Monday, 24 September 2018

Hiking Holiday - Day 7

We had great plans for today, Tuesday, the 11th of September: A hike that would take us not only into woodland, but also across the border from Germany into Czechia (or Czech Repbublic), and there to the spring of the river Moldau (Vltava).
At 8:38 on our balcony

After breakfast, we took the bus to Finsterau. I enjoyed this first part of our tour, as I always like looking at houses and villages, see where and how people handle the world immediately around themselves, where they live.  

Our reliable little tour book was of great help, and when signposts failed, OK used his mobile phone to navigate. We met plenty of other walkers/hikers and many cyclists, especially on the Czech side of the border, as the paths there were made on purpose so that bike rides were comfortable (no bikes are allowed on most of the hiking paths on the German side).

The National Park "Bayerischer Wald" (Bavarian Forest) stops at the border, but of course the forest itself does not; on the other side, it is also a National Park, much larger than on the German side. For the animals and plants living there, political borders are non-existent, and so I am truly glad that both countries cooperate on this.

Siebensteinkopf ("Seven Rocks Head"), named so because there are seven large rocks just below the summit

Kay, this one is for you!
This is the spring of the river Moldau (Vltava), marked by a wooden sculpture representing "the mother of all Czech rivers":

After a while, we came to this remainder - and reminder! - of what the borders between Germany and Czechia once were like. Back then, the country was called Czechoslovakia, and part of the Eastern Block of countries in association with the USSR. Where there used to be watchtowers, barbed wire and guards with guns and dogs, nowadays there is only a sign telling you where you are. Isn't that a good thing, and something to be grateful for? And yes, Czechia is also part of the EU, and I am glad about that.

Walking back across the border, we discovered that we'd have to wait about an hour for the bus. We did not feel like waiting so long but were still fit enough to walk our way along the bus route for two more stops, until we reached a museum with a café and a shop. We had coffee and cake there and a look around the shop until the bus arrived and took us back to our village.

At the hotel, there was still enough time for a short stint in the spa until we dressed for dinner and enjoyed another great four courses of organic food and drink.

And to top things off, we went for a walk around the village to watch the most spectacular and beautiful sunset we'd seen this holiday. Before we finally retreated to our room, we had a G&T and a chat with our favourite waitress.

Looking back, I think this was my favourite day of our holiday - all days were great, but this one had so much in it, and that wonderful sunset made it all the more special.


  1. What a lovely day. I think that a walk is always particularly nice if it has something interesting to see at the end of it, and it is always fascinating to cross into different countries. Don't you think it's strange the way that sometimes on a border, even the style of houses change, let alone the language! You and OK seem to be such great companions, liking the same things and having such good times.

    1. Yes, sometimes it really is like that with a border!
      You are right about OK and I being great companions :-)

  2. The sunset was glorious! What a wonderful holiday you and OK were having. I am a bit amazed at how a whole generation has grown up that never knew the Eastern Bloc....But it's almost 30 years. Paul and I used to think it would last 150 years like the Turkish occupation of Hungary (among other places). This is an improvement, but then I think how many other places are now so much worse. It is good to put these happy days in your lives.

    1. You should see the pictures OK took of that sunset - he has plenty more, but they are still on his phone and not on my computer…
      Yes, it was a wonderful holiday. It always is, when we are together!

  3. With all that walking you must be very fit and healthy! You know I love the heart! The sunset was just icing on the cake for that day, lovely.

    1. Oh dear, I am at my unfittest in years, Kay! All those enforced breaks due to my two operations, plus the very hot summer (I am sensible enough not to go running at 37C/99F) meant I had hardly been getting any exercise for months on end. The walking and hiking was a lot more exhausting - but nonetheless enjoyable - than it should have been. I am slowly rebuilding my fitness now, just in time for winter.