6/26/14

Road Trip! Traveling from Czech to Austria



It was around 8pm when Karel came home from his dad's after working on my bike.....


Yay! Thanks Jirka for letting me borrow your race wheels!!! They are super duper fast!


Karel and I were not that sleepy so we took a walk in downtown Znojmo around 9pm. 



The town was so quite and bright so late at night!


There is so much history in this beautiful town and of course, I have a great tour guide to share all the little details about Znojmo. 


Karel enjoyed telling me about his bike rides in the town, especially this one (pic above) on his steel bike, racing his buddies to the top. 


I really love learning about another culture/town but knowing that this is where Karel grew up is very special. 


After our 45 minute stroll around town, we were finally ready for bed around 10:15pm and had a good night of sleep until 6:30am. It only took about 2 days but we finally woke up feeling almost normal. 


After a small pre workout snack around 6:45am and coffee, we headed out on our bikes for a 1:10 bike with beautiful sights and smells. 


With our bikes 100% race ready, it was nice to just spin the legs and warm-up our bodies before our trip to Austria. 


I couldn't believe this field of flowers. And not just any flowers...Poppyseed flowers!!

There are so many pastries made with poppyseeds and they are so delicious!


Once again, the wind was blowing us around in the open fields so after we climbed out of one town, we turned around in the next town and weeeeee'd all the back to Znojmo. 


Just beautiful!


I love the wide-open roads!



I gave Karel's mom a break in the kitchen and I was itching to cook for us.
The eggs are superb here, so I made an egg, tomato and pepper scramble with fresh bread topped with farmers cheese and black and red currents. 


I still can't get over the field of poppyseed flowers!


This is Jitka's dog Visty. Jitka works at one of the bike shops and races as well. I met her last year and I fell in love with her. It was a long year but I was so excited to see her again!


After running a few errands to exchange some our US dollars to Czech crowns to Euro's and for Karel to get a T-mobile SIM card for his i-phone so that he could use it if needed while we traveled to Austria. In Czech, Karel's father in law lets him borrow his cell phone for local calls. 
What's nice about the SIM card is that Karel can upload a map on google maps or mapquest on his phone and then turn off the data service but he can still get directions on his phone. However, it does not help with any detours as we quickly learned. 


After a quick trip to the grocery for a few last minute items to our already filled cooler, we hit the road for our 4 hour and 10 min drive to Austria. I was really looking forward to this drive and to see some new sights. 


Well, not only did it rain almost the entire drive, but we encountered a detour on one of the side roads in Austria as we were leaving Czech and little did we know that we missed a turn without us even knowing it. The map Karel was following was still navigating but it took us almost 90 minutes out of the way and we didn't even know it!
Ugh, our 4:10 drive ended up being almost 6 hours!


Karel was having a blast (despite the rain) driving his stick-shift Volvo on the Austrian highway (A2) for it was like Formula One racing for Karel (or I guess for better reference, a crit bike race). 
We did manage to see a few beautiful sights and it was fun going through lots of tunnels. 


We made two stops on the way to Klagenfurt. First, we needed to use the restroom so we stopped at a gas station. Little did we know you have to pay about 50 cents to use the restroom. 
We also stopped at a public restroom on the side of the interstate which is not like the normal rest stops in the states. This was just a side road with an out-house type building. Oh well, a good time to stretch our legs. 


We jammed away to a mix of American and German music on the radio and enjoyed a few treats from Karel's mom. 


Rice cake - Karel has talked about this cake for some time and he yummed his way through many bites which brought him back to his childhood. It was super delicious!


I love these ginger cookies! She always makes the cutest designs (all by hand).


Yum!


We started to get a bit ancy as we were nearing 6pm, especially since we should have arrived by then but this is why we always allow extra time when we travel. We also prefer to arrive to IM races on Wed (if possible) for we never know about delays and traveling to a destination race (no matter how far) can be a little exhausted at times. 


6 hours of rain. 


Except for in the tunnels. 


Yay - we made it!! We rented a flat from someone online who rents out her place for IM weekend. It was a great price and only about 3-4 miles from the race venue. Plus, with a kitchen and king size bed, we couldn't turn it down. 


With all grocery's unpacked, we had a late dinner (a light one).




I know what you are thinking...where's the beer Karel? I guess he is saving it for post race. Here are a few pics of our flat on the east side of downtown Klagenfurt.


Full kitchen. 


Living area with twin bed. 


Full bathroom and washer. 


Bedroom with TV (German stations).

After I Facetimed with my mom, we were out by 10:15pm and had a great night of sleep...until the morning sun woke us up around 4:50am. However, we stayed in bed until around 6am and then started the morning which brought non-rainy sky's! 


Stay tuned for our first day in Austria as we got into Ironman race mode with a gorgeous 1 mile lake swim at the race start, 2:30 bike on most of the IM bike course and 10 min run.