Monday, July 23, 2012

Malerweg I: Birthday Hiking

We left Berlin on a 6:45 a.m. train and arrived in the little village of Stadt Wehlen around 9:30. We took the ferry to the other side of the Elbe River and had a second breakfast--some hearty eggs with sausage to fuel up for the hike. We got started around 11:00 and had about 20km ahead of us until we would reach our Pension (like a bed-and-breakfast, except quaint, affordable and traditional instead of the cutesy US variant).  The sun was already out and it was clear it was going to be a cloudless day - and it was Jessica's birthday! It will sure be a memorable one. :)

The first stretch of the trail was the most "populated." It went to probably the most famous attraction of the National Park - the Bastei Brücke [Bastion bridge].  This section was also more accessible - via road and train, so there were some people just hitting up this site without doing much hard-core hiking. I was continually impressed with how well-maintained the trails were, and well-marked (except for a few exceptions the second day...). There were lots of stone and wood steps, and on the really steep parts even handrails and ladders. It's great that they make this trail more accessible to everyone. We saw very young and very old people out hiking. And with the exception of a Spanish-speaking family we passed, we never heard any other foreign tourists - only Germans.
The trail had LOTS of these ups-and-downs, lots of little stairs...

And some amazing views to reward you at the top of the climb!
So hard to capture in pictures this vantage point

I think I look a little scared...
From the forest, and the stone ridges (or whatever you would call them), the trail led through agricultural areas--a little village, some fields and by farm animals (little goats!).
Then back into the sandstone, with some narrow passageways and climbs and descents...

group shot
This was one of the more spectacular views, from the "Brand". You could see these deep forests and fields behind them, some of the rock formations poking out of the woods.
Enjoying a beer at our rest stop...

And after 6 hrs and 20km of hiking, we arrived at our Pension, the Waitzdorfer Schänke, where we rewarded ourselves with a big hearty meal, more birthday cake, and some German beer. We slept well that night...early to bed and early to rise for day 2.

the trail the first day: from Stadt Wehlen to Waitzdorf
from the Garmin: our trail from Day 1
 below: elevation chart from Day 1. Starting at about 400 feet and climbing to near 1,200. That last up-and-down was killer because our legs were getting a little tired at that point after 7 hours on our feet.

More photos coming as well as Day 2 of the adventure!


  1. AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am envious!

  2. Tante MargueriteJuly 26, 2012 at 7:00 AM

    Ein Bild sagt eine millione Wörten!!!! alles so schön!!!! Katrine, wieder müsst du einen Buch zu schreiben!!!