Hey Lovely People,
How is Fall treating you guys? I am totally enjoying this Fall as I do enjoy every season and all that beauty and adventure that comes with change of Seasons. I think Seasons are the only constant change that unfolds many mysteries of Nature and its beauty in abundance.
For my job as a Cabin Attendant, I have definitely been to a lot of destinations but there are a few places that I have actually travelled to. To me travelling in itself is a learning experience. An experience that teaches me that this world is bigger than I have ever imagined, Nature is prettier than any artist could have ever painted or any photographer could have ever captured, and meeting people, may be fellow travelers or locals, teaches about different cultures, different people in general. Being with different people, learning their way of life, being like locals in whichever place I go sums up a journey to a true travelling experience.
One such travel that I recently did out of my busy and hectic schedule was to Prague. Prague in itself is a very beautiful city that still has it's old World Charm. My goal was to enjoy the Scenic Beauty that the European countryside has to offer as well as the beautiful City of Prague. My only limitation was time which was just three full days. Started my journey from Doha to Vienna on a flight of 5 hours. From Vienna I started off to Prague on a bus in the afternoon which took 4 hours of drive. This journey was a real treat to my eyes. In an hour of drive we entered Czech borders and drove through the countryside and Czech villages. The experience was unreal and beautiful. A train journey would also take 4 hours from Vienna to Prague, but I was unsure of the opportunity of enjoying the scenic beauty or the glimpse of countryside villages along the journey.
Reached Prague at around 7 in the evening and headed towards my little apartment that I booked for two nights. I love the idea of living in an apartment anywhere I go, just to feel at home like a local. An air bnb or homestays are also great ideas for the same.
Went out for a quick dinner as I wanted to rest well for the next day's itinerary as that was the highlight of my entire travel. It was a hiking trip to Bohemian Switzerland one of the four National Parks of Czech Republic.
Following morning I started my day at 8 am when my tour group came to pick me up at my apartment. It was a small group of eight people including the tour leader. The drive was of two hours from Prague to the National Park where our plan was to hike the entire trail up untill we reached a height higher than the epitome of the National Park, Pravcicka Brana. This is a natural sandstone arch formation covering a span of 26.5mtr and 21mtr height, and is the highest of its kind in Europe.
The Hike was steep, fun and beautiful. Spectacular specially beacuse of the season where leaves change colours and makes the entire experience even more worthy and colourful. It took us almost an hour of hike to reach the top. Enroute we came across many beautiful Sandstone hills and gorgeous Pine trees which is what most of this area comprises of. The tour leader Vladka and her younger sister Victoria, who is only 9 years old, told us that its very common for the locals to come in the weekend for a hike around this area. Also, as local to the national park Victoria and many local kids like her comes here in the monsoons to fetch edible Mushrooms. It's a competition for the kids to bring in the most amount of Mushroom and be a winner. That's just amazing how the kids at that age knows the woods and the types of mushroom so well. I could see Victoria hoping around in the woods and have fun as if she did in her own backyard. As for me, as much as I enjoyed the whole day, I actually had sore calf muscles the next day.
Our Mini Van
Nevertheless, on reaching the top of our hiking trail, the feeling was out of this world. We had the famous Pravcicka Gate infront of us standing still with all it's glory. We were little under the weather as it started raining occassionally but that didnot dampen our spirits. We still did make it to the top.
From that point, if we keep Pravcicka to our left, on our right lies the German borders and the German Woods. The entire view was just breathtaking. A view that I will live with.
We came back down using the Gabriela's trail and stopped for lunch at one of the traditional restaurants inside the park. I ordered a portion of Pork shoulder with sour cabbage and dumpling. That not only sounded like a German dish but also tasted exactly the same. On asking, Vladka, she said that the Czech and the Germans almost shared a similar Kitchen. Food was good, the local beer was amazing.
Post lunch, we set off for our next adventure i;e hiking through the next trail along a small river Kamenice, where the famous movie Chronicles of Narnia was shot in winters.
We walked into small sandstone tunnels along the river, crossed a couple of tiny bridges and saw trees covered with green mosses almost making the forest even more greener to compliment the colourful autumn leaves. It was just magical. I am now forever smitten by that view. This hike lasted for almost half an hour post which we took a dinghy(small boat) ride on the river. This ride took twenty minutes approximately. There were sandstone walls on the either side of the river. The guide showed us various formations on the rock wall that possibly resembled to things like the face of an E.T, an elephant head, a dragon and three sisters with their grandmother. They had actually named those sisters and the grandmother, I believe they have a story around them as well.
Showed us an emergency waterfall that starts flowing from one of the walls onto the river upon pulling a chord that is connected to the other side of the wall. That was an amazing boat ride.
Face of E.T
It was just another 5 mins walk once we got off from our boats to hop on in the minivan that we came from Prague back to our nests. In approximatley 2 hours I reached my apartment, bid goodbye to my fellow hikers and Vladka and sumed up my adventure for the day.
To conclude, it was one of a kind of adventure trip that I did and enjoyed throughly. Now I appreciate nature even more than I ever did. My mind and my heart is even more fresh from breathing that fresh air in the woods and beautiful after witnessing all of Nature's Beauty.
The next day I explored Prague and got a flight back to Doha at night.
Hope you enjoyed reading this piece as much as I did penning it down.