Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sumava day two

Wow, I've really been negligent. This time of year tends to get super busy. There are so many big weekends, and so much busyness during the week that it's easy for me to fall behind. Sometimes I feel like I'm just trying to keep my head above water, but in a good way. Because it's mostly all good stuff.
Anyhow, I still have some fun pictures to put up from the Sumava trip, which is now two weeks ago. Since then I've also been to Poland, and I'd like to put up some things from that weekend as well. And then today I'm super excited because I'm going to a Czech cottage for the first time for a barbecue! The cottage belongs to one of my students and a lot of students will be there so it should be a really great time. I can't wait.
But first things first, a bit more about Sumava.
So on Saturday I got up fairly early, without really sleeping in the meantime. It was just too difficult to stay in bed. Surprisingly, most other people managed to get up before too long as well. In fact, but 10:30, when we were ready to start the next hike, pretty much everyone was there.
The goal today was to walk to a waterfall. To get there, Tomas led us up a ski slope. Now let me just inform you all that ski slopes were designed for people to go down...not up. It was a task to say the least. But when we finally reached the top of Spicak, gasping for breath, the view and sense of accomplishment were really worth it. Or maybe it was just the sense of accomplishment. Along with the thought that this would all have been sooooo much easier if the ski lift had been running!

Here you can see a small map of what we climbed up. Spicak is, I think, the second tallest mountain in Czech, and we pretty much went straight up it.

We continued on after a little break, and hiked back to one of the lakes we'd been at on Friday. Then we continued along a much easier trail for a considerable amount of time. Eventually we came to the waterfall. It was supposed to be the largest waterfall in Sumava. Having stood at the foot of massive falls, like Multnomah Falls for example, it rather paled in comparison, but it was still beautiful.

We continued walking for a really long time. There wasn't really much in the way of civilization out there, and the crew was starting to grumble about food. It got rather intense, but the views really were worth it.

While I think Laura was about hungry enough to eat the sheep, she contented herself with enjoying their cheerful bleating, and was happy to pose with them :)

We did eventually manage to find a place with food, and we were able to catch a train back to our pension. The estimates of how far we hiked ranged somewhere around the 15km mark. It was definitely a hike, but I really enjoyed it. All the same, when we got back to the pension I was happy to sit for a while, amused by those who immediately started playing volleyball or badminton. Ah well.
In the evening we had a bonfire. It was fun to sit around and enjoy the flames soaring into the night. Some people roasted sausages, and one of the owners of the pension came out and played the accordion. I enjoyed listening to them all singing classic Czech songs. Originally we were going to have at least one guitar there so we could all sing, but it didn't happen, so I had to content myself with listening to them :)

The partying went on until about 6 AM again. I think I went to bed around 1:30. I didn't exactly sleep, but at least I wasn't running around anymore. We didn't have to be up very early, our train out was around 11, but I woke up pretty early again and had some time to wander around one last time before we had breakfast.
At the train station we were able to look back up at the mountain we'd climbed. It really was pretty impressive.

If you look closely at this photo you can see the ski slopes that we hiked straight up. Seriously!
In all, it was really a great weekend. It was so nice to get to hang out more with students and just enjoy the beautiful Czech countryside. What an interesting life I get to live. I am so blessed.

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