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Czech Mate: Cross-border cooperation on EuroVelo 13 – Iron Curtain Trail

15.05.2014
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On the 6th May, regional and local authorities and cycling NGOs from the Carlsbad region of the Czech Republic met in Cheb with Daniel Mourek (representative of the Czech National EuroVelo Coordination Centre) to finalize the itinerary of EuroVelo 13 – Iron Curtain Trail in the area.

It was deliberately chosen to organise the meeting in the EuroVelo-friendly city of Cheb (in the FREEDEM culture house) because this is where EuroVelo 4 – Central Europe Route meets with EuroVelo 13 – Iron Curtain Trail, as well as several other cross-border national cycle routes (including the Ohre Trail). The Mayor of the city and the Vice-Governor of the Carlsbad region as well as some representatives of different local cycling NGOs were among the participants.

The meeting was the opportunity to discuss and finally fix the exact itinerary of EuroVelo 13 along the border of the Carlsbad region. An earlier study undertaken with Bavarian partners had identified an 89 km long route as potentially being the ‘missing piece’ of the jigsaw and the participants in the meeting agreed with this proposal.

This final 89 km section brings the total length of the Iron Curtain Trail along the border of the Czech Republic to 866 km.  The route passes through four regions in the Czech Republic (Carlsbad, Pilsen, South Bohemia and South Moravia), two regions in Austria (Lower Austria and Upper Austria) and one region in Germany (Bavaria).

The next step for the partners along the Czech borders is the completion of the cross-border signposting which should be finished in the following weeks. An international bike ride to be held between the 7th and 14th June along EuroVelo 13 through Bavaria (Germany), the Czech Republic and Austria will provide the opportunity for the inauguration of the new signing.

All these cross-border initiatives fit in with the spirit of EuroVelo 13, which tries to cross national borders as often as possible in order to let cyclists discover the neighbouring European countries, which, for four decades, were divided by the Iron Curtain.