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These are the Giant Mountains between Czech Republik and Poland

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    These are the Giant Mountains between Czech Republik and Poland

    Last week we were on vacation in a cottage in Mala Upa on the Czech side of the Giant Mountains.

    The cottage is about 150 years old and was until 1945 the teacher's house. During socialistic times it became the convalescent place of the electrical motor company, i am representing in Germany today. After the velvet revolution, the workers union took over the cottage and it is now open for all workers and employees of the company and their friends.

    We decided to invite a couple of friends to spend a week there. We were three families and some singles. All together 9 adults and 9 children. The fire place was the right place for discussions and a cool draught Czech beer.

    After it became too cold outside, the main room was a cosy place to play music and have another beer. The colourful in front was mixed with draught raspberry lemonade. We spent 120 ltr of draught beer and 60 ltr of draught lemonade during that week...

    Last edited by Ralf__; June 9th, 2010, 15:15.
    Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

    #2 be continued tomorrow...
    Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


      A fine place to visit is Adrspach. Here and near Teplice you can see the "rock-towns". Erosion and the disappearing sea builded up these sandstone formations millions of years ago. For many years they were hidden in the woods, avoided as spooky places. A big fire turned them out to be visible and they were discovered for tourism. Even our famous poet Goethe visited this place.

      Many of the rocks have own names, given by people using their fantasy. Please excuse the poor quality of the following pictures, because of the weather it was quite dark and our small Canon PowerShot was struggling with the settings. But you can also watch a lot of pictures here:

      There are many corners, which never get sun. Often snow remains until Mai here. Very comfortable places on hot and stuffy summer days.

      Now it was time to join the maritime event of this journey. Therefore we had to climb up some ladders:

      Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


        ...and down again. At the end of this day we counted about 2.000 stairs(!). Many of us enjoyed each step during the next days...

        And there we are. This lake is feeding a waterfall. School classes are standing at its bottom and the children have to shout a certain phrase as loud as they can. If they are loud enough, miracle, miracle, a lot of water suddenly comes down. We identified the guy in the cottage as "regulator" of the waterfall. Boating with this barque is an enourmous pirate trip and quite dangerous.

        A sign shows, how many people already lost their life this day (always three) and the barque passes the Hawaiian islands, showing the home of Osama Bin Laden. A little bit later we passed the place where Titanic sunk. You can still see the arm of the captain's mother-in-law.

        After passing the gulf stream and his high waves (the boatman is piching and tossing the barque here) and a lot of stories the boat is reaching the other end of the lake. The boatman is inviting the men to exit to the left - at the landing stage and the women to the right - into the water. The stories are told in Czech or Polish language, but German guests receive a paper with a translation.

        We continued our walk through the rocks over a boardwalk through the moor.

        Last edited by Ralf__; June 9th, 2010, 15:09.
        Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


          At the end of the rock town i noticed this self-explanatory sign:

          The next day it was raining cats and dogs and we had an impression of the floods in other areas of Czech Republik and Poland. No flood up here in the mountains, but a lot of water... We took the car and visited a former uranium mine in Kowary / Poland.

          The guide explained the long history of mining in the Giant Mountains. He was dressed like a Wallonian miner, because these people were the first here searching for gemstones. During the world war II uranium was found and mined by the Soviets during the 50ies and 60ies. Up to 20.000 Polish miners were working here. No one informed them about the danger and so all had high doses of radiation and died a few years later. Not a single miner has survived until today. Today the mine is closed and a private investor is running a visitor mine in non-dangerous stones and a hotel offering radium-therapy.

          After this interesting visit, we drove to the neighbour town called Karpacz, a famous place for skiing in Poland. But we wanted to see the church, which is surprising:

          Vang stave church (Świątynia Wang, also Vang stavkirke, German: Stabkirche Wang) is a stave church which was bought by the Prussian King and transferred from Vang in Norway and re-erected in 1842 in Brückenberg near Krummhübel in Germany, now Karpacz in the Karkonosze mountains of Poland. The church is a four-post single-nave stave church originally built around 1200 in the parish of Vang in the Valdres region of Norway.

          ...more to come later...
          Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


            I had been looking forward to more about your holiday after briefly seeing the photos of your cosy accommodation yesterday, but wow, for me the added treat of rock formations has appeared! And I just loved your account of that pirate boat trip! Well, I think we have been troll-spotting in those rocks, but what a surprise to then find a Norwegian church!
            I'm so enjoying this Ralf


              Thank you for your friendly comment. So it is a great pleasure for me to continue this report.

              I will follow up with more pictures of our cottage. For most of us it is big fun to cook for many people. So we were surprised by a big roast beef action in the evening.

              People from Stuttgart and the Swabian part of Germany have a big passion for "Spätzle", a special kind of noodle. The dough is placed on a cutting board, which is held angular over boiling water and then the Spätzle were cutted as the dough is flowing down. Normally we use a special knife, but here we found a tool for cleaning vegetable, which was also o.k..


              Several vegetables completed the meal. Tropical cimate in the parlour let us forget the rain outside.

              Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


                Ralf my dear, just look what you've posted and I haven’t had my lunch yet today!!!!


                  In a house, where you are self supporting, a lot of things have to be done and so also the kids were engaged for a special job.

                  Fortunately we had also days with fine weather, and then we had some outdoor activities. Here some pictures of an adventure park:

                  One of the big attractions was riding on a pulley over the valley. More than 200 mtr long, 15 mtr high and 120 mtr back, after changing the cable up in a tree.

                  Big fun. The children should not retard, so that they would be able to reach the other side.

                  Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


                    Originally posted by Seagull View Post
                    Ralf my dear, just look what you've posted and I haven’t had my lunch yet today!!!!
           you have to change your cooking plans???
                    Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


                      The highest mountain of the Giant Mountains is the Snow Mountain (Snezka, Schneekoppe), 1602 mtr high. It is a must to go up there when the weather is fine.

                      View to Poland:

                      View to Czech Republik:

                      Reminds me to North Cape, in a way... but i think the "Polish Baude" is older, built up in the early 70ies.

                      View to Karpacz and the Norwegian church... but more visible is this monster of new built hotel. "Oasis of the Seas" meets the mountains.

                      Last edited by Ralf__; June 9th, 2010, 14:53.
                      Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


                        The way down to our cottage leads along the Trail-Of-Polish-Czech-Friendship. It follows quite exact the borderline.

                        Inside the European Union the frontier soldiers are replaced by more effective guards.

                        View back to the mountain's peak.

                        Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


                          The last evening was the right time to have a big barbecue.

                          All food was moved outside via the shortest way.

                          The week was on its end, all luggage had to be taken outside before cleaning the house. Some day, we will surely return, because lots of interesting things are still waiting to be discovered.

                          I hope you enjoyed some sights on places, which are not well known yet, because it was a big problem for us to travel here during the cold war.
                          Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


                            Yet another treasure special report from Ralf!

                            Love these kinds of reports: more personal than any other travel group...
                            With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

                            Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
                            Main page:

                            Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.


                              Wonderful, Ralf.
                              You got the perfect weather when it most mattered, such views! So now that I have worked up an appetite once again with looking at the photos of that invigorating walk along the Trail-Of-Polish-Czech-Friendship, it’s time to enjoy the barbeque – I can absolutely swear I can smell the sausages when I look at that photo in #13.