The Iron Curtain Route
Day 8 was a big day that began with a shuttle to the Czech border (with Austria). On the drive, our tour guide, Mandy, explained geography and history. On the long shuttle ride we started chatting and discovered that we both lived in Venezuela in the early 2000s. It was fun sharing stories with her.
Backroads calls this part of the trip, "The Iron Curtain Route," and it was the longest and toughest of our tour at 42 miles with 2800 feet of elevation gain. We started in Telc, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and made our way by bike to Restaurant Maříž.
We saw some old bunkers from World War II which had been built in an effort to defend Czechoslovakia from Nazi Germany. A couple of history scholars joined us for lunch to answer our questions.
We then crossed through a forest path to the border of Austria where the hills were literally alive with the sound of music (because our guide, Javi, was blasting the movie soundtrack from a portable speaker). I will never forget riding along the hillside singing with Javi about raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.