The day starts cloudy but dry and we are going to make a trip to the Bohemian Paradise and the Giant Mountains. It is only 75 kilometers from Prague to the Bohemian Paradise, a nature reserve with strange rock formations which we climb now and then. The area is rather big and ideal for hiking. The roads are very bad, though: often there are deep holes (15 - 20 cm) and we have to drive very carefully.
In Jicin, at the edge of the Bohemian Paradise, we take our first break. It is a small but very vivid village and when we walk around a bit the sun even breaks through the clouds. It is a perfect day. But the coffee they have is terrible, it tastes like muddy water, like all Dutch people around us say.
But the nature here is wonderful and above it stand the ruins of castle Trosky. Two towers build on the highest hill peaks give us a great panoramic view over the area. They really do anything to get some money, here: it costs € 0,60 to make a picture of some birds of prey who clearly are not very happy with their role, like a large owl in full sunlight.When we continue our way to the Giant Mountains we notice that this region is very popular for Dutch people: we meet 5 Polish cars, 3 German and hundreds of Dutch cars. This is probably a very cheap place to be...
Many roadworks are under way and it is clearly very necessary, like in the Bohemian Paradise there are many holes and broken asphalt.
In Mala Skala we see this nice church build against the rocks. There are many high and steep rocks here, but most of the time we don't see much of them since they are hidden behind the high trees.
We drive on to the geographic and touristic heart of the Giant Mountains, to the village Spindleruv Mlyn. The whole mountainrange has a length of about 40 kilometers and runs parallel to the Polish border. We see here many more pretty houses, often in use as a pension or hotel. The prices we see are surely much lower than in Prague (€ 20 for a double room!).All villages show some history from the communist age in the form of factories build in the middle of the village. They don't seem to be in use anymore, but then they had no consideration for the environment, nor for the health of the people.
We would like to see more of this area, but then we need more time than we have now. So, we drive back towards Prague and have dinner in a village on the way. Within an hour and a half we are back at the campsite while we had the feeling we were much further away.It has been a nice and quiet day with only one steep mountain we had to climb and a few short walks through pretty woods. Tomorrow we have a last day in Prague and then we will slowly return north again. We wish we could live like this forever...