Summer

bohemian forest, pt. II

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three years ago, we spent our annual easter trip in šumava national forest (also known to german speakers as böhmerwald, bohemian forest). it was a simple hiking holiday where we stayed near lake lipno in a cheerful pension with a terrace and was so sore from all that wandering. isn’t it funny that sometimes the simpler trips can turn into the best ones? we’ve been talking for the past three years about what a nice time that was, and so thought it was time to reprise it this year.

šumava is a big place. it is a huge protected forest area extending from the south at the austrian border near lake (reservoir) lipno, and hugging the border with germany almost as north as plzeň. deciding where to go is never so easy, but usually i make my decision on the cutest pension… which is exactly how we found ourselves at the base of boubín hill in kubova hut’.

i have been hearing about boubín and the boubínsky prales (boubín primeval forest, with trees 300-400 years old) for ages – accessible as a day trip from where we live, but it would have to be a looong day trip to fit in as much hiking as we’d like. that’s why little mountain getaways are so great!

so, we took our bags and the dog up up up the railroad tracks to the highest elevation train station in the czech republic! the weather forecast didn’t look so promising, but after cancelling on our easter holiday two years ago, we decided we can be strong and tough it out if need be.

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kubova hut’ is the cutest little place. the locals were quite friendly, especially our pension owners. the fact that they didn’t really speak english or german, and we didn’t really speak czech was absolutely no problem at all, and i love that. often times people are scared to talk to us, and really, i can get intimidated by them! the kindness and enthusiasm was refreshing and appreciated.

our biggest hike last weekend included boubín hill (mountain? at 1362m, the term mountain seems controversial) and the primeval forest which i had heard so much about, with trees more than three hundred years old! we didn’t plan on it being so long, but after we conquered boubín around noon (with its observation tower being the highest point in šumava), it seemed too soon to go back…

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(half of the hikers seemed in disbelief at the tenacity of our little guy! he is truly happiest in the forest, though)

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we finally rolled in to the village restaurant, tired, sore, and hungry, 24 km (15 miles) later, just in time for a late dinner hour. for americans, this is a biiiig hiking day. (for the czechs i know, this is… a hiking day) but would you believe that our little miniature dachshund managed the whole thing off-leash, walking alongside us the entire time with energy to spare? i can’t get over this dog. he’s too much.

i tried many a delicious dish, but felt, for easter that i had to give a local specialty, rabbit thigh (below) a try. it was served with a delicious brown sauce i couldn’t identify over a bed of pearl barley in a creamy wild garlic sauce. local specialty, unlocked! this is coming from the gal who has stared in disbelief at the frozen rabbit meat at the supermarket. rabbit is just…. not a thing where i’m from. here it seems pretty respectable! they were out of green beer, though.

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to be high in the hills, waking up and walking around the frosty grass with the fog hanging around the mountain peaks and the horses visible from our room window… although it snowed a few times, the snow just felt right. even for the middle of april! the peace of mind that one can receive from getting away from the house to a place where there’s nothing to do but wander… and read books. and take luxurious naps during snow showers. this holiday was just right!

then we came back home and enjoyed the easter monday traditions here in the czech republic; namely, the pomlázka stick kindly constructed by our neighbors, which alex hit me (lightly) with after he read this easter poem in czech… then i gave him easter chocolates and painted eggs. when in czech.

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i hope you had a nice easter too!

this post is a part of wanderful wednesday.

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