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November 13, 2008

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Anna J.

Congratulations! Just one thought and I've no idea how easy or difficult it would be, but how about adding a map to show us all how far you cycled. It must be a really impressive distance.

peggykaye

Hi Son, Well done hope you are not too saddle sore! Love Mum.

peggykaye

Well done Son, hope you are not too saddle sore. Love Mum.

Paul Karbusicky

I remember as it would be today, when I was crossing Iron curtain on my way to asylum in Austria March 13, 1969. My country Czechoslovakia was just invaded and occupied by the Warsaw pact armies.
It was heartbreaking moment. Our bus stopped again after clearing Czech customs, and after about five hundred meters. The reason given was to stretch our legs, even though we were standing just few moments ago at the customs. It was unspoken understanding to take one of the last looks back to our country.
We all stood outside and nobody was speaking, and nobody would dare to say we are not coming back and nobody would share emotions. Beautiful white clouds were freely running across the border. There was a thunder clap emphasizing gravity of this moment. Lots of thoughts were running through my head. One of them deep disbelieve, how it could it be that in the twentieth century something like this can still exist. How is it possible, that there is my nation living behind barbed wire fence? We were certain that we are leaving forever and without possibility of ever coming back. How little did I know!
The barb wire was invisible from this distance, and only fence poles and watch towers stood on guard. Unknown to me at that time was fact that the border was moved two kilometers back so that it would give soldiers some time to shoot whoever would decide to leave illegally. There was strip of land kept freshly plowed. The rest is history.
I was given three years and my wife two and half for leaving Czechoslovakia illegally without government permission. It happened later on as our parents let us know.
I just finished reading book by Adrian Goldsworthy: The fall of the West, The death of Roman superpower. There on the page 239 is map outlining fortified frontiers of the Roman empire c. 375 AD. It runs very close and similar fashion where the Iron curtain was running. It is quite coincidence.

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