Saturday, July 14, 2012

České Švýcarsko

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Rock walls dusty, almost chalky to the touch, a fresh piney smell in the air, water gently gurgling, rippling, birdsong and wind, the soft thud of my feet padding on cool damp earth, dappled sunlight through the trees, a grey sliver of a snake slipping away into a bush, the Pravčická Brána soaring over my head, the laughter of children in the distance, limestone cliffs like giants from a forgotten myth, a helmeted cyclist whirring by suddenly and down deep into the woods, the sweet crunch of an apple eaten under a tree, the sharp, almost metallic air in a dim rock cave, a cool foamy beer to reward the burning in my thighs. České Švýcarsko was joy.

Stay at Decin or Ceske Kamenice, both accessible by train. From Decin, take bus 434 from the train station to Hrensko (an easy access point to the national park), timetables are available at the tourist office located at the town's castle (the Zamek). You could also walk from Decin to Hrensko - buy a proper map; look here for routes. I didn't like mine so I abandoned it for the bus.

I didn't like my hotel in Decin much so no recommendations there.

In Decin, visit the Zamek and have crepes at Na Ceste that helps train the disabled for jobs. Go to Restaurace Ouplav for the usual Czech meals but done with a much lighter hand, and great service.

Life will be quiet if you don't speak German or Czech.

11 comments:

Ammu said...

Gorgeous pictures! Am definitely going to do this when I return to the Czech republic. Beautiful.

Joy said...

can't believe we're even on the same continent. the photos are so beautiful! i really would love to go to visit more of eastern europe in the near future. feel free to email me for tips on greece! :D love this quiet trip of yours.

Alexandra said...

It looks so peaceful.

http://herribbonsandherbows.blogspot.co.uk/

Eileen said...

Did you visit these places alone? It looks so untouched and secluded. Such a pure and invigorating experience!

Chocolate, Cookies & Candies said...

Your first photo took my breath away. Your description plants a vivid image in my mind of the sights and sounds you've experienced. I've been meaning to go to Czech for a very long time. Can you give me tips on where to go for a week long trip?

lin said...

Ammu: It's definitely worth the trip, and such a nice break from travelling from city to city. There's a place closer to Prague if you're strapped for time called Ceske Raj that has similar limestone formations. Have not been there but the pictures look nice.

Joy: I know...Europe makes for incredibly rich and diverse exploration, no wonder it's such a magnet for travellers.

Alexandra: It was! Physically I was tired walking around but mentally I felt rested just being there.

Eileen: Yes I was alone. But in the park itself you will definitely run into other travellers. It never got uncomfortably crowded, even though the stone bridge is quite a big attraction.

chocolate, cookies & candies: thanks! yes happy to share what I can...shld I email you? That might be easier.

petrichore said...

Lovely, lovely pictures! And thanks for the travel details (lodgings, transportation, etc.). I know it takes a lot of time to compile and write up.

humannracing said...

Absolutely breathtaking photos! The scenery is very idyllic. I don't know the next time I'll find myself in the Czech Republic, but I'll try to keep these tips on hand.

lin said...

petrichore: Thanks! Actually it's not trouble at all since I still remember most of it, haha.

humannracing: Thank you! If you ever do go, feel free to email me if you have questions. I still consider myself a stranger to the country but I can definitely talk about the places I have been.

Dichohecho said...

Nice photos :)
Looks a bit like Bastei in Germany, and they're probably quite close together so same kind of rock? Hmm.
I visited Bastei on a family holiday while we were staying in Dresden and it was fairly touristy, I imagine this place has a better atmosphere...

lin said...

Dichohecho: Thanks! I think Bastei is part of the same hiking region as Ceske Svycarsko, so I guess the formations are the same!

On the Czech side, the town near the entrance of the park was very touristy (Hrensko), and the Pravcicka Brana was also more touristy than the rest of the park, but by and large, it wasn't too bad - I was alone most of the time.