There's Something About Sunshine On New Leaves


Daisy and I enjoy a half-liter of Gambrinus for 23 CZK (about $1.10) at Marina Vltava. A half-liter of Pepsi is more than twice as expensive.

It was a gorgeous day (a rarity in Prague this spring).

I was off, and Daisy was off, and we both had an afternoon free of obligations (also a rare confluence).

A perfect time for a bike ride.

Daisy has been hearing me rave for months now about the picturesque bike path from Kralupy nad Vltavou north to the village of Nelahozeves, famous as the birthplace, in 1841, of Czech composer Antonín Dvořák. And about the atmosphere at Marina Vltava, a cool nautically themed restaurant and hotel in Nelahozeves that overlooks the river.

The ride from our home in Černý Vůl to Kralupy is about 20 kilometers or so. And it's a gorgeous ride (as I've mentioned many times before). The ride home, however, is a real nightmare (as I've also written about).

We had plans to meet friends for dinner that night. And speaking for myself, I knew that if I rode back home from Nelahozeves, I'd be in no shape for socializing.

So we threw our bikes into the back of the car and headed for Kralupy. We'd park in the city and ride our bikes up and down the river, and then drive back home. A perfect plan.

It wasn't a particularly long ride, but it was a most enjoyable one.

Listen!

In Kralupy, we parked near the old-school Hotel Sport and then rode on the shady, cliff-hugging (and on this day, very muddy) path up to Nelahozeves. We checked out the exterior of Dvorak's birth home (that's it at right), and then wandered around the grounds and interior courtyard of the impressive sgraffito 16th-century Nelahozeves Castle, owned by the Lobkowicz family.


I passed this old tree trunk twice before stopping to check out the cacophony within. I'm not sure what kind of baby bird was inside that hole. (One reader has suggested in the comments below that it was a baby woodpecker.) Listen to the sound file posted with this entry (below) and let me know what you think. One thing is for sure. It was very loud!

Listen!

From there, we continued downriver to the village of Hledsebe, where we crossed the river on a cool old bridge that's been closed to cars, and then rode upriver all the way back to Kralupy, where we crossed back over on the city's progressive pedestrian and cyclists' bridge, then rode back up to Marina Vltava for a bite to eat and a beer or two.

Then it was back downriver to the car and home.

In this case, for once, I'll shut up and let the lovely photographs, and the lovely Daisy, speak for themselves.

RIDE STATS
Length of ride: 16 kilometers
Average speed: 13 kph
Maximum speed: 36.6 kph
Time on the bike: 1.13.07
Pivo Index: (1 for me, plus a nonalcoholic beer)
Distance ridden so far in 2010: 270 kilometers



The lovely canopied trail on the east side of the Vltava, almost directly opposite the Marina Vltava. Highly recommended. (Check out Daisy's lyrical waxing on this part of the trail in the audio file posted with this entry.)


A cool abandoned bridge over the Vltava in the village of Hledsebe which is now open only to pedestrians and cyclists.


I just loved this little boy, pensively staring out at the boats and the Vltava flowing by.


We passed this Dalmatian taking a snooze on a hot rock on the east side of the Vltava.


Our second Dalmatian of the ride, this one relaxing by the smoker at Marina Vltava.


I have to say, for a weird little town-that-time-forgot, Kralupy has a very progressive pedestrian and cyclists' bridge over the river.


I never get tired of marveling at these undulating sandstone cliffs on the west bank of the Vltava, above Kralupy.


Three shots of the 16th-century Nelahozeves Castle. One of these days, we've got to take a formal tour and attend one of the classical music concerts they host during the summer.



Comments

Heather said…
this is BY FAR my favorite blog of yours ever. Just you and Daisy, my two favorite Prague-ites, and a baby bird and nature. Utterly perfect.
Grant Podelco said…
Wow. Thanks, Heather! ;-)
Karen said…
Ditto. Beautiful post. You can feel your happiness.
Danny Aracena said…
Another great post Grant! You write really well and your photos are fantastic!

Your blog never fails to alleviate the nostalgia I feel for all things Czech after 13 years living in Spain.

But looking forward to spending July in Olomouc with my two young daughters. We'll be on our bikes every day- castles, lakes and icecreams! And I imagine the occasional pivo too!
Grant Podelco said…
Thanks, Danny. I appreciate the nice words. I'm sure you'll have a blast in Olomouc! Take care.
This was a really nice look into Prague life on a bike. Isn't it ironic that sugar, water and bubbles are more expensive than barley and hops. That is probably a good thing.
Greg said…
Looks like a very scenic ride! Great post!

-Greg
http://gregridestrails.com
Danny Aracena said…
By the way Grant, the bird in the hole in the tree is a baby woodpecker. Sounds hungry!
Grant Podelco said…
Thanks, everybody. And thanks, Danny, for the info on the woodpecker. I will amend the text. I hope his mama eventually came to feed him. He was chirping like that each of the three times we passed that tree.
Cici said…
Hi Grant, love the pic of the two of you at the table...my boyfriend and I call those, "long arms".. think I might have seen you on the trail too!!
Grant Podelco said…
Hi, Cici. Long arms, indeed! I love it. If you see me on the trail, be sure to wave me down and say hi!

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