Unforgettable Days Cycling Europe, Part 1

All the best (and worst) places we cycled in Europe

cycling europe

Before we get started… Happy Birthday biggest big brother! We’re thinking about you today. Here’s wishing you all the best for the year to come.

Today was a pretty insignificant day. We boxed some stuff for mailing, shopped for a few packing supplies, and walked around the neighbourhood. It got me to thinking how the days blur together when you’re in a routine, or when you’re just going about your usual life. It got me longing for movement and new experiences; I am sorely missing the daily stimulation that happens when we travel.

It also got me to thinking about the past few months. So here are our…

cycling europe

Unforgettable Days Cycling Europe

Side note: You know those sitcom “clips” episodes where they couldn’t be bothered to write a new story, so the characters sit around reminiscing about things that happened in the past? This post is one of those. Yep, it’s cheating, but it’s far better than telling you in detail about cleaning the bathroom.

Knee-Deep in Mud: Central Italy

One of our worst days could only have happened early in our trip when we were naive and optimistic about the state of country roads in Europe. We thought they would all be passable.

Never ford a river while cycle touring. It only leads to madness.

Never ford a river while cycle touring. It only leads to madness.

We were wrong.

On one of our first real days of cycling, we ignored the advice of some locals, and took a road they said we shouldn’t take.

Thick mud coated our tires and clumped together under our fenders and around our brakes, making the wheels impossible to turn.

A hard lesson with a gentle ending.

Read all about it in: Is This A Joke? Happy April Fools, Fools.

Let’s Get Lost: Adriatic Coast, Croatia

Another experience that probably wouldn’t happen to us now (in our wisdom) was the day we got lost on the Adriatic coast.

Struggling up a rocky path on the Peljesac Peninsula.

Struggling up a rocky path on the Peljesac Peninsula.

The roads here weren’t really designed for cycle touring either.

My arms and legs were screaming, the shoulder that has been bugging me was sending sharp pains up my neck, and my bike kept slipping out sideways while my feet skidded on the ground.

As with many of our roughest days, it ended with a pleasant surprise.

Read all about it in: Losing It On The Edge (Of The Adriatic)

Camping in the Lap of Luxury: Solaris, Croatia

Not all of our most memorable days arose from pain and suffering.

Lounging.

Lounging.

Sometimes, unexpected luxury and rest is all that’s needed, like the day we spent lounging at Solaris, a Croatian camping village.

I had the entire main pool to myself while I sat back and sipped my first gin and tonic of the trip.

Ahh, the luxury.

Read all about it in: One Month On The Road

Drinking a Human Fish: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Of course, the people we’ve met have made this trip extra-special. Like the day we stopped in to see Matthew at The HumanFish Brewery.

Jane's tiny IPA.

Jane’s tiny IPA.

The brewery is in an old dairy factory, but instead of pasteurising cow’s milk, they are making the milk of the gods.

Not only was it our first decent beer of the trip, but Matthew’s story was fascinating and inspiring.

Read all about it in: Human Fish Saves The Day

Living the Wild Life: Banská Bystrica, Slovakia

Spending so much time outside, we have had our share of animal encounters as well. Mostly they’ve been with adorable bunny rabbits or fluffy kitties.

This kitty was nice right up until he ripped my hand to shreds.

This kitty was nice right up until he ripped my hand to shreds.

But one night in Slovakia, we found ourselves confronted by something a little more menacing.

Stephen shook me awake. I fumbled with my earplugs so I could hear what he was saying. My heart was pounding. Someone must be out there, or he wouldn’t be waking me.

Luckily we didn’t get eaten or anything. Or did we?

Read all about it in: Wild Camp

Into the Misty Mountains: Tatras, Slovakia

One of my favourite few days of the trip were spent crossing the Tatra Mountains in Slovakia. I love the feeling of accomplishing such a physical challenge.

A rare downhill.

A rare downhill.

That, combined with the astonishing beauty of the area, makes this one of my favourite days.

We climbed into the Tatras and the mist. We were surround by pine trees at least 100 feet tall, deer, birds of prey, rocky peaks, mountain streams, and an array of wildflowers.

It didn’t hurt that the day ended with a sauna and a dinner with new friends, too.

Read all about it in: Tantra In The Tatras

Diving Deep into Our Ancestry: Łosie, Poland

We also had some quality family days, travelling back in time to Stephen’s grandfather’s home.

The old church + pretty sky. Lovely.

The old church + pretty sky. Lovely.

Spending this time with Stephen’s parents, discovering more about where he came from, will be an experience Stephen remembers for the rest of his life.

One room of the house at the museum had photos of some of the inhabitants of Łosie from the early 20th century, and about a third of them were relatives who I have never seen before.

Read all about it in: Making Hay

We had so many memorable moments they wouldn’t all fit into one post, so we’ll bring you more recycled excitement in Unforgettable Days Cycling in Europe, Part 2.  

What are your unforgettable days in Europe?

3 comments

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