Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Day 1: Getting to Lednice, Czech Republic

So on Monday morning, we made our way by bus to the local train station in Vienna, called Sudbahnhof. We were super early, so there we were in the middle of everything, enjoying a beer at 9:30a.m. just because we could. The shuttle driver was supposed to meet 6 of us there at 10:30, but by that time we had only found one other couple, but we decided there was safety in numbers.

Our non-english speaking Czech taxi driver, Michal, rolled in a bit late due to a traffic jam, started throwing our bags into the back of his van after barely determining who we were, and motioned for us to get in. We did so with a bit of trepidation, especially since he didn't seem a bit concerned about the 2 missing people. There wouldn't have been room for them anyway, because his car barely fit all of us plus our luggage. Turns out that the other 2 had mistakenly arrived a day early, so they were already in Lednice ("LED-neet-say").

The trip from Vienna to Lednice was uneventful, mostly because the only English this guy knew was how to tell us that his real job was owning a chopper motorcycle shop. Surprisingly, there was absolutely no sign of life at the border crossing. No passport check, no nothing. Had there not been a sign to say that we were entering the Czech Republic, I might never have known. Lednice, our first little town, is only a few miles over the border, and we arrived at a lovely hotel in short order.

Our tour guides are wonderful. Jiri ("year-ee" but roll the r) is from a nearby town but speaks lovely English, and has been giving us all sorts of interesting information about the local area. Yorgos is Greek (pretty much the only handsome Greek man I've ever seen) and has a great sense of humor. We got fitted for our bikes on Monday afternoon and were able to do a fairly short test ride back towards the Austrian border. Yes, we did the border dance... I'm in, I'm out.

Dinner was together that night, and we are enjoying getting to know our fellow riders.

Remember...Get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

1 comment:

Bohica said...

Yorgos is a great Greek name.

I was eight weeks old when mom flew with us kids out to Greece where dad had gotten orders. We ended up living in half of a duplex with uber kewl Greek landlords who I am told doted on enfant terrible me.

Evidently I had the obnoxious habit of crying when held by anyone but my mom and boy, did I have stamina. Pappas - the name of the matriarch - decided I was better than sliced bread and put up with all my bad behavior, encouraging mom to leave me with her for hours and hours.

Boggles my mind to this day.

The father and son were both named Yorgos. From the photos I have seen of them, they were both pretty studly. Yorgos junior was down right hot and his sister looked like a model. (There are beach snaps in our family photo album.)

I've always found Greek men being unattractive to be a myth. I remember Deatra insisting they were ugly as part of her reason to avoid a Greek Festival in San Fransisco a few years back. I think "ugly and hairy" was the phrase used. She ate much crow after she saw all the cuties circle dancing.

I envy your trip and think the whole bike touring is a wonderful idea.