Saturday, January 5, 2008

Our Summer Vacation, Rozkos to Hlohovec

Telc castle chapel

We started out our day with a tour of Telc castle. Lots of receiving rooms, an armory, a room with trophies from Africa (it is a wonder that there are animals left in Africa), a ballroom, courtyards, gardens...

We then transferred to Rozkos, through relatively flat countryside, with the tailwind from heaven. Many fields of sunflowers.

Bleriot and Little Pink Bear waiting to start

Crossed a busy road and entered the town of Damnice.

Yes, we are

After the obligatory picture stop, I noticed that my lower coupler was loose. Ooooh. Now I know what that feels like! I gave the couplers a pre-emptive tightness check every morning after that.

Another excellent picnic lunch on a grassy roadside in Damnice. Passing out through the next town (Jirice u Miroslavi), we hunted down an old Jewish cemetery on the outskirts. Asking directions always gets a long and convoluted answer. It seemed to be down a gravel road. We didn't find anything on the way in (I knew it was there, I could see the stone wall), but spotted it on the way out. Fitz, Kris, Rich, Bohumil and I did a little exploring Someone might be taking care of it, but it wasn't obvious.

Abandoned Jewish cemetery in Jirice u Miroslavice

No cherry trees today, but many apricot orchards. We rode about 10km on a main road, but it had a nice shoulder, and was not what I'd consider at all scary. Both in Telc and here, we saw many groups of touring cyclists.. Riding past any pub or resarant, there are several loaded bikes parked outside.

Lynne among the sunflowers

Then, after a ride along a lake and across a dam, we turned left onto a bike path., which ran along the lakeshore for 3km. Saw lots of fishing poles and tents, and people associated with them. Not holding the fishing poles. It is possible that actual fish were not required. :-)

Then into Dolni Vestonice (significant archeological finds here from the stone age), where we decided that, given the tailwind, we'd got to the hotel by bike in PLENTY of time for our evening wine tasting. Kris elected to hop in the van by then, so Fitz, Rich, Bohumil and I went on. It got a little hilly for awhile. Through three towns, through some road construction, then through Hlohovec to our hotel, which sits right on the former Czech/Austrian border.

Church in Dolni Vestonice

After a shower, off to our wine tasting. Our host, Miroslav, showed us his cellar with casks, underground, built by the Franciscans in 1736. Very short Franciscans. We then went to the other cellar with the bottled wines. During WWII, they were used as shelters and were all interconnected. Part of one had collapsed and was walled off. Then off to the tasting. 10 bottles from white to red. We bought 4 - $10 total! And really good wine, too. Our table wasn't drinking all the generous pours, but the other table had a couple of VERY sloshed 16 year olds.

Wine cellar in Valtice

Wine tasting

Our purchases

Back to the hotel for dinner.

More pictures from the day here.

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