Decín on the Labe river with the Zámek/Château on the right © Ricky Yates

Decín is a town that lies either side of the Labe (Czech), Elbe (German), river. It is situated at the beginning of a deep gorge where the Labe cuts through the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, Labské pískovce (Czech), Elbsandsteingebirge (German), on its way to Dresden in Germany and eventually flowing into the North Sea beyond Hamburg. The area to the east of the Labe is known as Bohemian Switzerland, Ceské Švýcarsko (Czech), Böhmische Schweiz (German), about which I’ve written previously here on my blog.

Decín is 130km north-west of Prague and takes around one-and-a-half hours to reach by either road or rail. But its closeness to the German border means that it only takes forty-five minutes by train to get to Dresden. Therefore . . . → Read More: Decín

A walk in Ceské Švýcarsko – Bohemian Switzerland

The path to Pravcická brána © Ricky Yates

On Monday 15th February, I took a proper ‘day-off’ and went for a near 20km walk in Ceské Švýcarsko – Bohemian Switzerland, the beginning of keeping the promise I made at the end of my previous but one blog post. I saw enough during my day trip, to encourage me to return and further explore this attractive area.

I drove north-west from Prague, to the port town of Decín on the Labe River, and then a further 12km north alongside the Labe, (which becomes the Elbe on entering Germany), to the border settlement of Hrensko. Here I turned onto a minor road along the Kamenice river valley to the eastern end of the settlement, where there was a designated car park in which I duly parked the ‘Carly’. According to a sign, its . . . → Read More: A walk in Ceské Švýcarsko – Bohemian Switzerland


The Church of St. Peter & St. Paul, Melník © Ricky Yates

Following my recent busy July weekend, I am now on annual leave until the end of the month. For a variety of reasons, we’ve decided to have a stay-at-home holiday or ‘staycation’ as I gather Americans call it. For these next two weeks, we’ve written out a list of places in or around Prague that we either want to visit for the first time, or re-visit because we missed something previously, or because we want to go in summer having previously visited in another season.

On Tuesday 17th July, we visited Melník, a small town which lies around 35 km directly north of Prague at the confluence of the Vltava and Labe/Elbe rivers. Melník comes into the third category outlined in the previous paragraph as we had been there once previously at . . . → Read More: Melník

A Trip up the River Vltava

Dam and Hydro-electric plant on the Vltava at Vrané © Ricky Yates

As most people who know me will already be aware, I have had a lifelong interest in canals and inland waterways. I was therefore delighted to discover that the Vltava, the river on which Prague is situated, is navigable. Engineering works, begun in the nineteenth century, have provided locks, navigable cuts and a sufficient depth of water to allow quite sizeable craft to reach the city.

The Vltava (or Moldau in German) leaves the Labe (Elbe in German) at Melnik, about 50 km north of Prague. From Melnik, it is possible to travel downstream along the Labe/Elbe all the way to the North Sea at Hamburg as well as connecting with canals and rivers that lead to Berlin and other German cities. Upstream of Melnik, the Labe is also navigable as far as the Czech city of . . . → Read More: A Trip up the River Vltava