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Today we cycled from Stockerau, Austria to Mikulov, Czech Republic.

We biked on roads, trails and after crossing the border to Czech, we cycled on field

roads built and used originally by the border police patrolling the Iron Curtain.
 

                   

ABOVE - Legend has it Hubertus, born in the seventh century, sought comfort and distraction

on lonely hunts after the death of his beloved wife Princess Floribana in childbirth.

One Christmas Eve, he encountered, on one of these hunts, the wondrous image

of a splendid red albino stag carrying a shining cross between its antlers.

Through this vision, Hubert was moved to transform his life.

He layed down his high ranks of office and distributed his wealth among the poor

and the church. St. Hubertus is the patron saint of hunters.

BELOW - Ernstbrunn, Austria


                   

BELOW - Sights along the way

                   

BELOW - The main square in Laa un der Thaya.

Lada (Ladislav, our guide) told us the entire history of the town,

from 1190 through many wars to its status today,

which would require many pages for the retelling!

Its position on the iron curtain (dividing Europe) was pivotal.

                   

BELOW - Entering the Czech Republic

                   

BELOW - Lada shows us where we are on the Vienna to Prague Greenways cycling route

                   

BELOW - We arrive in Mikulov, Czech Republic.

Penzion Husa (Goose) occupies a Renaissance building in the historic centre of Mikulov.

                   

BELOW - In the midst of some stunning countryside strung with vineyards

and dotted with white cliffs lies Mikulov in the shade of its own castle.

Dominating the town is the highly conspicuous Baroque chateau,

which welcomes its visitors from atop a high cliff.

                   

The castle was originally erected at the end of the 13th century.

The present castle is the result of a reconstruction in 1719-1730 under the princes of Dietrichstein.

It was again reconstructed in the 1950's after a disastrous fire at the end of  WWII.

BELOW RIGHT - A stroll through the charming town centre is a relaxing experience.

The main square contains ornately decorated houses and the imposing Dietrichstein Mausoleum.

                   

Judith and Jude hiked up to Holy Hill to walk the Way of the Cross. It was established by

Cardinal Dietrichstein, as people wanted to express gratitude to God for overcoming

the plague epidemic Mikulov experienced in 1622.


It was built and consecrated to Saint Sebastian, protector against infection with the plague.