A fairy tale-like cycling route in southern Moravia.
A couple of years ago we participated in the opening of the new Liechtenstein Cycling Trail in Moravia, much of the route wandering through and around the Lednice-Valtice Complex, which connects two Liechtenstein Family castles and the forests between them. Their properties were confiscated in 1939 and 1945; today they are part of the UNESCO protected cultural landscape.
On that previous ride we covered about 50km on our bicycles, several kilometers of which were admittedly not so interesting. This ride, though, was an easy-breezy 20km around some familiar, and some new, structures.
We began near the castle at Valtice. This is a snap from a previous visit, but really, these old chateaus don’t change much.
The Liechtenstein Lords had a sense of humor, for they sprinkled the landscape with fairytale architecture to entertain their guests; and the cycling route travels past most of the structures.
The Rendezvous. This Temple of Diana is like a revelation: “as you approach it, the building is hidden behind tall trees until the last moment.”
The Chapel of St. Hubertus. “One day when on a hunt, (Hubertus) encountered a stag with a golden cross between its antlers. A revelation came to him that day and he turned to God.”
In between the fairy tale structures some of the landscape resembled what I saw when I toured the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, and we were happy there were other cyclists out and about with us.
The Three Graces Arch, its naked goddesses watching over cyclists and hikers.
A quiet train platform at the Lednice Pond, ostensibly for fishermen.
Nový dvůr. Dating from 1809 and part of the Valtice side of the house, this compound was originally used for beef-raising, sheep breeding, and later for horse breeding. Now, I think, it is used mostly for horse breeding.
The Temple of Apollo. Because why not?
Our halfway point, Chateau Lednice.
Here we sat for lunch before cycling back to Valtice. Though Pedro’s Food Truck was tempting, we opted for a sit-down at the chateau restaurant. Tony chose luscious pork medallions with pesto barley risotto; while I missed the word “Hranolky” (which I know to mean “French Fries”) and ended up with sautéed chicken and fries. Thankfully my guy shared his risotto with me.
Speaking of Hranolky, Pedro’s Food Truck in the little square had quite the queue for what all seemed like rather American fare! Trhané vepřove (loosely translated as pulled pork); Hot Dog (rather self-explanatory); and of course, Hranolky, French Fries. We laughed at this menu board, thinking about how some in America would screech about cultural appropriation.
Our return was only slightly different, with nothing of import to report. We loaded the bicycles back into the wagon, routed toward TESCO (open on Sundays!) for bread, salad, and perhaps a case of Czech wine, then pointed the wagon back across the border toward home.