CR: Skalna, Stary Rybnik and SOOS Reservation
Towns between Frantiskovy Lazne, Kynsperk nad Ohri, and Skalna are part of the microregion of Kamenne Vrchy . It is great to travel there by bicycle. Designated routes follow low-frequented roads or field paths. The whole micro region is located in a grassy lowland. Don’t worry to travel with your kids. It would be also interesting for them.
Lets start in Skalna, a small town 3km off Vojtanov. Pavel Nedved is famous native of the town. The town was founded about 800 years ago around Vildstejn Castle. Today it is owned by a private holder. You can visit there a nice restaurant, or a minizoo that hold small pigs, or a kangaroo..
About two kilometers of Vildstejn, there is a hard to miss beautiful ruin of Stary Rybník. Despite the fact there are beautiful arched cellars, I recommend you highly to stick to the entrance ban. Recently, a side wall collapsed. The building is not secured, therefore, it is dangerous to enter the compounds. Go around both ponds. The ruin reflects on their surface. You can make very impressive pictures there.
From there, you can go further for about 3.5 kilometers to Zirovice where the House of Butterflies is the attraction. Or you can take another route across Vonsov around a baroque chapel that was recently renovated. It takes you then about 2 km to the town of Novy Drahov. There you will certainly admire half-timbered architecture of the Chebsko region. Individual buildings are scattered in all towns. There are several protected large farms.
And now you are just a bit from the SOOS nature reservation . It is a vast peat bog and marshland. A 1.5 long pathway with information boards will guide you through there. The landscape of Cheb contains moffetas, and natural mud springs of CO2. These are remains of volcanic activity and you can find there randomly in nature. Famous and easy to find Hartousovske moffetas (50°7'58.101"N, 12°27'47.119"E) that are 7 km away. Here in reservation you can walk on the surface of dried up mineral lake with typical fauna and flora. For instance early coralroot is easy to find there as well as other plants that like salty surfaces.
Should your child get bored, then there are other attractions. Railroad enthusiast made a narrow-gauge railroad (600mm) work again. Originally, it was used to transport clay. A fifteen-minutes long ride at the edge of the reservation is fun for kids as well as “the History of the Country” at the enter of the reservation. The exhibitions shows dinosaur models. For the price of one entrance you can visit the Nature of Chebsko and the Nature of SOOS, or the World of Birds in Chebsko. The narrow-gauge railway doesn’t operate every day. You should check out the webpage of CS IMC Plzen first.
GPS: (Skalná) 50°10'11.8"N 12°21'38.3"E
Text and photo: Radka Snížková
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