Czech Switzerland – Kamenice River

The Czech Switzerland are is national park on borders with Germany (where the park continues and it is called the Saxon Switzerland). It is known for its beautiful gorges and mostly for The Pravčická brána – the largest natural sandstone arch in Europe.

I spent there three days last autumn. On the first day we hiked down the valley of Kamenice river to town Hrensko and from there we climbed up to the Pravcicka Brana and then we returned to our guest house. As the whole track was about 20km long, I had a lot of opportunities to take photos, so in this post, there are only photos from the firts half of the trip. The photos from Pravcicka brana will be in the next post (hopefully 🙂 ).

The path from Mezni Louka, where we were staying, led through forests, where fallen trees are left as they are.

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Probably, due to the humid climate on the bottom of the valley, there is moss covering almost every tree. There are even three-leaf clovers growing from the trunks.
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This is where the path met the river Krinice.
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Some more moss on the ground…
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and on the trees.
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Then the rocks were making the bottom of the valley more and more narrow.
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And at the end, we had take a boat to get through the gorge. Actually, the boat on the photo is really old one and it is not in use any more, there are newer ones now.
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New Year’s Eve Celebration

Just like the last year I was spending New Year’s Eve in area called Divci Hrady in Prague on western side of Vltava river. My goal was to take fireworks panorama just like I did last year but with a few improvements. But my plans were ruined by weather conditions, as thin fog (or smoke) covered most of the area and it was getting worse and worse… So I took at least some photos and fortunately they came out quite well, given the conditions. Here is one of them:

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(Shutter Speed: 57/10 seconds, Aperture: F/20.0, Focal Length: 24.0, ISO 200)

Loket Castle

Loket is a small town in Western Bohemia region. The town is surrounded by river Ohře from three sides, the shape of the river reminds the shape of an elbow, thus the name of the town (in czech the word “loket” means an elbow). In the town centre there is Loket Castle which was built in the 12th century. 26m high tower in back of the castle of a square conceals the Loket Dragon. It looks like a winged lizard and it was supposed to be “good” dragon as it helped to start fire in stoves so the food for all the villagers can be prepared.

These photo were taken from a bridge across the river Ohře.
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(Shutter Speed: 1/320 seconds, Aperture: F/9.0, Focal Length: 16.0, ISO 200)

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(Shutter Speed: 1/320 seconds, Aperture: F/9.0, Focal Length: 24.0, ISO 200)

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(Shutter Speed: 1/100 seconds, Aperture: F/5.0, Focal Length: 38.0, ISO 200)

Signpost at the town square.
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(Shutter Speed: 1/320 seconds, Aperture: F/9.0, Focal Length: 16.0, ISO 200)

Colourful houses in the shadow cast by the castle tower.
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(Shutter Speed: 1/400 seconds, Aperture: F/10.0, Focal Length: 70.0, ISO 200)

The entrance to the castle quadrangle.
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(Shutter Speed: 1/250 seconds, Aperture: F/8.0, Focal Length: 19.0, ISO 200)

Flood in Prague

It has been raining non-stop for last two weeks and now there are floods in Bohemia, which is part of the Czech Republic. It looks like it won’t be as bad as it was almost eleven years ago, when the historical centre of the Prague was flooded, as well as the lower part of the Prague Zoo and other areas. Now the volume of water running through the Vltava River is at about two thirds of the volume in year 2002.

It was still raining heavily today but I decided to take some photos of the Vltava River and its surroundings.

Wild ducks and swans didn’t seem to mind the neverending rain.

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Ducks and the flooded underpass.
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Water at the doorstep at Manes Tower.
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A weir at Vltava river.
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The nearest sign says: There is a bike lane, cyclist and pedestrians, be careful!
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A flowerpot taken away from its original place by the stream, who knows were it stood before the floods.
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Detail of the Palacký Bridge (btw, that English name doesn’t sound right, although the google says it is correct… )
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View from Janáček Waterfront (again, this simply sounds neither good nor right)
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I hope the floods will end soon and won’t cause any more damages.