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Prague to Salzburg - Cycling Day 3 - Pisek to Hluboka nad Vltavou
It was a bit warmer today and the sun finally popped out at 3pm - yippee!
Most of the route was on wonderful bike paths without cars,
through hilly natural parks and along rivers.
Písek owes its existence to mineral riches in the form of gold-bearing sand,
which was mined here beginning in the 12th century. Sculptures made of sand
have been created on the left bank of the Otava River, just next to the Stone Bridge.
ABOVE - Early morning view of the Kamenny Most (Stone Bridge) in Pisek.
This is the oldest surviving stone bridge in the country, built around mid-1300s.
It spans the Otava River, a tributary of the Vltava River.
This bridge is in the gothic style with baroque statues and a cross.
We spent some time looking around Pisek in the morning.
BELOW LEFT - Radnice (City Hall) in Pisek
BELOW MIDDLE - Beautiful building with several architectural styles. Pisek was founded
at the beginning of the 13th century and is a maze of medieval
narrow lanes with charming old houses and city buildings.
We rode for over 15km in the Prirodni Natural Park with no cars. We only saw quite a few locals
hunting mushrooms. About 2000 ft of climbing and a long descent made it especially fun.
BELOW - Lunch stop on a bike path along the river.
BELOW LEFT - Fording a stream. It's hard to tell in this photo, but
it was a steep down and then up on large slippery rocks!
Along with warm sun, Hluboka nad Vltavou Castle was the highlight of our day!
The castle is one of the most picturesque historical sites in the Czech Republic.
The tower was built in 1847 on the sight of the original collapsed tower of the Baroque chateau
BELOW RIGHT - Trees in the gardens are starting to show some fall color
The vast landscape park was established by the Schwarzenbergs in the 1850s as part
of the romanticist remodeling of the aristocratic residence, following the neo-Gothic
rebuilding of the chateau. Both the surroundings of the chateau and the park
have a botanically valuable collection of exotic woody plants.
The back of the chateau has a large porch with intricate ornamental ironwork.
Close-up of wrought iron work and spiral staircase on the porch
On the back porch
Below - Wrought iron and glass connect the castle to a conservatory
Below, left - Hotel Stekl on the grounds of Hluboka castle