Kit Rawson

KitKats

Kit Rawson

Kit and Kathy, Mount Vernon, WA



Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Old Town October 8th 2014

By luck we chose the right time for a rest day in the beautiful castle town of Cesky Krumlov. We stayed in a B&B in a 500 year old house built into the rock with a magnificent room overlooking the Vltava River, which winds around the old town there, way upstream of Prague. It poured rain for much of the day, but we did not have to ride the bikes, and everything in town is within very easy walking distance. We enjoyed the castle, touring only the Baroque theater, which is only one of two in Europe that still has the old mechanical mechanisms for changing sets and creating sound effects, very interesting. We also enjoyed the ambiance of the old town and the tour of the Josef Seidel house and studio, which provided an interesting ... read more
Josef Seidel's photography stuio in Cesky Krumlov
Example of Rural Baroque architecture in Komarov, south of Tabor
Kathy, St. Vitus, the Vltava, and Prague


Our good friend and travel buddy, Karen (see previous travel blogs for Great Britain 2013 and China 2011), often talks about having a theme for a trip. While we didn't have one planned for this trip, a theme emerged early on in the form of depictions of St. John of Nepomuk. As you know from the first post, we learned about him during our first visit to Prague, where his statue dominates the Charles Bridge the site of his drowning in 1383 on the orders of King Vaclav (Wenceslas) IV. What we didn't realize until we got about the countryside on the bikes is that he is a very popular saint in Central Europe and, in an area where statues and pictures of saints are seen more frequently than anyplace else we've been, he one of ... read more
On the bridge at Telc
In the Bogen town square
On the road near Moson Magyarovar

Europe » Czech Republic » South Bohemian Region » Cesky Krumlov September 30th 2014

We had a rough go of it getting across the loosely defined border between Moravia and Bohemia, the two ancient kingdoms that, along with Silesia in the northeast, make up the Czech Republic. Rain showers came and went, and the Greenway goes through some steep dirt trails. We have biked for the last ten days, coming from Bratislava, Slovakia, briefly though Austria and back into the Czech Republic, interspersing some hard hauls through the mountains with delightful days on flat greenway trails and some very short days. We are now in Cesky Krumlov where we will take a much needed day of rest. We spent last night outside the town of Nove Hrady in a pension in the woods at a partially restored area that had been built as a spa by a countess in the ... read more
Folk art out of hay bales along a Moravian country road
Telc and surrounding countryside from the old tower
South Bohemian road scene

Europe » Czech Republic » South Moravian Region » Vranov September 25th 2014

Early Sunday morning we found our way a couple miles through the streets of Pest to the Kaleti Station to catch an express train back to Bratislava. The streets were busier than we had expected for 6 AM Sunday, and we soon realized that the activity was Saturday night revelers finishing their evening out on the town. Again we found comfortable places for us and our bikes on a modern Czech rail car, and we debarked at the Old Town Bratislava in 2 1/2 hours, a trip that we had recently completed in reverse in five days of cycling. The plan now was to begin the second part of the trip by cycling up the Morava (Slovak and Czech) or March (German) River for two days to Mikulov, Czech Republic, where we join the Vienna-Prague Greenway ... read more
Families play in front of former border bunker
Numerous named and  numbered bike routes here
Wine cellar where we stayed in Jarislavice

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest September 20th 2014

Budapest was both the halfway point and eastern extent of our trip. We wanted to use our four nights there to rest up from some hard biking and to explore some of the city without getting too burned out. Our base, a small one-bedroom apartment, for an incredibly reasonable price, at Bell Hostel and Apartments, was the perfect place for both. Objectives were achived: we left early Sunday morning well rested and with some good experiences and memories of the Hungarian capital. Some of these are recorded in the photos and their captions. Budapest is an amazing city, for sure.... read more
Street musicians at Fishermen's Bastion in Buda
"Shoes on the Danube Bank"
Our great digs for four nights in Budapest

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest » Pest September 18th 2014

We have spent the last five days biking from Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, to Budapest, the capital of Hungary. Compared to the neatness and manicured presicion of Germany and Austria, rural Hungary feels raw and rough around the edges. The roads and trails are certainly rough with patches of pavement missing, more dirt trails, and rougher areas everywhere. The bike trail signs are not so plentiful and finding the route is sometimes a challenge. And even though Hungary is officially using the Euro, many vendors only take Forints, the old currency, and give a very unfavorable exchange rate if they do accept Euros. But the people we have met are warm and welcoming and we have managed to communicate with English and a few words of German. For most of this leg, all the way ... read more
Signs for Eurovelo Route 6 in Hungary
Unpaved sections present problems on a rainy day
Locals' bicycles at church

Europe » Slovakia » Bratislava Region » Bratislava » Old Town September 12th 2014

Bratislava is the only national capital that's close to the borders of two other countries. Fitting this setup, we came here from Austria today (9/12) and will be in Hungary tomorrow night (9/13). So, wanting to be sure that we post at least once from every country we are visiing, here are some photos from our one-night stay in Bratislava. Between Vienna and Bratislava we expected to be passing through industrial and urban landscapes, but that was not the case at all. Instead, much of the Danube's shore and side channel area has been preserved and is a national park through which we pedaled for most of the day on a nice trail on top of the dike. The bridge at the last river crossing in Austria is at a site where construction of a dam ... read more
Man peering out of manhole cover
Old building not yet rennovated
Another sculpture

Europe » Austria » Vienna September 12th 2014

OK, so maybe the Holy Roman Empire WAS somewhat holy, Roman and an empire. At least that's what the emperors thought, and, after all the HRE did rule a huge part of Europe for quite a few centuries, no small accomplishment. The legacy of the emperors is here in Vienna, in the amazing display of crown jewels and garments worn by the emperors as they fulfilled their roles as kings of Hungary, Bohemia, Venice, and so forth, in the churches they built in gratitude for not being assasinated or avoiding various plagues, and in many statues and monuments to their past glory. Much of the ostentatious display of the Hofburg, or royal palace, dates from after the HRE, when the empire was reduced to Austria-Hungary only by Napoleon, who allowed Franz I to retain the title ... read more
Partof a huge, and unique, china set, given by Louis XV to Empress Maria Theresa
13-stringed lute at Museum of Historical Musical Instruments
Guy (maybe the sculptor) peering from under a step in the ornate pulpit at St Stephens

Europe » Austria » Lower Austria » Klosterneuburg September 9th 2014

It is early morning in Klosterneuberg, a small town in the floodplain with large abbey above. This was briefly the capital city of the Babenbergs about 1000 years ago after they picked up stakes in Melk (where they also left an abbey) and before they made a longer-lasting capital city in Vienna. The Klosterneuberg Abbey is celebrating the 900th anniversary of its founding this year, although the current building is a Baroque reconstruction, much newer, and there was a Roman fort on the site long before 1114, much older. Here we are less than 10 miles from the center of Vienna, and we'll head there this morning for three days off of the bikes and some city time. We were rewarded for persistence through bad weather at the beginning with three beautiful days for riding along ... read more
Riding down the right bank downstream of Grein
The sundial and the clocks give about the same time
Looking across to the left bank from the right bank.

Europe » Austria » Upper Austria » Grein September 6th 2014

We are continuing down the wonderful Donauradweg (Danube bike path), enjoying the beautiful Treppelweg (tow path) right by the river or on top of the dike, or on back roads through villages and towns in the valley. As we move downriver the hills are closer to the river, and the scenery is prettier. Along with the scenery, the weather has been improving as we go, steady rain giving way to showers, then just cloudy with sprinkles, then it's warm enough to wear the short sleeved shirts, and finally a day warm enough for bike shorts and a sunny Friday afternoon in the quaint town of Grein where we rested fro our ride at an outdoor cafe by the river watching the passing scene of cyclists, motorcyclists, and sports car afficiandos. On the way we passed through, ... read more
View of the Ottenshim castle from the other side of the river
Riding on the Treppelweg
Old sundial in Mauthausen




Tot: 0.283s; Tpl: 0.015s; cc: 20; qc: 112; dbt: 0.1404s; 1; m:apollo w:www (50.28.60.10); sld: 2; ; mem: 6.7mb