Germany, Saxon Switzerland – Pfaffenstein and Barbarine
The beauty of the rocks lays in their grey color, variety, uniqueness, and silence with which they stand in nature. The stone is inanimate but the rock breathes and beats like your heart once you are on the top. We set of to Pfaffenstein mountain and Barbarine rock pinnacle. Both of the localities are along Saxon Switzerland’s most beautiful trail.
Every trip starts with a journey. Saxon Switzerland (protected national park) is on great location. It takes two hours by car from Prague (a short break at Hrensko, a former border crossing point, included). From this rocky town follow the Elbe. The cross the bridge in Bad Schandau in the direction to Königstein (Royal Stone). What makes the town well-known is its bizzare stronghold built on a mesa in the 12th century. Formerly, the stronghold was a monastery, later a prison and today a point of interest. There is a traditional Christmas market, historical stalls, and nice decoration.
Pass through roundabout at the train station in Königsteinu. Drive out at the third exit and follow the road to Pfaffendorf. You can drive to the village or leave your car about 500 meters past the roundabout. It is possible to park your car for free without limits along the road. Drive up along the road towards Pfaffendorf, for now it is closed to cars. Then follow the red tourist markings.
Enter deep woods. You will stay there throughout the day. You will reach two caves. Often there are crowds of people usually wearing a headlight. They explore caves’ inside, climb through holes in rocks or observe bats.
You will pass by many rocks each of them being unique. One is more steep, other more rounded. Some large boulders are scattered around which seem to be buttressed up by some little guy. Sun rays shine through pine branches and tickle our faces. We are on Saxon Switzerland’s one of the most beautiful scenic routes called Malerweg. Now I understand what makes this road so beautiful – it inspires you to ponder about the glory of nature.
An hour and half later we reach a mesa rock standing on a vast meadow. The climb is upon us and it will take us around 30 minutes. You feel like you were at some rocky village. Pfaffenstein (434 meters) belongs to the Saxon Labske Piskovce . There, while climbing up, you need to squeeze through narrow paths or you have to walk the stairs. A restaurant is on the top with some seatings outside. The place is frequented by tourists. First, go left from the restaurant and find a secluded place where you can finally enjoy the view. The sun makes me fall asleep and I wake up fifteen minutes later.
When you finish your break, go right from the restaurant. There another rock is located called – Barbarine. A narrow 80-meter tall mesa looms before tourists and climbers. There are many children as well. The place is great for them because they can play on monkey bars or have a bird’s eye view of the nature or observe rock formations. Climbers got on the top of the rock opposite from us. I hear them opening a box and writing their names to a small notebook. They sit on that rugged summit silently just observing the nature like me.
The sun is setting and it is time to go. Following the green tourist trail we reached the car. When going from the rock, first you should cross meadow, then follow a pathway lined with hazelnut trees. You walk through Pfaffendorf village and then joining Königstein town. It takes 2.3 kilometers. This nice afternoon took us 5 hours of moderate paced walk, little breaks included. Dusk brought conclusion to another day but the memories stay.
GPS: (Barbarine) 50°53'48.5"N 14°04'53.9"E
Text: Šárka Vacková
Photo: Šárka Vacková, Wikimedia Commons: Fritz-Gerald Schröder
A great way to spend a sunny summer weekend is a trip to the Lusatian Lakes (Lausitzer Seenland), located in Germany, about two hours by car from Prague.
When visiting, just avoid weekends and German public holidays, we recommend to go off-season or at least for one whole day. Otherwise, get ready for a big rush.
Dresden is the most popular advent when we go to famous markets and also shop for Primark. But it would be a shame not to look through the historic city center, it is a beautiful and uplifting walk that will definitely be longer than you plan. In many places you will not be able to enjoy enough.
There are several table mountains in the Bohemian Switzerland. Pfaffenstein is one of the most visited, mainly due to the views and iconic Barbarine rock tower. Let's go up together now.
On the way from Děčín to Dresden, you will not miss the town of Pirna with a populatio nof about 40,000 inhabitants, which serves not only as an ideal gateway to the Saxon Switzerland, but thanks to its beautiful historical center, it is itself a popular cruise destination.
If you want to take a trip abroad to see the gems of Czech-made architecture Czech s, you do not have to travel far. Only 1.7 km from the Czech borde, there is a romantic place in the German Saxony, which is historically linked to the Czech Republic.
This small village in the Decin region has always treated its visitors well. Jetrichovice belongs to one of the centers of the National Park Czech Switzerland Švýcarsko and the nearby Jetrichovice walls attract all types of visitors – families with small children or experienced climbers alike
Near Decin there is the vast rocky area of Tiske Rocks, the westernmost area of the Labske Sandstones. Dozens of grandiose sandstone towers rise as high as 70 meters. If you happen to know the Chronicles of Narnia movies some scenes at the beginning of the Lion, Witch, and Cupboard movie were shot there.
Amazing compound on the rock, a bending of River Elbe, everlasting fame, travellers' lectures, educative travel games for children.
Bad Schandau, a German town, is situated almost on the border. We set off from Mlada Boleslav and travel in the direction to Ceska Lipa and Decin. We cross the border at Schmilka border crossing which is mere 8 kilometers from our point of interest. Bad Schandau, as the name suggests, is a spa town. It is situated on banks of the Elbe River in the heart of Saxon Switzerland national park. Bad Schandau consists of nine districts – the old town of Schandau, Krippen, Porschdorf, Neuporschorf, Prossen, Schmilka, Postelwitz, Waltersdorf and Ostrau. As Bad Schandau is really a small town, there are several places to visit.
No one was born all-knowing. One has to try ferrates before knows their secrets. Where to find them? Near Czech-German borderline. There are ferrates of three difficulties and you can train there all day long without being disturbed by crowds of other ferrate fans.
Right behind Decin the gates of Saxon Switzerland open. The origin of its name come from the times of two Swiss young men studying in Dresden who said the area reminds them of home.
Metal sound of carabiners, metal ladder, craps, sharp edges of the rock, unforgettable vista of Labe valley.
Not a long time ago, I went for a trip to the Hague, a city you might read about in some of our articles. The road from the Czech Republic goes across Germany. I chose to go on direction to Dresden across Saxon Switzerland.
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