Today was the most challenging day so far, both physically and mentally. I expected that by Day 5 my quads would have hardened into steel and soreness would be a thing if the past. But alas, I woke up this morning feeling my most sore. Luckily the first half of the day was a smooth and easy 30km over primarily flat terrain past some beautiful fish ponds.
The region around Třeboň is known for its massive and plentiful ponds full of carp. As my host from Slavonice informed me, carp from this region is considered a Czech specialty. Although she prefers sea fish, she did say she ate carp once a year at Christmas which is the traditional Czech Xmas meal… how straaaaaange.
The ponds were lovely though and apparently some of the dams creating the ponds date back to the 16th century.
There were super informative signs all along my route which I of course had to stop and read.
The one above told me the types an percentages of trees in this region’s forests.
After a pretty relaxed hour and a half of actual riding time, I reached what was supposed to be my destination for the day, the charming town of Třeboň. The town was awesome with parks galore, lakes all around, a castle with peacocks, and a brewery dating back to the 14th century.
Unfortunately none of my couchsurfing requests bore fruit and the campsite I was counting on as a backup was all full. So after exploring around Třeboň for a bit and grabbing a couple delicious beers at the brewery, I got my butt in gear and set off towards Česky Budějovice.
I said today was challenging because at 3pm I still had another 30km to ride to a city where I had no definite sleeping arrangements. Luckily the journey only took another hour and a half. After a very strenuous first hour of uphill climbs and straightaways with the wind buffeting against me, I crested the most glorious hill of my life whereupon I was rewarded with a view of Budějovice splayed out below me just waiting for me to glide down into its ruffled streets. I took no pictures because I was in high speed racer mode flying down the mountain. Thankfully all my accommodation worries were assuaged when the tourist info people called up a hostel I’d found and informed me they were NOT all full.
Now I’m just chilling in the lovely town square, people-watching, next to a large and legubrious group of Chinese tourists.
And I forgot to mention that Budějovice (Budvar in German) is actually home to the original Budweiser (“from Budvar” in German [2/3 of the town actually speaks German as their mother tongue]). Apparently the American Budweiser developed a beer using a similar but watered down recipe as the original then tried to sue the original for copyright infringement. How very American… Needless to say, I have some beer to try tonight :).