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Prague and Sněžka

September 5, 2012

The day after my dad and I got back to Romania we went into Prague. We had been on the go for the past four weeks (24 May to 18 June) without a rest, either traveling or climbing every day. From the 19th to 21st of June we had a bit of a break without traveling around very much, and doing the occasional walk to Lysá nad Labem from Čelákovice. On the 21st we had the closing dinner for the MBA program and took off to Sněžka the next morning.

Soviet short-range missile silos near Lysá nad Labem.

Just kidding, it’s actually a water treatment facility.

Prague Castle from the closing dinner.

We rented a car in Prague and drove North through Mladá Boleslav and Vrchlabí, to get to the mountain town of Špindlerův Mlýn where we stayed the night. We had hiked Sněžka before, so we were familiar with the drive and town.

The next morning we planned to get a bus to Špindlerova Bouda, where one of the routes to Sněžka begins. But, the bus is not very often, so we caught a cab up with 4 other people for 50 Kč (~$2.50) per person. It is illegal to drive a car up to Špindlerova Bouda, so we didn’t drive the first day. But, the next day we decided that it was unlikely to get in trouble for driving up the road, so we parked at Špindlerova Bouda, did a hike and had no problem.
Anyway, we drove up there and began the hike. We had done this route before in 2009 with our good friend Chuck. I highly recommend this route compared to starting at Pec pod Sněžkou because though starting at Pec pod Sněžkou is shorter, it is not very scenic and has more elevation gain. Starting from Špindlerova Bouda, on the ridge that constitutes the Polish- Czech border, the entire route goes along a ridge to the peak. The entire route has excellent views of both Poland and the Czech Republic. The trail is excellent, and is an easy walk of rolling ups and downs. No matter which trail one takes, the final climb to the summit is a little steep.

Polish border

Summit flag on the crowded highpoint of the Czech Republic.

We hiked back along the same route and had lunch at Špindlerova Bouda. We just missed the bus, and the next one was expected to come two hours later. We convinced a local guide who rents scooters to take us down the mountain for 100 Kč (~$5).

The next morning we drove the car back up the road to Špindlerova Bouda and decided to hike the other direction on the ridge. To hike Sněžka one heads to the East, so we went to the West. Along this route there are some rock outcroppings and a couple peaks without much prominence. We hiked for awhile, and turned around when the weather looked like it was about to turn. That afternoon we drove back to Čelákovice. The next morning my dad gave out the final exam, and on the 26th we flew to Brussels.

Border markers on the trail.

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