Tuesday, 21 November 2017

E3: Czech Republic Part 2

View from 1350 m Serak
Shortcutting another long detour for a border crossing I entered Czech Republic again. This mountain range is called Hrubý Jeseník or Altvatergebirge in German. First summit to climb is 1350 metres high Serak - and to my big surprise my German guidebook does not even mention how to hike up there. Instead it just describes taking the ski lift ...  I am a firm believer in connecting footsteps and walked of course - although I confess taking the lift up and walking downhill instead of the other way round ....

Niederes Gesenk
Praded is almost 1500 metres high and the highest - and most popular - summit of this mountain range. There are even shuttle buses from a nearby parking lot going up there! Everybody and their mother was out there hiking - or taking a ride on a scooter! These vehicles could be rented on top from where you can descend on a smooth paved road!
The E3 then descends into the lowlands of Nízký Jeseník or "Niederes Gesenke" where I was now traversing fields and pastures and following the very idyllic little river Moravice.

World War II memorial
But a very important date was coming closer: My 50th birthday on 9th of July. I had been deliberating what to do on that big day and had even thought of briefly returning to Berlin in order to celebrate with my friends. But once I am in hiking mode I don't want to be stopped and therefore decided to celebrate on the trail - and on my own. I wanted to be in a nice place and chose a hotel in Hradec nad Moravici. A very good choice because the hotel owner was a very good source of information for the Austrian-German history of this area.

I spent the big day sightseeing in Opava and Hradbyne where an impressive World War II Memorial is situated. Opava itself turned out to be a very pleasant little town with an interesting modern museum. And in the evening I treated myself with a posh dinner followed by dessert and a cocktail in a nice bar. Sitting at the outdoor terrace of the Restaurant and enjoying the view over historical Opava I felt very good - and did not regret spending my birthday alone.

So far I had not encountered any other long-distance hiker - but I knew there were others! Jana, another German was hiking Eisenach -Budapest coming towards me and through Facebook Messages we timed a meeting at the mountain hut at Radhost (Jana was not Camping but always staying in paid accommodation). It felt so good to meet a fellow hiker after almost one month alone on the trail! Although the rooms in this very old hut were sort of very old, too the food in the restaurant was excellent and we spent the entire evening and next morning talking. And this was not our last get-together. After our tours we have already met twice in Germany.

1 comment:

milkmonsta said...

Well, looks like I forgot your birthday. Sorry about that, but all the best retroactively! :-)