Jetrichovice, Ústecký Kraj, Czech Republic

The Adventure Has Begun

Forrest Mallard

I left Karlovy Vary, and as I did so, I left all the comforts of cute little hostels in city centers with very short walking distances to the bus or train stations.

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Making my way to Bohemian Switzerland

It took three train transfers to get to the very remote Czech Republic ‘train stop’ Veselé pub Rabstejnem. With each transfer, the trains I would be riding became a little less modern, a lot more rusty and by the time I arrived, my train was a single car and making sounds that could cause one to worry.

When I planned my trip, I figured I could take a taxi from my last stop to the pension, but when the train stopped, I was the only one that got off, and looking over my shoulder I could see the conductor look at me as if to say “ARE YOU SURE?” I nodded and waved my hand for him to go.

The Adventure Starts Here

My train stop was a dirt patch miles away from everything, but apparently, it was the closest stop to where I was staying. I got out my GPS and plotted where I needed to go. The GPS calculated all of the walking trails in the area and showed me how to cross two mountains to reach the village where I would be staying. The app told me it would take 1 hour and 50 minutes. LIES!!!

That might have been an accurate time if my path was flat, but I had to cross two mountains. With the booming of incoming thunderclouds, I really pressed on and didn’t stop for a second, yet the result was still 3.5 hours of speed-walking.

The magical thing though is that this was so much more than a quick walk to get where I needed to go. I got a small taste of what I came here for. The rock formations in these mountains are absolutely abstract and insane. I passed through abandoned mill sites that were beautifully draped in moss.

How to tell when your adventure begins.

I think that by the time you ask yourself 3X, “WTF HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO?”… that is when you know your adventure has started.

When I got to my pension, nobody was there. This is a hotel and restaurant out in the countryside and absolutely nobody around. With 2% battery left on my phone, I called the number I thankfully had written into my diary. They answered the phone in Czech and all I could say was “I’m at Pension. I’m at Pension. I am here.” In 15 minutes a lady comes running down the street with keys.

I am now the only person staying in a massive restaurant and hotel in the mountainous Czech countryside. I have the keys. If anyone is nearby and wants to party, I’ve got a place!

To write this, I am currently sitting in another pension down the street where I have had the most insanely delicious pork knuckle with sauerkraut and dumplings. I’m listening to Czech versions of 80’s pop songs. Bonnie Tyler and Abba seem to be the most popular here.

Tomorrow is an admin day. I have a business conference call (if, by some miracle, the Internet is working for me) and then I will try to complete my post on the wonderful time I had in Karlovy Vary.

Czech Bucket List: Pravčická Brána

!! SUNDAY !! – I will set out on a 25 km hike to do what I came here to do. See the Pravčická Brána, the largest natural arch in Europe. IT’S YUGE!! I’ve already been covered with goosebumps by the wonderful rock formations I saw on my short walk to my pension Sunday, should be quite awesome.

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By Forrest Mallard

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