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Route Change Update!

With its lush green hills, Czech Republic made two Pacific Northwesterners very content.
With its lush green hills, Czech Republic made two Pacific Northwesterners very content.

Crossing Schengen Zone borders is a bit …uneventful.

There’s no passport checks or even any sort of gate with a human asking about your journey. Much of the time, there’s barely even a sign that to indicate that we have crossed into a new country.

Czech Republic marked the fifth country of our European tour and, though we crossed the border as we would a state in the US, we noticed marked differences between the more developed Germany upon entry.

Bike paths were less groomed, with plentiful potholes and tree roots, some were not even finished, and we had to manage our heavy loads through muddy paths or through wheat fields. The friendly “hallos!” from fellow cycle tourists faded to grim faces, with the occasional “ahoi!”

Beautiful wildflowers and mountains in the distance distracted us from the poor road conditions.
Beautiful wildflowers and mountains in the distance distracted us from the poor road conditions.

The most noticeable difference to me however, was the landscape. The flat agricultural lands along the Elbe River in Germany suddenly became lush green with hills covered in trees. Conical volcanoes dotted the horizon. The view reminded me of my beloved Pacific Northwest.

After spending a few sleepless nights at campgrounds (thanks to constant trains and late night partiers), we made our way into Prague, where we spent a few days with our wonderful Warm Showers hosts, Roman and Simona and their hilarious pup Vicky.

While touring the city, chock full of tourists from the world over, we realized that we were tired of cycling from major city to major city. We had a decision to make. With just over a month left on our Schengen Visa, we knew a train ride was inevitable at some point. Tired of the rain and craving some nature, and after speaking with new friends from Spain, who also happen to be cycling with their dog, we decided to head south to tackle the Austrian Alps and Italian Dolomites.

The city of Mělníck as  seen through a bridge as we made our way towards Prague.
The city of Mělníck as seen through a bridge as we made our way towards Prague.

We’re in for some steep climbs ahead, but as Pacific Northwesterners, we were in desperate need of a mountain fix. For the most up to date information, be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

 

Jen Sotolongo

Jen is the Chief Storyteller and Photographer for the Long Haul Trekkers. Born with the travel bug, she has lived in Spain, Chile, and New Zealand. When she’s not galavanting around the world by bicycle, she is running long distances in the woods, exploring nature, or whipping up delicious vegan meals. She is always planning her next adventure.

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