park. Shade and serenity as we peddled back to the car, and we felt like our former 30-something selves on the drive home. Na zdravie!