This was my first really long distance bicycle tour that I had done on my own. I was inspired by the story of a trip of a colleague who had done something similar the year before. He had ridden from Leipzig (in Former East Germany where I then lived) to Budapest in Hungary. My tour was slightly different, in that I chose to make a detour over the high mountain ridges of the High Tatras , the highest mountains in Eastern Europe.
The tour started naturally in Leipzig and went Southeast via Dresden and the Saxon Switzerland outcrop to the Czechoslovakian border. Historical Note: At this time the two states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia had not separated and travel via Austria was naturally impossible due to the Iron Curtain.
From there the route went along the Sudetes (mountain ranges with its best-known part, the Karkonosze or Giant Mountains) through north and east Bohemia to Moravia .
Then it was on to the Moravian City of Brno , today the Czech Republic`s second largest city and on through to the southern area known as the Moravian Slovakia and the Little Carpathians until reaching the (then still in Czechoslovakia) theoretical crossing point into the official territory of Slovakia.
At that time this was a simple crossing between two regions of a common (Communist) nation. Today there is there an official border crossing that separates two independent nations within the European Union , which also makes passing it relatively harmless for cyclist and tourist.
On the Slovakia`s side the route followed the Valley of the river Váh alongside a beautiful mountain range landscape to Liptovský Mikuláš , in the Liptov region (see Map ) and the Mara Reservoir and Dam (named after one of the many villages the new reservoir lake engulfed - see figure) and built between the convergence of the higher and lower Tatra`s. After a few days exploration of the area, I then proceeded to cross the Low Tatras (where it must be said with their more than 6,000 feet, they are not really so low) and then it was on to Banská Bystrica (which lower, still lies at an altitude of 362 metres (1,188 ft) above sea level) and from that height it was then mostly downhill to the border into Hungary.
In Hungary, it became a lot hillier until reaching the town of Vac in the Danube Valley. From there it was onto the busy city of Budapest, where after spending two days I took the train back home to Leipzig.