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The Czech Republic

I've acheived my goal of visiting a new conutry then. I think it will be the only one for this trip ... The cycle path was blocked by flooding again and the only other way I could find went up the side of... So much for my idea of sticking to the river so that I wouldn't have to do any climbing. This path, ... There's a sign! It seems that I am going the right way. The track has almost turned into a road now ... I'm now back on tarmac and heading down into the valley again so everything worked out all right in ... Ah, I have a bit of a problem with MIMO. For those of my followers who didn't understand the MIMO joke, here's one of two wool shops which I ... This is in Decin. Two bridges in Decin. The cycle route goes over the little one. You do get these figures outside Germany then. A pipeline bridge. I'm not sure but I think we might be going to see a better one tomorrow. This boat is really struggling. It's towing two barges, one of which you can see on the right of the... The view from one of the bridges into Ústí nad Labem. As I approached, I could see that the far side... A church in Ústí nad Labem. Crowds gathering in Ústí nad Labem. I thought those cars looked a bit funny, parked on top of the br... Here's the band that the crowds were listening to. A quieter part of Ústí nad Labem. Ústí nad Labem. The "Labe" is the Czech spelling of the name of the River Elbe so this tow... I'm interested by the "Scandinavian & Czechoslovak Confection Company Ltd." The view from my room in Ústí nad Labem. Like last night, I had been looking forward to dinner here.... The Hotel Vladimir in Ústí nad Labem, illustrating the curtain wall design of most tower blocks.<br>... At this dam, the cycle path goes up and down some steps. They seem to want us to know every dimension of the dam. Now I know what a brod is. Libochovany, with the partially-constructed final section of the Prague-Dresden motorway in the back... Libochovany. That's one of the most complicated cycle route signs I've ever seen. Litomerice. The hills have gone again.<br><br>Today, I'm following a guide to the Elbe cycle route, which seems ... I was glad to find this supermarket in Roudnice nad Labem because I had eaten my last sweets last ni... It's market day in Roudnice nad Labem. This was where I sat to eat my lunch.<br><br>The wind is being funny today. Sometimes there is none ... This must relate to river levels. The scale of the front must be metres above sea level. On the side... I don't know what this conveyor belt carries. It isn't operating at the moment. Remember though, we'... They cycle route is meant to go this way but I think I might go back and use the road instead. More rowers, this time at Melník. This section of cycle path is under construction. The men who were working on it waved me through. I... Here are the pipes! That man is demonstrating where the cycle route goes. I've seen a picture like this before. These pipes start at a power station to the North of here and run most of the way to Prague before d... I thought at first that this had been designed with an artistic crack running down it but in fact, t... Scenery. A weir. I've just had a longer and steeper descent than I had expected. It was a bit of a waste real... Prague! From the point where the last cobbled section ended, the riverside path in the foreground became ver... Where the horse on the left is, you might be able to see the funny stripey pattern which starts to a... Prague's planetarium. The Exhibition Park. Prague streets. One little detail here is the clock on the street corner on the left. There are clocks like this on ... I didn't take many pictures of the Old City this evening because I'm intending to come here again to... There seem to be very few places to park bikes in the centre of Prague. Thanks to Google Street View... I'm on the top floor so the only way I can get a view is by moving the bedside table to be underneat... This part of Prague seems to be mainly hotels. The Municipal house on the right and the Powder Tower on the left. Republic Square. A typical street in Prague's Old Town. The Old Town Square. The Old Town Square, with some tourist carriages. On the left, a bride and groom are having their photograph taken under Prague's Astronomical Clock. There are plenty of places to eat in the Old Town. Wenceslas Square, which is actually more of a boulevard. I imagine that after you had seen six floors of shoes, the seventh wouldn't come as that much of a s... This end of Wenceslas Square looks like the kind of place where I might be able to buy a new camera. Just a building. A mural near the shopping area. It goes round a corner so it doesn't look quite right from this angl... Prgaue has some shady passages a bit like the ones in Leipzig. A market, obviously. The Powder Tower again, so called because gunpowder was once stored there. In the distance is the to... That looks like a fun vehicle. Everybody pedals and one person steers. The lift and sloping walkway inside the tower of the City Hall. The bright lights are on the base of... It didn't feel like I had climbed very far inside the tower but the view is amazing. Prague roofs. The Old Town Square. The whole of the raised area of buildings is Prague Castle. It's regarded as the largest ancient cas... More roofs. There is a clock face on each side of the tower, each with its own mechanism, which can be seen from... If you don't fancy a guided tour on foot or by minibus, river boat, Segway or horse-drawn carriage, ... Buildings near the Charles Bridge. The Charles Bridge, the oldest of Prague's bridges. The view from the Charles Bridge towards the Legií Bridge. A similar view to the previous one. The building with the rounded roof is the National Theatre. The tower at the end of the bridge. The area around the castle had a lot of these classic cars, probably because it gets quite steep and... The last part of the climb to the Castle. A texting monk. The Archbishop's Palace. Good view. Inside the castle. There are options for one- or four-hour walking tours, either with a real guide o... One of the roads into the castle. At each entrance to the castle, there are sentries on duty but the... On the left is the Cathedral, inside the Castle. Round the side of the Cathedral. This is still inside the Castle. A final view from the Castle. The Charles Bridge, seen from the Mánesuv Bridge. The Rudolfinum Concert Hall. The sculpture is the word "REVOLUCNI" made out of thousands of door keys. Sometimes it's hard to tell if I am taking a short cut or accidentally walking into a restaurant. Prague in a thunderstorm. Springy running things. A side street which I passed on the way out of Prague. St. Procopius' church, with the top of the television tower in the background. I'm temporarily following Cycle Route 1. In the last few kilometres, I've passed a man sitting in th... The inside of a rather swish Underground station which happened to have its doors open. This is a much better cycle path. It's built on top of the Underground line, which wouldn't seem lik... I had to climb quite a few hills on the way out of Prague but I'm back in the flat valley of the Elb... The town of Pecky. Another view of Pecky. The centre of the village of Velim looked pretty. I don't much fancy sitting on any of those benches... Do you think a mathematician lives here? I had to stop here and buy some more drinks because of the heat. I ended up getting some strawberrie... I always find it helpful when there's a map of the town in the main square. Here in Kolín, the map l... This pleasant little lake was surrounded by beaches which were quite busy even though, as you can se... Some more of the beaches. There's one by the lakeside just over the grassy bank in the foreground. I... Lots of poppies! The racecourse in Pardubice, a city which is both larger and closer to Prague than I had imagined. I... A shopping street in Pardubice. Cycling seems popular here and in the surrounding villages. There ar... The hotel here in Pardubice seems like a good deal. It's cheap, it was easy to find, I've got a nice... They're re-painting the zebra crossings in Pardubice this morning. I thought this was an abandoned railway line and then almost immediately, this little train came alo... The main square in Vysoké Mýto. Litomysl. Litomysl. That's the main road, which I am only using for a few short sections today. Just a view. There are a few hills on today's route. It's also very hot again and the wind is agains... I didn't expect to find a railway up here. I had to stop here for some more drinks. In the foreground are some of the cycle route signs, which ... Storks! I was surprised not not have seen any until now. I did see a plastic one a few days ago. I couldn't decide whether to use the main road or the scenic valley road for the descent towards Moh... The view from the valley road. Forest management. I'm glad I took the valley road now. It is indeed scenic. Mirov Castle. It turns out that these information boards can talk in English. This one also gives its position to ... The square in Mohelnice. Have you seen enough of these squares yet? These signs seem to be getting progressively more complicated. The churches are starting to look a bit Russian. Coming up here was a mistake. I've just noticed that there's a flatter route. Following this tractor was probably helpful because it got me out of the headwind, although we were ... I should be on the road on the left. The approach to the centre of Olomouc. Olomouc. For some reason, I expected this city to be a bit of a dump. I've no idea why I thought tha... Olomouc, looking into the Sun, unfortunately. More onion domes. It looks like this used to be a station but it's now a supermarket. Next door is my hotel, which une... Finding my way out of Olomouc was easy. This is part of a well-signed cycle route which passed close... There are three ducks between the two weirs. I don't know what that big building on the hill is. I could see it from from the bike yesterday even... Olomouc. Rolling countryside. The village of Hyncice was the birthplace of the early geneticist Gregor Mendel, which is what the n... The nascent River Odra or Oder. When it grows up, it will be the river which separates Germany from ... From looking at the map, I thought that this bridge over the Oder would be a nice peaceful place to ... The Town Hall in the Municipal Heritage Zone of Vitkovice, a suburb of Ostrava. The old steel works. Ostrava is a city which it isn't easy to get into. It sprawls over a large area... I don't know what this building is but the flowers are a pretty colour. I've reached the centre of Ostrava at last. Part of central Ostrava. The figures around the upstairs window on the left look like thay are left ... Ostrava Cathedral. I think this is the main square. Apparently, I've got an upgraded room in this hotel. I don't remember booking that. Tonight, instead of a free meal, I get a free drink. This is the hotel's bar, which has a bit of a m... Ostrava. Ostrava. You've already seen this building but I liked how the setting sun was reflecting off the gold writin... The main square again, from a slightly different angle and with different lighting. Several dogs seemed to like drinkling from these fountains. I haven't had much trouble from dogs lat... Icosahedron. The Cathedral again. Although my hotel is empty, it is in a thriving street of bars, restaurants and burger stands, seen ... The River Odra in Ostrava, looking not entirely natural. Banik Ostrava's football ground. For those who know him, Dave Smith once came here to watch Middlesb...