Last Friday, during my post-Easter break, I explored the Hruboskalsko, another part of Ceský Ráj, a beautiful area of sandstone rocks and forests lying between 70-100 kilometres north east of Prague. Having parked my car in a designated parking area near the village of Pelešany, I made my way to join the red waymarked trail. This trail is designated the Zlatá Stezka or ‘Golden Trail’, so called because if you were to walk the whole of it, you would see all the best sights within Ceský Ráj.
After an initial climb, the trail brought me to this rock tower at Hlavatice. In the early years of the twentieth century, the local walking club erected a spiral iron staircase consisting of thirty-six steps, which allows access to the top of the tower……
…….from where there is this splendid view of the nearby town of Turnov.
A further two kilometre walk brought me to Hrad Valdštejn/Valdštejn Castle, originally built to take full advantage of the defensive qualities provided by the rocky outcrop on which it is situated.
During April, the castle is only open to the public on weekends, so being Friday, it was closed. However fortunately, the neighbouring Hospoda was open!
Following liquid refreshment, I walked on through the beautifully forested landscape with some spectacular views of amazing rock towers. I’ll let the photographs do the talking.
I eventually reached Hrubá Skála, where there is a large hotel, built onto the remains of an earlier castle.
There is an access road up to the hotel from the valley below. Two large German tourist buses were parked outside the hotel and a third pulled up a couple of minutes later. Clearly the hotel gets good business from elderly German tourists, revisiting the Heimat I beat a hasty retreat!
I made my return journey along the yellow waymarked route from where there are further views of more rock pillars. This one on the left I thought was particularly spectacular whilst those in the photograph below, look very dramatic in the early evening light.