hello friends! just spent a lovely few easter days staying at a pension by lake lipno and hiking through the bohemian national forest, known here as šumava. this was my big chance to actually get out and explore the country that i find myself living in instead of being swayed by more famous or sexier destinations. in the year and a half i’ve lived in czech republic, i’ve only planned one holiday here… something which needed to be remedied!
the šumava forest area is in the south-west corner of the czech republic, hugging the borders of both germany and austria. it’s not only full of beautiful forests but many hills (even a mountain or two) and glacial lakes. really, this region is the most beautiful of any in the czech republic i have yet seen.
we tramped over 24 miles in two days, which for me is a whole heck of a lot. i feel like i know so much more about czech culture than i did two days ago. maybe it’s the cheesy music videos we watched on a big screen while eating our morning vajíčka and párky. i don’t know, but i feel closer to this country now that i got out into the “middle of nowhere”… funny how sometimes you need to go far to feel closer.
took a lil’ ferry across the lake to get to zadni zvonkova, a german settlement only a couple kilometers from the austrian border that was cleared of its german inhabitants after WWII….
this area of šumava intersects with the historic schwarzenberg canal, which runs from germany, up into czech republic, and throughout austria, specifically with the aim of transporting (ie, floating) logs where they needed to go!
a restored german church and cemetery at the settlement of zadni zvonkova– almost entirely for the sudeten germans who used to live here before they were expelled.
a scottish loch or a czech reservoir lake? who will ever know? (lake lipno)
on easter sunday, we explored the environs near stožec, further into the hills.
our main goal was finding the stožec forest chapel… truly in the middle of nowhere (besides an old-growth nationally protected forest). alex and i thought perhaps we were the only north americans to pass through here in years– it really is that isolated!
the view point at just under 1000m. it was so windy that i thought i would blow away. i look happy, but i’m completely nervous!
the “big gee” looms over the look-out point… fitting for an easter sunday, no?
after the chapel we eventually wound up in a tiny one-road village called dobrá… definitely the cutest lil’ czech town i’ve ever set foot in, home of one of the best pubs in the world called u nemečku. it is truly one of the most authentic places in the world, if you go, you’ll see what i mean! in true czech tradition i had a pivo and a bowl of soup.
and so goes my bohemian forest easter. sunshine, hiking, hills, and new freckles make me a happy lady. if you’re looking for some of the best scenery in the czech republic, come on down and hike near the austrian border in bohemian forest!
here is a jam from the cheesy czech music video breakfast time from a group called wanatowi vjecy that really seems to sum up the feeling of the weekend. it gives me a midnight oil and beck vibe. what do you think? happy travel tuesday!