A walk above Kanon Labe

The Labe river flowing towards Germany, where it becomes the Elbe © Ricky Yates

On Saturday 1st September, a group from my former congregation at St Clement’s Anglican Episcopal Church, Prague, are travelling by train to Decín, for me to take them on a guided walk through the Labské pískovce Protected Landscape Area where I now live. This post is both an account of my research for that walk and is also aimed at giving the prospective participants, a taster of what they can look forward to experiencing 🙂

The walk starts in the village of Ludvíkovice, which lies between Decín and Stará Oleška. From outside the Post Office, where I parked my car, I then walked into the forest a short way, to join the red waymarked route that comes up from Decín and is part of the E3 European long distance path. Heading north and climbing steadily for about 1.5km, the path arrives at the first spectacular viewpoint, Vyhlídkové místo.

This is the view looking north with the Labe river flowing towards Germany, where it becomes the Elbe.

The view looking south, back towards Decín © Ricky Yates

Whilst this is the view looking south, back towards Decín.

View from Vyhlídkové místo © Ricky Yates

Slightly further on, there is second viewpoint, also called Vyhlídkové místo 😉 , from where the full extent of the forest lying below the cliffs and stretching down to the valley floor, can be seen.

From Vyhlídkové místo, there is a shallow valley to be crossed, followed by a short climb up a zigzag path to Ružová vyhlídka, at 433m above sea level, the highest point on the route.

The view south from Ružová vyhlídka © Ricky Yates

This is the view south from Ružová vyhlídka. Decín in the far distance, stands at 135m above sea level which means that Kanon Labe is nearly 300 metres deep.

The view north from Ružová vyhlídka © Ricky Yates

And the view north.

The green waymarked route through the forest © Ricky Yates

From Ružová vyhlídka, the red waymarked route is followed for a further kilometre before turning off onto the green waymarked route, heading back south through the forest.

Slunecná brána © Ricky Yates

The path then passes this fascinating geological feature, Slunecná brána, a small sandstone rock arch formation. As you can see, there is a seat provided if you need to rest your weary legs 🙂

The village of Ludvíkovice © Ricky Yates

The path then undulates through the forest, with glimpses of the village of Ludvíkovice through the trees, completing a circular walk and rejoining the red waymarked route.

Retracing my earlier steps for about 0.5km, rather than then walk back into Ludvíkovice, I continued along the red waymarked route, in the direction of Decín. This leads to two further viewpoints.

Sandstone pavilion at Vyhlídka Labská stráž © Ricky Yates

The first of these is Vyhlídka Labská stráž where there is this sandstone pavilion, originally built in the late nineteenth century. As you can probably see in the photograph, the safety barriers have been recently repaired. The stonework has also been re-pointed, restoring the building to its former glory.

The view from Vyhlídka Labská stráž © Ricky Yates

From the pavilion there is this splendid view. On the west/left bank of the Labe is the Prague-Decín-Dresden railway, whilst on the east/right bank, is the main road from Decín to Dresden.

Decín, as viewed from Císarský výhled © Ricky Yates

A further kilometre on from Vyhlídka Labská stráž, is Císarský výhled, which provides expansive views across Decín.

Zigzag path © Ricky Yates

From Císarský výhled, the red waymarked route then descends down this zigzag path to a bus stop opposite Decín hospital. There is a local bus from here, directly to the main railway station. On the day of my exploration, I had to walk to another stop to get a bus back to my parked car.

4 comments to A walk above Kanon Labe

  • Sean Mccann

    Hi Ricky,
    Your group of friends are lucky to have such a diligent guide leading them on their walk ‘in the nature’ and to have such magnificent ‘nature’ to enjoy; I envy them! That spectacular Kanon must have taken millions of years to erode the channel which then became a means of access for humanity in its wandering in search of a place to settle and then to trade with others. The great rivers of the world have been the greatest friend and servant of mankind throughout our history and we haven’t always been grateful.

    You are blessed to live in close quarters with such a beautiful region and have the health and stamina to enjoy it fully, long may you continue to do so. Can I see the faint glimmer of a new venture on the horizon – Ricky Tours anyone? I would definitely be a prospective customer. 🙂 Your photographs are excellent as always and I really wish I could be there to walk with you on September 1st. God bless Ricky.

    • Ricky

      Hi Sean,
      Thank you for once more commenting here & for your kind compliments. You are quite right – my mind boggles as to how long it took the Labe to carve out this gorge which, at its deepest, is around 300 metres deep.

      There are already several companies who offer tours of this region so I have no intention of setting up another 🙂 But I do hope my health will continue to allow me to explore & enjoy all this wonderful area has to offer.

  • Robert E. Doolittle

    Hi Ricky:The walk you describe in this post is truly spectacular, and your guests for this outdoor adventure are in for a real treat. I was particularly interested in the speculation as to how long the Labe must have taken to carve this gorge. I suggest that the book of Genesis provides an alternative answer to the formation of this river gorge that took a much shorter length of time. Love your photography, and I have to admit to envy that I will not be in the group that you lead on this walk.
    Best Regards,
    In Christ, Bob

    • Ricky

      Hi Bob – Thank you for your compliments regarding my photographs and I’m sorry that you cannot join us on Saturday. With regard to the formation of the gorge I think the most important words from the book of Genesis are those in verse one of chapter one. ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’ – ‘who’ being far more important than ‘how’. I certainly rejoice in God as creator when walking in this beautiful area. Thank you as always, for visiting & commenting here.