Accomodation, Alcohol, Cafés, Culture, Cycling, Czech Eats, Czech Republic, Czech Wine, History, Moravia, Pubs, Restaurants

Cycling Moravia

We’re going to Znojmo again next week for a week-long trip of riding around the border areas between the Czech Republic and Austria, and sampling wine (maybe even helping out on the farm, we’ll see). If anyone is interested in cycling guides and maps of the area I will be putting some together while I am there and posting them to my account at Everytrail, so any format suggestions for said guides (.epub etc.) would be appreciated.

We may not have been able to do Greece this time but at least we will get something published for others to use.

Beer, Culture, Cycling, Czech Eats, Czech Events, Entertainment, Food, Moravia, Restaurants

Original Pub and Gallery, U Pelzu

Just got back from Southern Moravia and am in the process of putting everyhing together in my head and on the net, but the one of the many standouts was this place in Albeř. Ok, Albeř is a really small town next to Nova Bystřice, just a 3 kilometer ride from the town square.

U Pelzu is husband-wife affair with a small staff, a large secondary room/salon, a small gallery and musical & cultural events taking place a couple of times per week. It is a real treat to come to this place and sit down after a day of riding and eating your typical Czech fare. The cook is constantly making things from scratch, true home-cooking, no additives or ingredients from a packet, bag or can. It’s all fresh. Menu items are dependant upon what is bought or found fresh; for example, while we were sitting down having a beer and talking, the husband said he had to leave to go forage for mushrooms (chanterelles) which then appeared in the next day’s soup. My son suddenly started drinking hot-chocolate every time we popped in because it was so obviously crafted and carefully made.

Care has been taken to keep the place from becoming commercialized, so you will see no advertisements for any comanies on the tables, windows etc. except for the occasional Svijany mug. If you are familiar with the Slavonice Gallery and workshop then you might get a sense of what this place is about. No two tables or soup bowls are alike. Everything is unique and original, colorful and clean.

The above photos show the apricot-blueberry-plum dumplings; the Rumador potatoe pancake; one of the soups; the main room; the outside garden; a beer in which the foam formed a heart shape and just one example of the wall-art.

Contact: Albeř 26, Nova Bystřice 378 33. mail: upelzu@seznam.cztelefon: +420 605 262 782, +420 739 491 158; web: U Pelzu on the Web

Accomodation, Beer, Bohemia, Cafés, Culture, Cycling, Food, Free Wi-Fi, History, Moravia, Pubs, Restaurants

Everytrail Guide

Just submitted my Guide to Everytrail for review. If accepted that means I’ll continue with more on cycling Czech Canada and then the wine-producing areas & border region around Znojmo in southern Moravia. If it doesn’t work out, then we need to start looking at others for ways to publish handy, portable travel info. for cyclists. Motion X doesn’t fit my idea of a neat, clean way to share my bike trips, it looks great for workouts and personal training but little else. Maybe I need to give it another try, dunno.

Update: Part 1 has been approved.

Accomodation, Bohemia, Culture, Cycling, Czech Hotels, Czech Republic, Free Wi-Fi, iPhone, Pubs, Restaurants

Nova Bystrice

Headed to Czech Canada again for another cycling trip, but this time for a two-week stretch. I hope I can do a better job of documenting & recording than last year. It should be at least a little bit better because this time I will know what’s ahead of me most of the time (& better equipment).

So here goes, let’s hope the weather doesn’t suck.

Here is part 1 of  Czech Canada.

Accomodation, Cycling, Czech Hotels, Czech Republic, Farming, Food, History, iPhone, Pubs, Restaurants

Česka Kanada/Czech Canada, Preface

I will be updating this post repeatedly with more information and pictures over the next few…time periods time allows, how ’bout that?

There is an area surrounding the southern Czech border with Austria known as “Czech Canada“. The borders among Bohemia, Moravia and Austria are all located here. There is in fact a town called “Trojmezi”, which is where all three of these regions meet.

We are here this year to cycle around and see as much as we can in the the area, but it has become apparent that we will will have to come back again. And again. And perhaps even a few more times after that.

It is a wonderful place for biking (some official examples around Nova Bystrice), both road and mountain. So perfect in fact that it is hardly a secret to anyone with two wheels. There are cyclists everywhere. Not so many that you will be annoyed, as in Prague, but it can sometimes be hard to find yourself alone.

Some things of note so far:

  • The combination, the abundance of lakes and forest is fantastic.
  • Almost all of the forest areas are completely protected and unspoiled.
  • Most of the roads are relatively small and there are few tourists at this point.
  • The area has some great “Bike Routes of Interest”, one of which seemed to follow us down to the Austrian town of Reingers, the bike “Path of the 20th Century” (.pdf), which discusses and catalogues the expulsion of Germans from Czechoslovakia and their subsequent assemblage in Austria, specifically Reingers.
  • The wasteland known as the town of Majdalena should be avoided at all costs.
  • The recent rains have brought mushrooms galore to the surrounding forests, and I’m not certain what it was down there: the amount of rain, the number of mushrooms growing, the clairity and sharpness of the air; but you could actually smell, from your bicycle, the thick, palpable aroma of mushrooms wafting out of the forests as though riding through a dense cloud of shroom, (and no, we only picked the Boletus) 😉
  • Cycling, Czech Republic, iPhone, Tech

    Pre-Paid, Data-Only w/O2 Czech

    Update: Jesus, what an effing disaster! A month and a half of trying to make it work and no amount of help from O2 HQ helps when it comes to the inherently apathetic O2 Czech Republic. Save your money and ignore the rest of this post entirely. (28.07.2010)

    I may be the last to pick up on this and there may be others out there like me who were also not aware but it is possible to buy a SIM card from O2 right now for a mere 250kc which is a pre-paid data-only card, which means it will give you GPS, EDGE and GPRS access but no calling.

    This may not seem like much but when you consider both the shoddy service and the haphazard accounting abilities from Czech providers such as O2 or T-Mobile (I have no personal experience with Vodafone) this card looks like a great and inexpensive way to hook your iPhone up to O2’s fast network over the summer for those long hikes or biking trips that you may want to be tracking with something like Everytrail or Trip Journal.

    Having just ragged on O2 (H.U.A.) why am I willing to give this a try? Because it is so cheap and O2 has the G3 network in the Czech Republic and I’m willing to lose 250+kc on this experiment. I just want to get on my bike and track my summer rides with my iPhone. There is more information here from O2 (only in Czech), but the lowdown is this: each day has a 500MB data limit; the “price per month” is 1 day for 50kc; 5 days for 200kc; 10 days for 350kc; and 30 days for 900kc .

    As a pre-paid card, you pay at any kiosk, store etc that you would normally use to put credits on your phone. The time limit doesn’t activate until you start using the phone, and because it’s a special number you can use it and then put more credits on it again later. All of this is what the guy at O2 Šestka tells me. What do I know?