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I wonder which country I’m in, Czech or Germany?

I’ve had a bad night sleep here at the hotel in Aš, I’m not sure if it is the hard mattress or what it is. I can’t say that I’m 100% ready for a new day on the bike. The weather outside is bad and some of my clothes are still wet after yesterdays heavy rain showers.

IMG_3257There’s no breakfast at the hotel here in Aš, and to be honest, I wouldn’t have eaten the food if they served anything. You would need a GPS to navigate through the smoke in the restaurant and the bar/reception.

I’m packing my bag and are waiting as long as possible before I’m taking on my wet bicycle clothes. The temperature in this room have been too low, so they haven’t been able to dry.

It’s Sunday and I’m not 100% sure how to get a hold of food. I have no idea if there are any open stores here in Czech on a Sunday.

I’m outside, ready to look for a store. I don’t need to look long, the building next door is a Sunday open grocery store. I buy everything that I need and more. I don’t want to take the risk of getting empty today.

The weather is not good. It’s raining a lot. It’s too soon to start freezing after 1Km when I have a plan to reach 90-110Km. How will this go?

Luckily the rain stops after a short while and I’m getting warm by cycling the streets and the hills. It doesn’t take long before I’m in the woods.

IMG_3255I can see the signs that is informing me about the direction of Eurovelo route nr 13, The Iron Curtain Trail. I’m not 100% confident of how long these signs will last. I haven’t seen this so many times earlier, but I decide to follow the signs.

I met some Germans sitting on a bench while I’m cycling in the woods. I spoke with them for a while and they can inform me that my left side is in Germany and that my right side is in Czech. I’m cycling back into Germany and follows the road through Silberbach and Hohenberg,  after 15Km I’m back in Czech.

It’s funny how you can cross boarders like this. There is no control, everything is completely open.

There are several times today where I don’t trust the signs 100%. It’s not as logical as it should be, and sometimes you need to cycle IMG_3251around the sign to see which direction you should follow. It should be easier to see if I’m following the direction towards Bulgaria or Norway. At one point I was actually cycling north. I reacted quickly enough and turned around, followed my GPS. There are no signs pointing me in this direction, but after 1 km you can see the sign confirming that I’m on the correct route…Not good enough.

The same happened just before Cheb. Suddenly I was standing ahead of the main road into the city. I didn’t bother to turn around, so I just cycled on the side of the 4 lane road. I asked a guy first and he confirmed that it was allowed and that he’d seen people cycle there before.

I stop in Cheb for a quick lunch while answering a phone call from my beautiful Lillian! Cheb seems like a beautiful city and the standard seems to be much higher than in the villages.

IMG_3266The road takes me back to Germany again. If it wasn’t for the german plates on the cars, I wouldn’t know. I have actually had moments today where I’m not 100% sure of where I am.

It happens again. They put a «Iron Curtain Trail» sign on a sign that is pointing right. I followed it, but understood after 500 meters that this is wrong. Come on guys, it should be easy to follow when you put up the signs, not confusing!

I’m in Germany for the rest of the day. It’s difficult to get good speed since the road quality is mixing between good and really bad, and of course because of the many hight meters in this area.

At one point I just have to stop and take a picture of the climb in front of me. It’s extreme, and the road surface is the old concrete 20140817_151504plates. Am I supposed to cycle up there? Should I have gone another way? I try to climb the hill. There is no chance to sit, because the front wheel is coming up. I try standing and put all my weight towards the front, I’m able to climb, but it’s hard. Finally at the top, I take a quick break to get my breath back and I’m in urgent need of some water.

It’s getting later and later in the evening. It’s about time to decide where I should spend the night. I’ve got 90Km already and might decide to stay here at Bärnau if I can’t find anything else.

I take a few phone calls to some pensions about 20Km from here, but all of them are fully booked. I cycled down to a pension here in Bärnau and met some really friendly hosts. They had a room available for me.

It’s time for some food after a quick shower. I’m still sitting here at the restaurant. I’ve looked at the map for tomorrow and can confirm that there will be climbs. I’m probably gonna end up at around the same amount of kilometers.

Good night and see you tomorrow!

Picture album from todays ride:

GPS Data from todays ride:

About Stian Torland

Elsker turer, utfordringer og fysiske aktiviteter. Har gjort det til ein livsstil å utfordre andre til ting de normalt ikkje ville gjort. Driver Challenge4you.com som er et nettsted som skriver om turer, eventyr og utfordringer. Mine fullførte utfordringer og hovedmål: *Nordkapp-Lindesnes: 2700Km, tid: 18 dager - 2011 *Danmark-Italia: 2500Km, tid: 18 dager - 2012 *Trondheim-Oslo: 542Km, tid: 22t 55m - 2013 *The Iron Curtain Trail: 10000Km, tid: ca 4mnd - 2014


  1. Hjelpes.. kjenner eg er glad eg var med å sykle på flat mark 😉 Stå på , Stian! Du er dyktig!

    • Hehe, det er mykje bakker her ja, å mer blir det i dagene fremover. Eg håpe bare det skjer på brukande asfalt istadenfor alt ditta grus, mold, stein og pinne greiene. Går da bra i Oslo?
      Takk for det Aina, eg prøve so godt eg kan! 🙂

  2. When you’re dry again, would you remember to add some lines about challenge4you? I’m still very interested! And by the way: how at all did you manage to have 4 months off???