From Cracow we headed south, to Slovakia, country no. 5 on our bucket list. Most drivers in Slovakia actually don't seem to have a proper license, but we managed to cross the country and made it to no. 6, Hungary. Budapest welcomed us with balmy temperatures and plenty of city traffic. The rest day here is well deserved!
Budapest, Hungary's capital, is an amazing city full of sights and attractions. Here the famous Chain Bridge.
The day started with tough negotiations: tour guide Tom, trying to strike a deal with the tour bus operators...
We left the bus at Buda Castle and enjoyed the spectacular views from the Fisherman's Bastion.
The guard was not intimidated by Murray's hight
This beautiful little Sacher cake...
... didn't last very long!
Roxanne enjoyed the music and the classical atmosphere very much. Didn't you, Roxanne???
She tried to get away, but to no avail...
Dramatic clouds over Budapest
Murray in front of Europe's second largest parliament building
Crossing the Chain Bridge
Costa in the Spoon Café, waiting for lunch.
Motorcycle parade across the Chain Bridge
Tour guide Tom pointed out the local Harley dealer...
... and Murray walked in to check out what's on offer. He liked it very much in there!
The riding day from Slovakia to Hungary: we started off just north of Fuckov...
... had a look at the fairy-tale chateau of Bojnice...
.... rode through the old mining town known as Banska Stiavnica...
... and had another great picnic, this time prepared by Ted.
Crossing the Danube on a ferry was not really necessary, but it sure was fun!
The Beatles are well respected everywhere!
Ted at the bar
Yes, this beer glass is curved!
Due to low clouds we couldn't see the peaks of the High Tatra, so we had a look at the map instead...
Bowling is fun! Especially if you manage to get your fingers in the holes...
After two nights in the Czech Republic we arrived in Cracow, Poland's secret capital. The city is stunningly beautiful and everybody thoroughly enjoyed the rest day here.
Murray, eying his giant pork knuckle. It took him 3 days to finish it!
Eduardo, waiting for the beer delivery truck.
Dory and Carl in the Wawel castle
Evenson was fascinated by the cast model of the Wawel
The group in Cracow, with Wawel Castle in the background.
Great ride through the Krkonosze, or Giant's Mountains.
Birgit from Germany
Rich and Gary
Tour guide Ted: belly in!
Eduardo from Brazil: belly out...
Copying the map is soooo old style. Modern people just take a picture with their phones...
Hissam tested the group by throwing his keys into this garbage bin. The Brazilians could retreive it with a long stick. Test passed!
Murray and his latest hobby: photobombing!
Massive rain shower during lunch. And also, unfortunately, before and after lunch...
Tour guide Ted...
... and colleague Thomas take turns on the R1200R
Tour guide Tom on the Triumph Explorer, the group in tow
The girls are having fun
Rest day in Cracow: the group in front of the Barbican Gate
Roxanne, taken hostage by the Turkish hordes...
At the central square in Cracow
The local dark beer is hard to pronounce, but great to drink! Birthday kid Evenson and buddy Sebastiao
Helio, Gustavo, Marco and Carlos liked it very, very much!
Eduardo decided to go for some really healthy food...
... but then he changed his mind and had this giant pork knuckle instead!
Murray, scouting the way to the toilet
Separate urinals, depending on what kind of drink you had. The line at the beer pot was the longest.
Good service for people who had more than they can handle. Thankfully, none of the group had to use it.
From Dresden, the westernmost point of our Kings & Castles tour, we started to head east today, back to the Czech Republic.
Posing in Görlitz, Germany's easternmost city
After Germany's reunification most buildings in Görlitz were restored to their former glory.
A popular lunch stop in the middle of the Giant Mountains
A few hours in the "Tree of Life" resort and even tour guides look like new...
Dresden, the "Florence of the North", was completely destroyed in WWII, but today it is once again a beautiful city. We walked around, visited the sights and attractions and had lunch in the world's most beautiful dairy shop.
The group inside the "Zwinger", one of Dresden's most famous historic monuments
Meditation in front of the "Golden Horseman".
"Quarkkäulchen" are a traditional Saxonian dish. They are sweet and very, very tasty!
Skyline of Dresden
In front of the Frauenkirche tour guide Tom showed Roxanne and Murray how to drink Bavarian beer in Saxony. They learned quickly...
Our destination today was the city of Dresden, located in Germany, country number 3 on the list. But before we got there we had the pleasure of attending a perfect Edelweiss picnic in Jetrichovice, in the middle of the "Czech Switzerland".
Barre in front of a traditional Czech log cabin
Welcome to the Edelweiss Picnic!!
This little tiger was not invited but welcome.
Short man, big appetite!
"Le Chef de cuisine" with the birthday cake
"My brother is having another birthday? That's hilarious!!!"
Sebastiao and Roxanne: pink is beautiful!
Rich, Gred, Roxanne, Birgit, Murray and Barre on top of the Bastei, a spectacular viewpoint high above the river Elbe
Who said motorcycle journalist is an easy job?
Prague is one of the world's finest destinations for city travelers. We walked through this wonderland of cobblestoned streets and grand old buildings, across the famous Charles Bridge and up to the castle and were blown away by all that beauty. And by the heat...
Tour guide Thomas, giving an overview of what to expect on this guided walk through Prague
This is the group in front of the Royal Museum of Bohemia
Prague's city police is trying everything to get people's attention. They didn't let us sit on their ride, though...
Marveling at the Powder Tower
Whatever Thomas doesn't know he makes up on the spot
Charles Bridge is the object of desire for many photographers and other artists
It is very, very, VERY popular with tourists from around the globe
Beautifully restored houses line the cobblestoned streets of Old Prague
Some of the Brazilians got their shopping duties done already...
Murray, about to drink his first beer. Not really smiling yet...
... a bit more of a smile with beer no. 2...
... and the third one finally made him really happy!
18 riders and passengers from 5 different countries are on their way through the eastern part of Central Europe. The first two days took us from Vienna to Budweis and on to Prague, the mother of all cities. Here are some impressions:
View of Dürnstein. Richard I the Lionheart, King of England, was held prisoner here in 1192, probably in the castle on the hill in the background, today a ruin.
our tour hotel in Budweis
Indtroducing some of the participants:
Hissam from Brazil
Roxanne and Costa from Canada
Rich from the US and Greg from Australia
Marco from Bazil
Birgit from Germany
... and Carlos from Brazil
Tour guide Tom (not to be confused with tour guide Thomas, see below!)
Murray from California on his favorite ride...
The castle of Cesky Krumlov, the best preserved medieval town in the Czech Republic
A popular place to get married
The town's pharmacy, founded in 1620
Tour guide Thomas, Birgit and Murray
The foot bridge that connects two parts of the castle dates from 1767
Murray and the marvel of East German engineering: the (in)famous Trabbi
Greg and the Brazilians in the Bohemian Forest
Lunch break in Susnice, a largely unknown but very beautiful old town.
Hissam, trying to get a deal from a local shoe salesman. They communicated in Porto-Czech....
One of the countless castles along the way
This rustic café-bar made the Brazilians feel right at home.
Roxanne and Costa