Czech Republic Day 11: Prachov Rocks (Prachovské skály)


This morning the sun was playing hide and seek among the clouds. It was one of those mornings where it would be sunny for a half hour and then rain for five minutes and then sunny for another half hour and then another shower would pass through. I knew real rain was coming in later in the day so I headed out early.

Five kilometers outside of Jicin you can find the Prachov Rocks (Rock Town). Here you can wander through natural rock labyrinths of sandstone pillars, crawl through crevices, climb impossible stairs, marvel at the view, including Trosky castle looming in the far distance. There is an entrance fee of 50 Kc to enter this protected area.

I took the bus from Jicin to the Holin Prachov stop. It's a short walk from here to one of the entrances to the protected landscape. I walked up the Red Trail to the Green Trail to behold these alien and majestic rocks, huge spikes of minerals, wrinkled and pitted by water and covered in ferns and moss.

I wandered down, and down some more, along the Red Trail, looking up as the rocks surrounded me. I then took the Yellow Trail literally through the rocks, ascending a tight staircase where, at one point, I had to take my camera bag off my back, turn sideways, and toss the bag up the stairs in front of me, as I sidestepped up the stairs.

At one of the look outs I finally saw Trosky Castle with sun on its face.

Then it rained again.

I wandered back down the Red Trail and waited for the bus back to Jicin, watching the sky turn different colors, blue to gray to blue again. I watched Eurasian Jays busy caching acorns for the winter.

Back in Jicin, I wandered the center, ate some surprisingly good pizza, and took photos.

Then, the rain came for real.

I retreated back to Pension U vsech certu and slept for the rest of the afternoon as the rain wasn't going away. I again treated myself to fried curd balls for dinner, this time skipping the soup and salad. Ha.


Prachov Rocks



Prachov Rocks



Trail Marker, triangles mean view point.



Prachov Rocks



Prachov Rocks



You can see Trosky Castle perched in the far distance on the hill to the right.



Trosky Castle in the distance.



Prachov Rocks, looking down. Soon I'd be wandering the trail below. On one of the formations to the right there is a Czech flag. See below.




Just to give a sense of scale. Here is the Czech flag I mentioned and right above it, in the background there is a fellow hiker, dressed in blue and yellow, taking a photo of the rocks below. I'd eventually meet this hiker when he asked me to help fix his camera for him. Neither of us spoke each other's language but it worked out. Cameras and photography are a universal language.



Prachov Rocks, climbing down.



Prachov Rocks, looking back from where I came.



Prachov Rocks, still going down and down. You can see the stairs just in the lower left corner.




Prachov Rocks, looking up.



Climbing up now out of the area you could see me looking down into several shots ago.




Prachov Rocks, the trail getting a bit more interesting and adventurous.



Prachov Rocks, looking down the stairs I am in the middle of climbing. They were about 20 inches wide on average. I do have to say it took me about 5 minutes to convince myself to climb these stairs. I'm claustrophobic. It was either this or hike another 2 miles to go around to get back to where I wanted to be. I went up the stairs.



Prachov Rocks, looking down. Fellow explores giving a sense of scale.



Finally done with the stairs.



Mushrooms



More mushrooms




Jicin




Jicin, main gate to center.


Jicin



Jicin. Detail of Wallenstein's chateau looking into main square.



Interesting window decorations.



Interesting window decorations.



Pond near the pension I was staying at. It is full of huge carp and many mallards.



Mallards in Jicin



Interesting old house. This house was near wear my pension was. It reminds me of a miniature version of Stephen King's house in Bangor, Maine. This kind of masonry house, and its tall thin shape, seem to be typical of this area. I saw many many versions of the same sort of architecture.



Detail of house above.



Rainbow over Jicin. I took this shot by sticking my head and my camera through the skylight  in the ceiling of my in my room.




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