This is next post from my HLOG (Honza’s Blog) series.

2001 was an important year for me. Together with my cousin Evina Jacobs who works for nowadays, we did my first long cycling expedition. From my hometown Ostrava, Czechia through Poland and Baltic states to Finnland and North Arctic Circle there. On the way home, we crossed Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and Poland again. Altogether, a 6713 km / 4171 miles long journey on an upright tandem. During this voyage, we met a Dutch guy Sjaak on a homebuilt recumbent. It was the first time I had seen such a bike in person. And I was hooked. Anyway, this journey has changed our lives forever, but this is another story I plan to unfold in the next few days. The one I want to tell you is about the day. The 9/11 day.

We were in Copenhagen, Denmark, on the 11th, and a couple met us while cycling through the city. They invited us to stay overnight in their apartment, so we did. We had a wonderful evening together, eating great food and talking about traveling and lives in our and their country. I can’t recall their names, but they were so polite they didn’t switch on the radio or TV and didn’t even answer any phone call. And I remember there were some. So we did have absolutely no clue something important happened. Same the next morning. We had breakfast together and left their apartment and the city early in the morning. We had a cell phone with us, but it was complicated to charge it somewhere; the messages from abroad were costly, not talking about calls. So we had it switched off for most of the time. That means even for several days. We cycled through the Danish countryside in the direction of Rødbyhavn to board a ferry to Germany the next day.

It was the first time we had learned about something happening. Two days after, on the 13th on the ferry, I saw a newspaper with some scary photos, but I couldn’t understand anything. Soon after we got more information through the message from our parents. They tried to convince us to get home quickly, but there was no way to do it. We didn’t have money to go by train, so we had to cycle. We were afraid, we were talking about it, of course, and when we saw aircrafts flying low above our head in Berlin, Germany, we thought another attack was coming, but we made it, of course. Still, I will remember those days very well.