Friday, September 23, 2016
Bohemian Switzerland Day 2: Pravčická brána and Soutěsky
The next day we headed to Pravčická brána - a rock forming an arc - or a gate as it is called. It's the largest natural sandstone arch in Europe and makes a great impression on every tourist. An XVIII century building is standing right next to it and adds a charm to the place. Except for the inn and the gate, the view around is spectacular. You can see the whole area together with the neighbouring rock formations. Tourists are not discouraged by the fact that you really need to hike to visit this place. There are various ways to reach Pravčická brána, we started from Hrensko, first by a road, then by a forest and up to the inn.
At the gate we made a longer pause (yep - beer pause but not only - you must eat knedliki when you are in Czech - you simply must do it!). Except for trying local cuisine, we also made a walk around as there are many walking paths that give view on the gate and around from different angles. The view was really great!
From there we headed to Soutěsky (a ravine). We were not sure if we would make it on time but decided to head forward and see what the day brings. The path continued through a forest and led to a little town (Luka) where we made an ice cream break (that was Wojtek's idea). Then we continued through yet another forest (this time flat) that seemed a bit fairy-like with its densely growing trees with naked chunks and lots of green moss. This forest smoothly turned into a ravine and by no means it was the most beautiful place of this sort I have ever seen. I know I sometimes fall into exaggeration but I swear it's not this time. And when I try to put in words what I saw I don't find anything that would give justice. I mean, there was nothing special - a stream, small rocks, moss, trees - you can find that in many places. But somehow it all added up and created a special mood of this place. Spectacular!
The route continued up to a place where there was no possibility to build a suspended path, nor to pass with dry feet. And that was another attraction of the place - a boat ride guided by a raftsman. It was great because we just sat down and admired the beauty of the surroundings while the guide told stories about the history of the place as well as gave us various interpretations of the rocks. I liked it a lot.
Oh yeah, I forgot - there was an artificial waterfall. Quite an oddity - won't you say? Anyway, I enjoyed this day a lot and I have to say, I was super surprised we managed to do this we 2 little children. Endomondo showed us the distance of 22 km. Of course, there's always some margin of error but still it's quite a walk. And our kids were so great it was a truly pleasant day!