Czech Republic Travel

Is Bohemian Switzerland overrated? Bastei Bridge, Schwedenlocher and Amselsee.

My love to Czech Switzerland is steadfast. I’ve wrote about it in the articles about real-life Narnia and Czech love for stairs, which I graciously forgive them. Hence, I just had to see its German sister, Saxon Switzerland!

The older sister, to be precise. Saxon Switzerland was brought to life years before Czech Republic decided to do similar thing. Its beauty was said to be overwhelming, delighting for visitors, inspiring for the painters and enhancing cows to give more milk. Right. Maybe I got carried away with the las one but yoy get the point – it was described as PARADISE. I had to verify it 馃榾

How to get there?

Just take the train from Diecin to Bad Schandau, there you need to change trains and take one going to Kurort Rathen. Even though it may semm like a bit of strenous thing, trust me, it’s easier than it seems. German technological thought and Czech passion for order made the whole journey nothing but comfortable and pleasant. The change at Bad Schandau is connected so well that you don’t have to wait at all. Then, when you get off at the train station in Rathen, the only thing left when it comes to transport is getting to the other shore of Elbe. It can be done only by ferry – waiting for tourists at the shore. And in this way, you find yourself in Saxon Switzerland 馃檪

Kurort Rathen : gorgeous little city by the river

Bastei Bridge – Schwedenlocher – Amselsee

There is no wrong order here. You might as well start with Amselsee and end up with Bastei Bridge. The choice is yours but let me warn you humbly that it means climbing allllll the stairs in Schwedenlocher all the way up – which means a lot :d Up to you tho!

Personally, I started with Bastei Bridge 馃檪 Within first few minutes you can get en eye full of astonishing landscapes! Lush greenery of the forests, golden fields and dazzling in the full sun the Elbe River. Those views looks like taken straight from the postcard! This opinion is quite common one, doesn’t need to be proven even stronger – loads of tourists gathered there are tangible, quite literally, proof of it :d However, it’s only temporary inconvenince caused by the hotel and restaurant nearby. The further from the Bridge, the weaker the smell of fried sausage is and the calmer it gets 馃榾

Bastei Bridge was almost empty! Or maybe I’ve had such impression ’cause it’s hard to overwhelm such a huge, huge construction? Whatever it is, certainly Bastei looks impressive! It was built in 1881 when it became clear that this region attracts loads of people. Right next to it, there is Neurathen Castle. It was reminding me strongly of Falkenstejn in Czech Republic! The same idea of stairs and platforms entwining the castle chambers. For the price of 2.80euro, you can take a look at Bastei from different perspective. Actually, I’ve skipped this attraction, next time I’ll fight people for a place to breath 馃檪

The best & free view of Bastei Bridge?

Just a coule of meters from the Bridge, turn right to climb stairs to the peak of Ferdinandstein. It provide you not only genuinely unique perspective of Bastei, but also surrounding rock of Polabian Mountains, almost casually immersed in dense greenery. Breathtaking!

Welcome to the Land of Lost! Through the corridors of Schwedenlocher…

Walking towards Schwedenlocher it’s not possible not to notice that not only the landscape itself changes, after all, we are going deeper into thr forest, but also the air becomes wetter and the noise of tourists becomes just an echo, eventually vanishing into thin air for good. It means that Schwedenlocher path has begun!

Even thouh Schwedenlocher has its proud sounds, its translation actually means … Swedish Holes :d The rocks that dictate the shape of the path, as the result of air cumulated between them, were marked with holes. The name was concluded when Swedish soldiers were invading the village nearby, during the Thirty Year’s War. Opressed people were looking for shelter among those rocks, trying to disappear. Sometimes, they were vanishing too well, being lost forever in the corridors of Schwedenlocher.

And they are very perverse! Stairs, tunnels, footbridges, twists and turns combined with epic nature made you wonder how Mother Nature can bo so creative and coming up with formation that seems unreal. Schwedenlocher stole my heart!

Further steps will take you to Amselsee, the Lake of Blackbirds – not sure whether they were there or not, all birds look the same to me :d But the sceenery around the lake is gorgeous! From this point you can go back to Rathen or continue trekking to the waterfall. But…

Protip! Make sure that waterfall is not dried up! I was warned by the kindest, German gentleman that there is no major sense in going to see waterfall which is actually “kaput”. Better idea is to go for coffee in the city, according to him, and that’s exactly what I did :d


Cost: train ticket Diecin – Bad Schandau (44CZK), Bad Schandau – Rathen (2,80euro)

Time: 2/2,5hrs

Level: easy

It’s just an ersatz of Saxon Switzerland, there is way more to explore ut I truly hope that my article will inspire you to see those wonders on your own and become, even for a day or two, Wanderers Above the Sea of Fog*. Tag me in your photos and leave comment below if you like this lil’ article. Ciao!

Famous painting by Caspar David Friedrich was inspired by the views in Saxon Switzerland! Truth be told, it’s hard to tell precisely where is the place from the painting – rumour has it, Friedrich mixed a couple of views in one, but certainly the inspiration was born in Saxon Switzerland.

Der Wanderer 眉ber dem Nebelmeer, Caspar David Friedrich

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