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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Czech Republic and Přibram

Frenky invited for a weekend trip to his hometown. It’s more than a long time ago I’ve been to the Czech Republic, so why not joining him? We went on a Friday after work, had a little stopover and look around in Plzen (unfortunately we had to rush a bit, thus not enough time for the brewery tour). His mother was awaiting us with dinner already – Knödel & mushrooms. We ended up having some beers with some friends of Frenky. We went to the forest the next morning, to pick mushrooms for the evening. It turned out to be a challenge, there were only a few, and we, obviously, had been a bit too late. In Czech Rep. it seems to be a great tradition to leave the city early in the morning, to marsh through the forests. And early means, approx. 5 am!!!

Without anything eatable, we've got back home! Frenky's mother was laughing at us being that unsuccessful! Not the warmest welcome! Pretty much unimpressed, we proceeded with the tourist program - a walk around through the city centre (ice cream included, and it's definitely not the worst one), the silver mining areas of Přibram, a little bit of shopping and a garlic enriched BBQ until late night...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Snow at the end of August?

Rinkes, Tobi and I had the idea to go biking, a weekend tour in the Alps - Friday to Sunday. After having some troubles getting three bikes in and on one single car we were heading south as far as Mayrhofen, Zillertal, Austria. Starting unexpectedly late, 600 metres of altitude were awaiting us already. It was dark, of course, before reaching the apartment which was hosting us as its only guests. I believe it's gonna be more crowded in winter time.

The next morning was starting as promised, clouds and heavy rain regionally! Well, we've been in that region, obviously. No mercy. Tobi was suffering knee problems and wasn't able to make it up the Tuxer Joch.

He didn't miss much uphill, 5 degrees, still rain. No view, no lookout, nothing, just that freezing cold forcing us to rethink if it has been a good idea. We continued downhilling (I had a little incident and took a shortcut, kind of), crossed the Brenner and finished the day off by approaching the Enzian cottage right at dinner time, but too exhausted and falling asleep at 9 pm latest.

Weather in the Alps could change rapidly. And we were part of it on Sunday morning. While having breakfast, the sky was clear and it seemed to be acceptably warm outside. We changed, packed our stuff and were about to leave. When leaving the cottage we found ourselves in dense fog – temperature 1°C!!! Luckily, I forgot my gloves. The further up we went the more rain turns into snow. The summit – Schlüsseljoch – was covered with snow.

What a ride down to the valley. I don’t know how we managed, but we did. Down there, temperature was going up as far as 24°C again. Time to change once more. Incredible! A little lunch and power nap was well deserved before passing the Pfitscher Joch and closing the circle in Mayrhofen.