Two days ago we arrived in prague, and we’re already stunned by the openness and hospitality in the bike community. Most people have heard about couchsurfing, and there’s a lesser-known alternative for bike tourers called warmshowers which we use. Over this network of hosts we’ve been able to meet extremely warm-hearted people that happily welcomed us into their homes for a nice conversation, a night of unbothered sleep and one of the greatest luxuries known to mankind, a warm shower. If you’re on a bike trip, however short or long, warm showers is definitely worth checking out.
Anna (The Bike Girl)
On our third day, when we knew we were going to be in Dresden by dawn, we wrote to some warmshowers members asking if they could host us. Even tough that’s on very short notice, someone reacted: Anna – super nice, open and a convinced bike traveller herself, with her own blog, which Daniel had read about previous to our own trip. It’s a small world! The cherry on top: She lives in Dresden’s student district stacked with Bars and Cafés. Since we had to kill some time before she could meet up with us, we went for a beer and met some wonderful people at a fireplace. Again and again, its surprising how many people you meet on a trip like ours, and we’ve only been on tour for a week at this point.
The next morning we left after receiving some useful stuff and advice accompanying a nice breakfast. Dear Anna, if you’re reading this: Thanks again for making our first warmshwoers experience a great one, warming us up from and for the freezing days before and after.
And we’re not done yet: When we got to Prague, we were able to stay at Dušan’s place, and even though his profile info said he could only host two, he didn’t just welcome the three of us, but also Artis from Latvia – for two nights! Incredible also, how much trust he put into us; Not only could we stay in his apartment while he was at work, he even gave us a key.
As bad as prejudices are, I can totally understand how the one about the overcautious, distrusting and always correct germans came to be.
Meeting people like Anna and Dušan, who are just happy to help out, shifted our mindset – and that’s a big part of what this trip is about.
We spent our day in Prague with the always-joyful Artis, who is currently in the finish lane after an 11-month bike trip through Europe, and had a great time.
Of course we’re going to wild camp for most of the time, but especially in the rainy (and fucking cold) beginning of our tour we’re happy to have a warm place for the night, and if we get to meet great people that way, that’s even better.
Another great benefit of meeting experienced bike travelers is them sharing their extensive knowledge with us greenhorns, like Artis’ recommendations for good navigation apps or Anna’s tip that Ortlieb sends spare parts everywhere in the world if you use their bags, free of charge (funnily, my pannier-clips broke two days later). Surely, we’ll have similar helpful tips in some time.