Our Intro - Dresden to Salzburg
The first day my longest-lasting friend Alex, who played a serious role in the whole process of starting to travel by bike, would accompany us and stay with us for the first night. He knew the direction we were moving very well, and thus was our navigator. While the ascension through the scenic Lockwitzgrund was no serious deal, things changed when we came closer to Ore Mountains, a range we had to cross to enter Czech Republic. As if gradients up to 12% weren't enough for the first day, it started raining when we came to the Czech border.
Miri have had three cramps, and all three of us were freezing, so we were glad than Alex knew an really nice place to stay nearby the border, next to the presumably most peaceful lake in the area. Shortly after we set up our tents the rain stopped. We cooked, and later shared some good laughs in our tent, before we went to bed.
I can't explain the feeling I had the last days before we left. It was kind of an anxious excitement. But I wasn't looking forward to say good bye to my favorite firends and family. Some good byes were already made when the departure date arrived. They haven't been as bad as expected because I hadn't really realised what it means to start this journey. But leaving ones parents behind hurts, I can teel you that now. It still feels more like a dream than reality. I think it might take some time before reality kicks in and I start to realize what is actually going on.
The first kilometers were quite nice. The weather was good and it was a really slow ascending road which was actually nice to ride on. But thing should change... The uphill became rather steep, too steep for me, and so the first cramps shouldn't wait long to follow. Somehow we still made it to the top of the Ore Mountains and crossed our first border, the one to Czech Republic, in pouring rain.
Alex, a close friend of Ryan accompanied us on that first day and showed us a nice place to set our first camp. We all were freezing but warm food helps and Alex brought some beer along, which had a perfect temperature The heavy and fat sleeping bags payed off in the first night and so I slept perfectly warm.
Our first morning was very foggy and also quite cold. But as we rode along the hilltop through beautifull forest the sun came out and it got nice warm. Since we were on top of a mountain the fun part awaited. . . a nice long downhill ride. It was awesome. And when we reached the foot of the Ore Mountains the routes of Alex and us parted. For me it was not as emotional as for the other two, but it still felt strange to finally be on the road together with Ryan and no end of this beeing-together-thing in the near future
Wind and waves
The weather first became better, and the sun showed us with power, that summer wasn't completely over yet. We took small, not too busy backroads, who were quite enjoyable, but very hilly. We joked, that the Czech landscape wanted to make up for the lack of an ocean nearby by becoming a huge bulk of waves itself. And so we passed through small, sleepy villages and crossed forests who provided us with plenty mushrooms.
Unfortunately, the weather worsened rapidly, and the next days we rode against serious headwinds through the rain. To make things even worse, Miri had an bladder infection which declined likewise. So we ended up in front of a small cafe, deciding what to do next. And since there was no hope, that Miris condition would improve riding through wind and rain at 12°C, we made the decision to ride directly into Plzen and take the train to Salzburg. Not the best feeling for me, but on the other hand dragging a sick Miri all the way to Salzburg was no option either.
Arrived at the main station, we were told about two suitable connections to Salzburg, and when I arrived at the ticket counter, the sooner one was about to leave 10 minutes later. Of course I expected stressful situations, but not on our fourth day. Four minutes after we paid for the tickets, the train was scheduled to leave. I shouted at the officer when he wanted to explain the tickets to me, grabbed them all together, and ran with my bike to the elevator. We simply threw our bags and bikes into the compartment, and only seconds after we got everything in, the train left.
After six hours, we arrived in Salzburg, exhausted and dirty. Here we would stay one week at my old flat, doing some last, neccessary paperwork and send some stuff back to our parents. Now we can't wait to leave, cross the alps and arrive in some warmer climates
I don't like surfing in bad weather. The wind came very strong from the front and not getting wet was something to dream of, at least the rain clothes proofed that they were actually waterproof. What made it even worst was my bladder infection. I hoped I could cure it the normal way, on my own and without antibiotics, but when I peed little bit of blood for the second time I thought it might be better to cosult a doctor.
And so we rode to Plzn and took the train to Salzburg. It was a very expensive and stressful thing to do, but I dind't want to pee in the fresh air with that pain any longer than I had to. We got on the train in the last second and we had to change trains one time which also included a rather close timing. . .
We arrived in Salzburg in the evening of our 4th day. That was a bit earlier than expected but also different than expected. I was sorry for Ryan that we had to 'cheat' so early, but some things can't be changed. And now I have more time to get cured before we leave Salzburg to cross the Alps, hopefully without cramps.
12.09.2017: 46,2 km Average: 12,8 km/h Elevation: 759 m
13.09.2017: 57,6 km Average: 13,3 km/h Elevation: 718 m
That's it, now we are in Salzburg, relaxing and settling some last paperwork until we leave. Feel free to comment below, and then follow us on our way through the Alps to the Mediterranean Sea