The Bohemian Forest

The Bohemian Forest

In the summer of 2012 I went to the Bohemian Forest (Šumava): by train to the ultimate stop (Rybník), via Rožmberk and around the Lipno lake, mostly following the cycling track 33. And then further on following the German borders, via the Upper Palatine Forest area (Český les). It provided an interesting comparison of Šumava, which is getting quite commercialised, especially around Kvilda or Modrava, with the Český les, where the time has stood still since the Cold War era Border Troops have left, and one can be distrubed here by nothing but maybe a a herd of cows (with the exception of the Čerchov lookout tower, a turist target). I can recommend this route to anyone looking for a quiet hideout in the nature.

Another interesting comparison was that of the border villages on the Czech side, complete with the deteriorating roads, the sale of “duty-free” cigarettes and the red lantern houses, which saw their better times in the 1990s – against the villages on the Bavarian side, where even the road to the cowshed looks much better and is lined with flower pots.

I went all the way through the Český les, left it on the nothern side and turnded back, heading home via Tachov and its fortifications, Stříbro, Plzeň and the castles Točník and Žebrák.