November afternoon *, at 16:07. For about 3 minutes I should be sitting on my bike and heading home from the office, praying that the car on the green arrow at Świętokrzyski will not kill me. There are days, however, that I don't want to leave the office. I turn on Google Street View and throw a yellow guy on the map hoping for interesting effects. That day I came across something called: Vyhlídka Máj. Such a Horseshoe Bend, only Czech. Similar to Pavlovska Strana in Montenegrobut better. A quick glance on Instagram And yes: it's probably one of those places where you stand in a queue to take a photo identical to everyone else. I marked myself with an asterisk and it hung on my maps for months.
* I don't remember which year.
Instagram images and #vyhlidkamaj
Last year, there will be a flood of online articles about the impact of social media on American landscape parks. A great example was the famous Horseshoe Bend, about which I wrote in the entry about our American roadtripping: "American Holiday Final: West USA in 18 Days". The texts boiled down to the fact that geotagging photos attracts masses of people to places that were not ready for it. You see a great photo on Instagram, you think: I want the same. Located near Horseshoe, the famous Antelope Canyon, went a step further. There, the guide took your phone and took a perfectly cropped picture, together with the selection of a filter appropriate for the given conditions. You come by car, take a photo, throw it on insta, likes fly, come back, day passed. Is it good or bad - don't judge me.
Visit to Hong Kong However, she taught us that most instagram photos have little in common with reality (or at least with its colors). It is different to take these specific points as the destination of the trip, which will be an attraction in itself. We also decided to do this with a somewhat mysterious point about 40km from Prague, called Vyhlidka Maj. To tell the truth, I have not heard of her before, and looking at the number of questions in my humble socialach, this is not a specially recognized point.
We've got to Prague from Warsaw too close and too far away. Too close to organize any vacation there, too far to jump out for the weekend. So taking the opportunity to sit in the Kłodzko Valley for 3 months, I got the opportunity. The most important information here is that there is such a thing as Leo Express. A quite comfortable train that runs, among others on the Prague - Wroclaw route, becoming by the way in Bystrzyca Kłodzka and many smaller towns. In order not to repeat the routes that we know, we set off from the first station abroad, Lichkova. We also leave the car there in a small parking lot. We decide to get there from Vyhlidka on Friday after work and return from Prague on Sunday evening. For 2 Prague - Lichkov tickets with bikes we pay less than PLN 80.
Our plan seemed nice, though unfortunately it did not take into account the weather.
day I - 139km / 632m: https://www.strava.com/activities/3742445635
day II - 97km / 1419m: https://www.strava.com/activities/3747372323
day III - 82km / 716m: https://www.strava.com/activities/3751896934
As part of the fight against the corporate system, we leave the workplace on Friday after 12 o'clock and at 13 we report under the train station in Lichkov. It's a little over 30 ° C and some big storms in the forecast. We only have potential accommodation on the route in Pardubice, which is a bit too close, and in Kolin, which is a bit too far. I set the route based on the Open Cycle Map and sticking to the main cycling routes in the Czech Republic. Sometimes it is an ideal, two-lane, separate path, sometimes an off-road section or just a side road. I wouldn't follow our trail from any day - it could be done better.
The beginning is beautiful Eagle mountains, which have already been described on the blog, and then for a very long time along a track along the tracks, which can also compete with Austrian routes in appearance and quality.
There are stores in Pardubice - this is important information. We knew little stores on the route, more than a week earlier in Podlasie. We modify the route a bit because of the black and burgundy clouds that accompany us in the second part of the day. Independent weather applications suggest that this day has no right to go .... until the evening when they change the 90% rain to 10% and we decide to use it reaching Kolin. A moment after this change it is raining from the sky.
We sleep in Kolin in Theresia Hotel for 50 euros. Perfect accommodation, because with a view of Tesco, and this is exactly what people need after 140km, who ate breakfast and two rolls from Lidl in Pardubice that day. And it has a "cyclist-friendly" sticker, so we get a special lockable room in the garage to put equipment. For dinner the lady from the hotel directs us to Vespa restaurants in the market, because it turns out that finding a tabernacle open at 22 on Friday is not easy. Vespa is a restaurant that you do not necessarily want to enter sweaty in cycling clothes, but it is uncomfortable to carry civilian clothes. In any case, I recommend a place for pasta - especially if you like nice views of the river and trains passing a few meters from you.
The second day gives no hope. It's been raining since the morning. We drag the hotel night to 11 am, then sit for an hour under Bill watching the rain.
It hasn't rained since 13, but it's one of those days when you just don't want to go. There are fields, forests, nice roads, villages and of course no shops, but there is no desire. He modifies the route to avoid the terrain sections, because the mud with our bikepacking somehow does not connect. One thing is certain, the closer we are to the Vltava River (the river), the nicer it gets. In fact, it is only getting around in areas that can be described as "south of Prague".
So what if the legs are not moving. Maybe it's a matter of late afternoon, and we are again about breakfast and a brilliant dish called Smažený sýr with brambors in Restaurace U Sejků. As usual, we are the only people who sit anywhere and do not drink beer. The Czech climate is entering strongly, as the whole restaurant is painted over with pictures related to the Brave Soldier Szwejk, and next to us sits a cowboy who came on a horse and pulls off a belt filled with cartridges. In addition, we go through Velké Popovice. Greetings to kumaty (for non-kate, the adjective is: Velkopopovický).
In the evening we check in at the destination of the trip, here: Vyhlídka Máj, which I will describe in a separate section. It's great and impressive, but it's probably one of those days when even great things are just "cool".
We sleep a few kilometers away, in the nearest accommodation Vyhlidki, which we managed to find on the Booking. This Penzion Zámek Lešany - about 50 euros including a double breakfast, some chips, sticks and Kofola. Because of course, the hotel restaurant does not work, and chips and sticks are the only food we can count on that evening. In addition to us, more than a dozen other knockers sleep in it. We get a room just above the bar and bowling room. Unfortunately, they do not know the song "good DJ plays here".
This is a good day. The reason may be that we eat a decent breakfast and do not feel hungry even once throughout the day. We start, of course, from returning to the title place. Seeing something nice twice is like seeing something once but twice better.
I feel the need to make a declaration here. We will definitely be returning to the areas south of Prague. Asphalt along the Vltava river is maybe a bit busy, especially at the weekend (a bit Garda), but it's worth it. The closer to Prague, of course, the less interesting and busier, up to about 20km from the center, when the bicycle path begins, which resembles our Warsaw boulevards a bit. At least when it comes to ride comfort.
Prague is a massacre on Sunday afternoon. The area around the market is a real Crown Party, the rest of the city is almost empty. The best we can do is eat a traditional Trdelnik, fried cheese again, buy a souvenir mole and climb the tower of the graceful name Petřínská rozhledna. Google Maps says it's higher than the Eiffel Tower: "Built in 1892, 378m cast-iron tower (taller than the Eiffel Tower) with deck for city views." But really 63 meters, so the writing person probably counted its height together with the hill on which it stands.
The best moment of the day (apart from food, of course) is meeting muskrat on the Vltava River. We discovered that these are muskrats by typing in Google "Beaver with a thin tail".
The viewpoint itself is very easy to miss. If I did not know about him, there is no chance to accidentally bump into him. The only hint here is a tiny partking with the "vyhlidka" arrow pointing towards the field and standing next to the road Beer Bus, which is a beer selling bus. Well, because it's like going somewhere without holding beer in your hands. Suspicion can only be raised by people visible from asphalt, who are going through the field to nowhere.
The rock with a view is practically any bicycle. From the main road, turn into a well-trodden field, drive from 300 meters, and then from 100 meters through the forest. It will even drive on a stubborn road, and with tires> 32mm you can as well accelerate enough that we fall into the river and die. It is quite easy to die at all, as it is a completely undeveloped place, so there are no barriers or warning signs. I would rather not try mountain road shoes SPD (I write only so as not to have anyone on my conscience).
Vyhlídka Máj is good, definitely not disappointing. The view is impressive, the display is clear, the bouquet is deep, the dress is intense ... or something. The problem is only the same as with any other such places, and for good reason we are on it twice. Instagram places are easy to learn. We always have a guy with a big camera and a minimum of two unusually dressed ladies - they are waiting for the perfect light. There is always a queue of people waiting for their shot to take a picture in which there is no one else and you can upload a picture with the caption "only me and nature". There are always those people taking exactly the same photo for which they have several dozen seconds, because the queue is growing. There is always a guy sitting there who spoils everyone, because he just sits and looks, and you are a little jealous of him, because each conscience makes you free up space for others.
I write it with a slight snack, but we also went to see this place and we took the same photo as 18222 photos on Intagram under the hashtag #vyhlidkamaj. I don't want to be like this guy throwing a picture from the queue at the signature store "Do everyone have to shop right now?". Exactly the same is after all on Stelvio, on Łapszanka, in the Mountain of Cafes, Ifach in Calpe ...
Podsumowanko. What is worth, what is not worth?
Worth it. Contrary to this, maybe not very positive response, it is definitely worth it. Just as it is worth visiting each of the places listed above. I would feel a bit strange if I went by car to Prague, and then drove it over the described viewing point to take a walk of several minutes (there are 3 such side by side, but the most known) for the obvious picture. The situation is different when the whole trip is treated as a destination, and such a point is only an excuse.
Will I ever come back to Vyhlídka Máj? Very likely. It is certain, however, that we will definitely appear on the Vltava River again. It's our European Colorado river ;-)
And the matter is a bit different when you live in Wroclaw. Then I can't imagine not doing a weekend cycling trip to take a picture with the hashtag of Vyhlídka Máj.