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2020 Challenger GT AWD, Granite Crystal, Black Top, Convenience Group, car nickname: "Christine"
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As our sons are back in school we took 3 days off - just me, my wife and our Christine, and went to western woods in the mountains (~4000 ft max) making natural border between Austria, Germany (Bavaria) and Bohemia. The area is covered by deep woods and the prevailing weather experienced by visitors is rainy. Mountains were carved by icebergs and this process left there number of lakes. The human history of this landscape has been always influenced by the border of Czech and German national, cultural and political areas. In particular, after WWII and the iron-curtain being erected, the highly patrolled border with West was here, so the communist government made the area completely abandoned. The traces of this period are still visible even after 30 years and partial return of permanent inhabitants, now mostly linked with the touristic expansion due to natural beauty of the region.
The trip started Monday morning and during the day we visited the oldest Cistercian Abbey in Vyšší Brod (established 1259, after all the centuries closed by Nazi German authorities in WWII, shortly revived after the war but then closed by the communist government in 1950 and revived since 1990).




In the evening we arrived to our hotel, located in deep forests just few miles from the Austrian border in place of an old village Svatý Tomáš.

Despite of crazy weather forecast we made a nice hiking on Tuesday, driving all around Lipno lake (artificial lake raised by dam on Vltava river, build in 1950's - our largest dam) to Nová Pec on the river entry to the lake. The trail started by Schwarzenberg's channel - artificial waterway system built at the end of 18th century to efficiently move harvested wood down to Vltava and Danube rivers allowing access to the fuel and later construction wood markets; the extend is about 30 miles including 1/4 mile tunnel. The system worked (partially) up to 1961 when the last part of the channel in use was finally abandoned. Luckily, now this technical monument is being preserved and part of the line has been already repaired.

Our walk started to climb up to Plešné jezero - natural lake that has been raised and used as water reservoir for the channel. We experienced the true weather of Böhmerwald - from rain showers, hail (just small ice crystals) to short period of sunshine.
During our climb we walked along a fence bordering an area for planting of small/young trees - and it was hard to miss the sign the forest authority placed there :)

After reaching the lake we continued climbing up over the lake to viewpoint near monument of German-writing poet Adalbert Stifter:


The rest of the walk going finally down was more complicated... but we succeeded to return with sunshine!
On our drive back we experienced kind of Kowalski-moment on a railroad crossing:)


The cruise around Lipno lake took around 1 hour and despite wet roads and rain showers was quite enjoyable too:devilish:
After 10 miles of mountain hike (elevation well over 1200 ft up and down) we took a nice rest in hotel wellness.

Last day of our stay was spent by short walk in the neighborhood to viewpoint on ruin of old caste overlooking the Lipno lake and we drove home, stopping to visit former Cistecian Abbey in Zlatá Koruna (the Abbey was established 1263 and dismissed in the 18th century by Austrian emperor Joseph II; only the Church and parts of the Convent were preserved). It is strange to realize that what we feel to be short cruise by car (1 hour drive from Vyšší Brod to Zlatá Koruna) used to be almost a whole-day travel in the medieval times...
 
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