Ceský Ráj, which literally translates into English as ‘Czech Paradise’ or ‘Bohemian Paradise’, is beautiful area of sandstone rocks and forests lying between 70-100 kilometres north east of Prague. Yesterday, on my first proper day-off for about a month, I took an 18 km walk through the western edge of Ceský Ráj, starting and finishing in the small town of Mnichovo Hradište.
After walking four kilometres from Mnichovo Hradište railway station, crossing the railway line, the Prague – Liberec motorway and then open fields, I reached the small village of Zásadka, which lies at the foot of the rocks. Here I enjoyed a traditional Czech lunch of Smažený sýr a hranolky, accompanied 0.5l of Svijany beer. Thus fortified, I set off further along the red waymarked route.
My walk first took me past the ruins of Valecov Castle, originally built to take full advantage of the sandstone rock towers on which it is situated.
Then the path went between further rock outcrops……
……and along forested valleys. My apologies for the sky being ‘blown out’, (as photographer Sybille would describe it 🙂 ), but there was such a contrast between the shade provided by the trees and the very bright Autumn sunshine.
A short detour from the path, took me to this viewpoint at Klamorna…..
…..looking down to the village of Dneboh below.
Shortly afterwards, I reached a series of rock pillars known as Drábské svetnicky.
Some are inaccessible…..
…..whilst others are connected by a series of bridges, steps and ladders.
My return journey was along the blue waymarked route, which passed through this gap in the rocks.
This walk was my first wearing my new walking boots. They proved extremely comfortable except that I gained one blister on the back of my left heel. May that be the first and only one!