Hora Ríp is a prominent hill, located about 48 km/30 miles north of Prague. It protrudes from the otherwise relatively flat Central Bohemian Plain, and is very visible and easily accessible from the D8, the Prague-Dresden motorway. Of course, there should be a hácek, a little hook, above the ‘R’ in ‘Ríp’, as there should be above the ‘c’ in ‘hácek‘. But as I have explained several times previously, the set-up of this blog cannot cope with many Czech diacritics and instead renders them as ‘?’
Wearing my geographer hat, I can tell you that Hora Ríp is the eroded remains of a former volcano. It consists of a variety of igneous rocks that are somewhere between 34 and 23 million years old. But for Czech people, Hora Ríp is believed to be the place where the first Slav people viewed the land and decided to settle here. So it has a great cultural significance.
Climbing Hora Ríp has been on my ‘bucket list’, (to use a very American expression ), for quite some time. Yesterday evening, I duly did so. My motivation was twofold. As well as wanting to tick it off my ‘bucket list’, I also wanted to see if I could still manage several kilometres of hill walking, being aware that my left leg has been giving me problems in recent days. I don’t want to set off in two weeks time, seeking to climb Swiss mountains with Sybille, if I cannot walk up a much lower Czech hill
It took me less than an hour, to drive out of Prague to the village of Vražkov, despite having to cope with rush hour traffic and various road works. I parked my car off the road at the edge of the village, and set off along the yellow waymarked route towards the summit. Near the summit, I came to the point where the red waymarked route from the village of Ctineves, joins from the right. The sign at this junction of paths, declared that it is only a further 0.5km to the summit. I have to say that it was one of the the longest 0.5km that I have walked in a very long time
However, just before the summit, there was this wonderful view, back towards Vražkov and beyond.
And by using the zoom feature on my camera, I took this picture of Vražkov. If you look closely, you can just see my car, parked on the opposite side of the road from the large white house on the right of the photograph.
This view is towards the north-west, with the mountains that form the Czech-German border, in the distance.
I had read that there was a bar at the summit, offering liquid refreshment to those who have exerted physical effort to climb there. There is – but it isn’t open at 19.00 on Wednesday evenings in July
Likewise, the ancient Romanesque rotunda of Saint George, built by Sobeslav I in 1126, was also not open. However, despite both of these disappointments, I still very much enjoyed my ascent and decent of Hora Ríp. And as my leg feels better today than in recent days, I hopefully will still be able to walk with Sybille, through Switzerland and into France, in two weeks time.