Šumava Summer 🌲

Happy Sunday, friends! I'm so glad you're here. 😊 Thanks for tuning back in. Today, I want to share some photos (a lot of photos) from my quite recent trip to the Czech mountains. This must have been one of the most beautiful hikes I made this year (or possibly in my lifetime here in Czechia). It is memorable for many reasons. One of them is - I still remember how I felt when I got off the train in Špičák. The air! I felt so free, so grateful, so happy. Isn't it funny how this virus thing reprogrammed our minds? To be completely honest, I'm not sure I would normally have such a need to visit the mountains in my own country, in the summertime, haven't all the Corona thing happened. Now when all the borders were locked and things weren't looking so good with any kind of travelling, I had no choice but look for options in my country. At 30, I felt a bit embarrassed not even knowing what gorgeous places I call home! I quickly realized there are worse places to be stuck at.

Why do we feel the need to travel abroad in order to have a 'proper vacation'? Why do we think the grass is greener once we step over the borders? Why can't we appreciate what we have around the corner? Why most of us automatically book a sea getaway without wanting to explore our own mountains? So many interesting questions. Do you know the answers?

This is an interesting mindfuck (pardon my French). I've thought it over and over. The lockdown made us appreciate what we have and made us kind of 'okay-ish' with the fact we can't have more at the moment. We simply have to accept it. It made us realize that what we had before, was actually a bit beyond. So many options! We took it for granted, haven't we? We were so free! Unstoppable! We could buy a ticket today and wake up in our dream destination like tomorrow. I really felt like that before the coronavirus when it came to travelling. Now it seems like it was too good to be true. Will it ever return back to what it used to be? We all sure HOPE so. I don't want to talk politics here, but imagine how people felt like in the past regime here. They had no chance to travel. The borders were closed. And then, after so many years, when they finally opened again, people were so used to not being able to get out of here that they didn't even have the need afterwards. It felt like they could do ANYTHING all of a sudden yet they kept kind of reserved anyways (and some of them do till this day). My parents were always very supportive of me travelling across the Globe, but visiting me in Florida was like a sci-fi movie for them to be completely honest. They never been farther than in our neighborhood - Germany, Croatia tops. Hmmm... The whole lockdown order is sinking in slowly. And the mind process reminds us so much of our history.

But - to get to my original story, after the first lockdown - when they let us out finally - I was so hungry for the outdoors, for ANY kind of nature! Any trip, anything green! And when I got out of the train in Špičák and smelled the fresh air, I felt like finding out what life is about again. It was like learning to enjoy life again. Like if someone erased all the bad and I had a new chance to start over. Amazing feeling. I came out of quarantine fresh and clear of all bullshit. Like if I possibly could (MUST?) start over and better? It felt like jail March through May and now I did see the sun again. I noticed the goosebumps on my skin when the cool wind surprised me wearing just a tank top. I will never forget these emotions. Thank you Covid? On this trip, while walking the hills, I took my time and thought about my life, asked myself questions. 'What do I wanna do with the time that was given to me?' - I did that while inspecting every single plant, every flower, every little detail on the tree, - how beautiful are tree cones? Have you ever noticed? The soil, it smells so good! You can smell the mushrooms! Butterflies, bees - living their best lives. Gorgeous stones! Oh my god! All shapes, all colors. But colors didn't even matter. It was the smell, the smell of nature. The smell of what I came from. Ahhh. Last time I visited Šumava I can't even really remember. It was probably a school trip in the 90's when I was a little peanut. I have to say, after this trip, which was spent in a lovely hotel, the idea was born to buy a tent and experience nature on even a deeper level. So then my feet led to Decathlon for the first time in my life. I bought proper hiking shoes for the first time in my life (these - thanks to my friend's recommendation) ... And that's how it all started - maybe. Maybe it started long before that and now it only continues. The only thing I know is, I'm going in the right direction.

Well, enjoy the photos! Can you believe these were all taken on my iPhone XR? You don't need an expensive camera to capture natural beauty. If you want a full experience, play this while reading, I played it while writing it. XO Zuzana (Oh and ask me in the comments, or email me if you have anything to tell me - thekawaiiplanet@gmail.com).

You can find this gorgeous little chapel in a tiny village called Hojsova Stráž - we were passing through there after visiting Brčálnické mokřady (wetlands) - also recommend visiting.
Imagine that to the little insect and microorganisms, this moss is what the forest is for us humans. It's a whole another world full of life, right? What a peaceful place it must be.
Visiting Čertovo jezero (Devil's Lake, Šumava). It is only busy at the most popular view point (starting point). If you find your way further to the forest, you will still be able to walk on a tiny path and follow other explorer's steps.
So, you wanna live in the wild?
If you're stayin around Špičák in Šumava, I recommend you to try Orea Hotel Špičák. It's a 4* hotel and the servis is just beyond excellent. They have a wellness you can visit in their other hotel just 600 metres away. Great breakfast, clean and quiet rooms with the best panorama views. If you're looking for a hotel and not camping, this is a great choice.
Walking pretty much anywhere around this area will make you experience nature to its fullest. The views are incredibly awesome. It's all hills, so be prepared to go up and down all the time - and it's steep! Maybe you will want to look into getting some hiking poles if you're serious about mountain walking. Good shoes are a must!
A little balcony view from Orea Hotel.
We bought a Špičák cabin ticket. The cabin took us to the top of the mountain and the price included entry to the Špičák lookout tower. The views were worth it! You literally feel like you're on the top of the world.
From the Špičák hill, you can take a lovely (very steep) walk back down. There is a bikepark in the summertime too so you can see a lot of bikers doing some cool tricks. You can watch them from the cabin. Around that area, you can see some really cute and beautiful raw granite stones. I love looking at them. They are so shiny and each of them so unique!
Černé jezero is gorgeous when it's sunny or foggy (saw both!) - I personally might even prefer the foggy and rainy weather as it gives the lake more of a peaceful and mysterious vibe. In general, if you walk these trails when it's not so nice out - the chance is there will be less people everywhere! Don't foget: you are not supposed to swim in these lakes sadly.
Natural lakes, beautiful flower fields, forests, wetlands ... Šumava offers such a variety of flora to those who take notice.
BTW: There is a direct train that goes to Špičák station from Prague (Hlavni nadrazi). It's about 3 hours and I recommend booking the seats as well when buying the tickets. This train is usually pretty busy.

Here is a map of this Šumava trail. If you ever take this way, please let me know, I want to know your experience, and you can always add some tips in the comments. Take care, XO Zuzana

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