Friday, 20 July 2012

Friday 20 July. Vrchlabi to Hostinne.

We left our hotel, TTC, at 9:30am after a very good breakfast. The TTC was picked at random but turned out to be an excellent b&b hotel and restaurant. Vrchlabi was a very pleasant town with some beautiful old buildings and churches. Like Spindleruv mMlyn it is mainly oriented to serving the winter skiing industry.

We had an interesting walk through Vrchlabi. On passing through the south of the town we were approached by an elderly lady (older than us!!) who started speaking rapidlt to us in Czech. Even when she knew we didn't understand any Czech she was not deterred.  By sign language and gesticulations she indicated she wanted to know how we were travelling. She was horrified when we indicted we were walking to Hostinne and not taking the bus. I think she had the impression that the pack Shiel was carrying was too large. It does look pretty bulky with its waterproof cover on. Such encounters are what make walking so interesting and enjoyable.

A little further south we passed a Skoda factory. We were walking  on the cycle route 24, which runs alongside the factory.
We saw cars being driven around an oval test circuit at varying speeds.Shortly after the Skoda factory the 24 left the main road for a quieter route through some very  smart semi rural housing areas. The 24 eventually returned to a main route to Hostinne. 

The main road was narrow and we chose to walk facing oncoming traffic as this gave us the freedom to leap out of the way of dodgy drivers. The weather was warm, a mixture of overcast and sunny weather. The road passed through rural areas and the natural surroundings were much like they are in the UK, the difference coming from the man made structures. Pictures will be added but it may take a while as they are on my camera and not the phone.

We saw a marvellous sight on entering the village of Klasterska Lhota. A chap was sitting fishing in his garden pond and across from him was a garden gnome doing exactly the same thing. It looked so ridiculous that I nodded to the chap and indicated that I would like to take a picture. He nodded back that it was OK. He could also obviously see the humour in the situation.

We stopped for one foot powdering stop after about 4 hours walking and arrived in Hostinne after almost exactly 5 hours. Hostinne is not really a tourist town, more a market town, but it has an excellent main square. A market was in full swing as we arrived. Hostinne appears to be more ethnically diverse than Vrchalbi or Mlyn.


  1. How have arrived to Spindleruv Mlyn / Spidler's Mill ? On bus from Prague?

    Why have not you started at the Elbe river spring? Have you been there?

    What about the weight of your rucksacks when you have started?

    Which gadget have you used during your walking? mobile phone, camera, GPS?

    Could you be on web any time? What kind of maps have you used?

  2. Hi Vaclav,
    Sorry for delayed reply, only just found your comment.

    1. Yes we arrived on bus from Prague, (Cerny Most.)

    2. We walked the first day backwards. We walked from Mlyn, in pouring rain, up beside the river to the Labska Bouda. We got lost in low cloud and finished over the Polish border! We retraced our steps back to the Labska Bouda and found the Source of the Labe up behind it. I have a photograph we can post. We then walked back around the hills to pick up a road and then the took the chair lift back down to Mlyn. The next day we started walking from Mlyn down the river to Vrchlabi.

    3. As we were staying in B&B's our packs were not too heavy, but we do not travel light. I had about 14Kg, my wife 8Kg (without water).

    4. I bought a Galaxy Note for the trip and it was invaluable. It took better photographs than my Olympus camera, it was great for booking hotels via the Internet, most of which had free wifi and we bought maps of the whole Czech Republic for it at 1 in 50,000 from Viewranger.

    The path beside the river is undergoing a lot of development and there are some changes from what is shown on the maps. I wouldn't like to have tried the walk without them though.