Saturday, 8 January 2011

Stage 4 route plan

I’m not sure why, but I’ve had a sense of foreboding about Stage 4 right from the start. It’s certainly not the longest leg of my trip - in fact, at an estimated 270 km it’s going to be one of the shortest. Nor it is the most mountainous, although you could not describe it as flat (as the profile below graphically shows). It does, however, pass through one of the most sparsely populated and least-frequented parts of the Czech Republic - the Bohemian Forest (Český les). During the Cold War, this area was out of bounds to all except border guards, as it formed part of the Iron Curtain that descended across Europe after World War II. Indeed, for much of Stage 4 I’ll be travelling along the official Iron Curtain Greenway cycle trail. My base for the first two nights will be Cheb (one of the few towns on this stage). This will allow me to leave most of my stuff in the hotel and cycle super light around the Aš salient on day 1. Then I’ll pack my bags and head south, crossing in and out of Germany until I reach Nýrsko, gateway to Šumava National Park. Along the way I intend visit the westernmost point of the Czech Republic and (according to one definition at least) the geographical midpoint of Europe. However, that gut feeling of mine tells me things might not go entirely to plan...

View Stage 4 in a larger map

Date: Spring 2011
Starting in:
Ending in: Nýrsko
Distance: 270 km approx.
No. of days: 4 (3 nights)
Overnight stops in: Cheb (@ 75 km), Přimda (@ 165 km), Babylon (@ 230 km)
Bike type: MTB

Stage 4 elevation profile

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