I have a useful app called Best Biking Roads, which told us that the short hop to the nearby town of Karlstejn along the 116 was a good 'un. It was so good, in fact, that we did it both ways, taking turns to film each other and stopping in between for a coffee and a quick look at the castle. The road climbed and twisted, with a rock wall on one side and the river, with wooded hills beyond, on the other.
Another recommended road, with gorgeous landscape views, led us to Air Park Zruč u Plzně. Aviation museums are, of course, the first thing I look up when I'm going somewhere new, and I was not disappointed by this one. The aircraft were crammed above and underneath each other, some in terrible condition, but all interesting. I peeked in the cockpit of a MiG-21 and posed by a tank.
There was an enclosed area accessible only in the company of a guide and after paying more money. Once I'd succeeded in conveying what we wanted, the volunteer on duty went from surly to sunny and showed us around, making a real effort to get his meaning across in English and showing us all the model aeroplanes he had made "with my hands!".
We were caught out when it suddenly began to rain hard, and then hail. If you haven't waited out a hailstorm under the wing of an Antonov AN-24, let me tell you that it is LOUD. It passed quickly, though, and we finished up our inspection.
As we were preparing to leave, more than a dozen funny little three-wheeled cars rolled up. It turned out to be the local Velorex club on a jolly, and was the kind of wonderful, fascinating sight you can't plan for.
We travelled through villages, startling goats and getting barked at by dogs, to the uphill bends and deep forests of the Sumava national park. Our hotel was a ski chalet, cheap in the off season and cosy. However, we'd arrived soon after seven, and by the time we were unpacked and showered nowhere in the little village would serve us any dinner.
I had had a piece of malt loaf since breakfast. I cried.
Howard, who is less fussed about regular meals than I am, helped me assemble a meagre supper from our supplies of breakfast bars and chocolate, then we went to bed.
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