Eslarn Germany to Pilsen Czech Republic

Pilsen train station

Thursday 26 August 2010
Hotel Rous, Pilsen
86.7k, 5hrs, 18kph
0900 – 1630

Route 37, paneuropa radweg, we have abandoned you. It was the route through the cow pasture which did it. We are cyclists not hikers.

So we deserted you at Kladruby and took the road, the lovely direct and fast route 203. And it is for that reason that are here in Pilsen at 1630 enjoying Pilsen’s most famous product. Otherwise we would still be labouring away in a paneuropa mud patch.

We got away by 0900 this morning but with stopping at the tourist office for maps and border crossing photos, it was 1000 before we really got underway. Route 37 was the bike route to Pilsen and the route of the paneuropa radweg. It is very well marked but it is wild. For the first 20k the route goes through high forests. Felt like the logging roads around Lake Cowichan with the fir and pine forests. The road was hilly and in poor condition, varying between rough gravel and poor pavement. Mushroom hunters were our only company.

The small towns were tired looking and remote. No one spoke a word of English and of course we speak no Czech.

We were getting onto some better roads when the route suddenly veered off into a cow pasture. We were persuaded by the good signage that we should take it. It was terrible. The cow pasture turned into huge mud puddles in the woods. We had to push our bikes through. That was it. We reached Kladruby, consulted the GPS and pointed our bikes to Pilsen. Cars trucks and all.

Our street, hotel on right, synagogue in background

Pilsen is a busy place. Cars parked everywhere. But we found our way to the central plaza and a nearby hotel and are happily ensconced.  Town varies between beauty and shabbiness, many interesting buildings.

Could not help but think about all the spy novels I’ve read while we were out in the woods around that remote border crossing. It was West Germany and Czechoslovakia during the cold war and must have been a porous spot.

Now Czech Republic is in the EU and the border is deserted.

Pilsen - many beautiful buildings

Paneuropa radweg, czech route #37, not on Olin's GPS, wonder why

Tiny deserted border crossing at Eslarn


About Olin and Suzanne
Olin and Suzanne's cycling trip, across Canada and around the world.

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