A Hike Up Pravcicka Brana

Trip Start Jun 22, 2011
Trip End Jul 01, 2011

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What I did

Flag of Czech Republic  , Ústecký Kraj,
Friday, June 24, 2011

Woke up at 7 am as we needed to take the 8.30 IC train to Decin. There are plenty of trains to Decin but the IC train means we didnt have to change trains. The train station was only a 10 minutes walk away and again the beautiful cool morning unlike the annoying hot humid weather back home made the walk very enjoyable.

The queue wasnt so long and we bought a one way ticket for only about US6 per person. The IC train was as expected comfortable but quite a number of the seats were reserved . However, since no one was taking the seats yet and our journey was only for about an hour and a half , we sat in a cabin with two other Germans on their way to Berlin.

We were there just 10 minutes before 10 am but a wrong turn had us opposite the road and we were at the wrong bus stop and could only watch  our bus leave for Hrsenko. The next bus was at 12 and we decided to take a cab. Instead of Hrsenko,we thought that Mezni Louka which was 10 km further would mean a shorter hike. The cab ride which took about half an hour and about 35 euros .

Mezni Louka was actually the other end of the circuit and we found out later that it meant that we had to double back at the end of the track if we wanted to go for the boat ride at the gorges.

A quick breakfast at Mezni Louka and we were off. Gabriella Trail which was about 6.5 km was quite a challenging but pleasant enough hike for me. Very beautiful with lovely scenery. We finally got a view of Pravcicka Brana two hours later . Falcons' Nest the monastery turned restaurant was such a welcome sight. The only restaurant up there - the menu was limited and quite packed with people all hungering for lunch and drinks. Obviously overworked, the waiters were still chirpy and happy to serve ( it would have been a different story if we were in France..)

I was too tired to walk up anymore and had my beer and coffee and enjoyed the scenery of the park. At about 4pm, we were ready to walk down. The path down was more pebbled and a lot more difficult to walk. We found ourselves at the entrance of the of Tia Prameny , the trail from Hrsenko side and as we made our way to Hrsenko, we found ourselves at the entrance to the Quiet Gorge and the beautiful boat rides I had read about. We had to walk an additional 2-3km in order to take the boat ride. We were tired by then but still determined to go on the boat ride. Another 30 min hike and we were just in time for the last boat ride to and back . It was worth every penny and Paul ( we dont know what his name was , so we just called him paul) entertained us in German and smattering English. Amazing that we understood his jokes and he probably found us amusing as well that he didnt charge us for the ride back.

Then another 30 min hike back to Ticha Souteska , ti started raining and we took shelter at this pub. The owner was this lady who didnt speak English and smattering German and lots of body language. We got through ordering food without any trouble and she even drove us to Decin to take our train and made it just 5 minutes before the IC train to Prague. Great timing...

Wonderful scenery and lots of Czech hospitality made this trip memorable...
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