Tag Archives: cycling

Biking in the Moravian winelands of Czechia

I still can’t get used to calling Czech Republic “Czechia”, but I thought I’d try, at least for this post! Even my Czech husband still calls it Czech Republic (or normally Czech for short). Anyway, for years he has been telling me that we should visit the Moravian winelands, in the east of Czechia, more specifically in new wine season (more on new wine later). This year we finally did it, as a group of friends with whom we did Wine-and-Cycling Trip 1.0 with last year in the Alsace wanted to go on Wine-and-Cycling Trip 2.0. In fact for us it was actually the third wine and cycling trip, since we also rode along the Saale river valley. We planned our trip to Moravia in September, which is new wine season.

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Middle Europe Weekly Small Pleasures #31 – Spring things

It’s the little things that keep you going. Weekly small pleasures is Mani’s blog event where you share the things that made you happy during the week and I have to say that the last few weeks it has been very simple things which have made me happy:  the birds starting to sing again, the wind rustling the newly formed leaves on trees that were bare for months, the smell of rain, the spring flowers, the increased light hours. Continue reading

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Brandenburg Bike rides: Fürstenberg/Havel to Templin

The state of Brandenburg around Berlin is a paradise for biking, and we’ve spent many a happy day riding through forests and countrysides, past lakes, villages and orchards. From Berlin you can catch a train to any of numerous towns that can act as a starting point and then with the help of google maps and signposts, find your way to another town from where you can take the train back to Berlin. This weekend we headed off to Fürstenberg with a friend who felt like going for a bike ride on her birthday. Continue reading

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Castles, vineyards and solar observatories on the Saale bicycle trail

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Germany is full of surprises, and I am continually finding out about new places here. Last Saturday has to rank as one of the best days of this year. We spent the weekend cycling on the Saale bicycle trail in Thuringen and Saxony-Anhalt, an area of vineyards, castles, ancient archaeological finds, medieval villages and beautiful countryside. Here it how it all began. Continue reading

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Outdoor adventures

Autumn biking in Naturpark Barnim

 

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We enjoyed a long, warm and golden autumn this year, but finally the rain came, followed by strong winds, and now the trees are bare again. It made me sad to see them at first, knowing that it would be many months before we would see them coming alive again. Once the leaves had fallen, the temperatures dropped rapidly, and we have even had some light snow already. Before we get too far into deep, dark winter, I wanted to share some photos of our glorious autumn season. To start with, here are some photos from a bike ride we did in Naturpark Barnim, a big nature area in Brandenburg near Berlin. We started at Karow and followed lovely cycle paths all the way to Eberswalde. Brandenburg is really the perfect place for cycling. Continue reading

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Battle of the Seelow Heights and a walk near the Oder river

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Approximately 90km from Berlin lies the Seelow Heights, where the last major defensive line outside of Berlin was situated towards the end of World War II. This area of countryside, woods and villages lies near today’s border of Germany and Poland, near the Oder and Neisse rivers. From the 16-19 April 1945, a battle was fought for passage to Berlin between 1 million Soviet soldiers of the 1st Belorussian front and 110 000 German soldiers. Between 20 000 -70 000 Soviet soldiers (according to different sources) and 12 000 German soldiers were killed, and victory was taken by the Soviets, leaving the road to Berlin open from the 19th April. By the 23rd April, Berlin was surrounded and the final Battle of Berlin began. It is estimated that more than 1 million German soldiers were killed as well as 100 000 civilians and 300 000 Soviet soldiers, and that approximately 100 000 women were raped. Within 2 weeks, Berlin was taken, Hitler committed suicide and World War II had come to an end. Continue reading

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City biking for dummies (like me!)

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You can even use a basket to carry home the rest of your BBQ. After this we renamed my bike the Braaicycle. Only South Africans will get this!

Unlike many Europeans who have been riding their bicycles around cities since they were yea high, those of us from other continents often have to learn about city biking the hard way. I wobbled off on my first bicycle in Berlin not having ridden a bicycle since childhood, and never in a city. Not that cycling isn’t big in South Africa – sports cycling and mountain biking are common, and there are two big international races held there, the Cape epic (a mountain bike race) and the Argus cycle tour (a road race). But until recently there were not many cycling lanes in the city and cycling as a means of public transportation was not that common.

Here are some basic things I’ve learned about cycling in the city after living in Berlin: Continue reading

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