84 – Saxony Getaway

Dogwalksprague has prepared a full itinerary for you and your dog to enjoy a getaway in Upper Lusatia, Saxony, Germany, just 2 hours drive from Prague. All you need to do is read, pack, and get up and go!

In approximately two hours drive from Prague, you can reach Olbersdorfer See, a huge lake, near the town of Zittau, with a pebble bottom and access points with very shallow water. If you are doing this itinerary in summer, after your long drive, you may want to start here, swimming with your dog.

Part 1: An easy 5 Km walk in nature! Drive to the starting point on the S128, near Herrnhut then follow the hiking trail skulpturweg. I found suitable parking one of the streets behind the houses. You will walk along a trail where incline and vegetation are varied and the path is frequently punctuated with sculptures with spiritual/religious overtones. You may or may not delight in the artistic renderings along the way 😀but I trust you will find the trail in nature, pleasing. And our dogs were certainly curious whenever we reached one of the sculptures!

Part 2: Drive to Löbau (15 minutes). If you are interested in architecture, do not miss a visit to Villa Schminke, Kirschallee 1b. Your dog can not go inside the house but he can be on leash in the shaded area at the back of the house, inside the garden, and you can ask a member of staff for a water bowl. After the walk he has just accomplished, I expect he’ll welcome the rest, as long as the weather is fine. I would never leave my dogs unattended so I am certainly not suggesting that you do either, however if you are travelling with a friend, between Thursday and Sunday, the house is open to the public from 12 noon until 5pm and the entrance fee is 7€. For the best experience, and photographing opportunity, aim to be there at 12. This valuable architectural monument, like Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye, near Paris, or Villa Tugendhat in Brno (which both require booking months in advance) is a fine example of classical modernism.

Read more: 84 – Saxony Getaway The architect was the young Hans Scharoun who is best known for designing the Berliner Philharmonic. He designed this house for Fritz Schminke, and it was constructed on a plot of land behind the pasta factory which the latter had inherited from his father. This, plus the fact that the exterior is reminiscent of a ship caused the house to be nicknamed “the noodle steamer”. The audio guide relates the house’s history from its completion in 1933 and includes the intricacies of its successive confiscations, by the Red Army etc…When the house was reinstated to the family after WWII, the pasta factory was not; it had supplied pasta to the Wehrmacht and hence its director was labelled a war criminal. Unable to sustain the villa without any income, Fritz’s wife Charlotte opened the family home to children who had been orphaned in the Dresden bombings, for vacations. Thereafter the villa housed the Free German Youth before becoming a house for the Pioneers. However, the information that I retained in detail was definitely that pertaining to the efforts made by the architect to render the house absolutely perfect for the family! The width of the living room for example, was calculated to allow the shorter windows behind the couch to cast precisely enough sunlight across the floor to illuminate the room, without causing it to overheat due to direct sunlight; in the winter garden, whenever someone entered from the garden, sliding the glass door open would cause cold air from outside to push the warmer air trapped beneath the floor grill, into the room; small coloured windows were installed just at the right height for children to enjoy… The regard for detail that Scharoun had exercised struck me as exceptional and unique! As I walked from one room to the other, downstairs, I felt that the spaces just flowed ingeniously into one another and I imagined that living there would have been immensely pleasant. I recommend that you take a quick tour of this place in the near future, before it becomes as well-known and coveted as the two other previously mentioned functionalist landmarks.: 84 – Saxony Getaway

Part 3: Drive 5 minutes to the forest and reward your patient dog with a very short walk from the carpark indicated in the map, to a forest restaurant. You can enjoy a well-deserved, late lunch, admiring a magnificent and unique tower. You can return to the carpark on the surfaced road to save time. Then drive the final short distance to Görlitz and book into your dog friendly accommodation.

Part 4: For your dog’s morning walk, we recommend crossing the footbridge bridge Altstadtbrüke/Dolnoślaska Droga, into Poland and following the River Neisse/ Nysa Luźycka towards the next bridge then crossing back into Germany. The town on the Polish side, Zgorzelec, used to be the Eastern part of Görlitz before the borders were redrawn after WWII. You will see border markers on both banks of the river; each displaying the colours of the respective county’s flag. However in 1998, it was decided that both sides should be known as “one European city” and it now officially goes under the name: Görlitz-Zgorzalec.

Once you complete your dog’s morning walk, enjoy visiting the beautiful town of Görlitz! So many films have been shot in Görlitz that it’s nicknamed Görliwood, and was awarded best European Film Location of the decade. This is due to the availability of authentic backdrops of several different eras, including the Renaissance and the Middle Ages. You will see this for yourself as you stroll through its streets with your dogs by your side, admiring the hundreds of listed buildings that surround you. And finally, a tip: Don’t rely on the time displayed on the clock of Trinity Church on the Upper Market. It is always 7 minutes ahead. Try to find out why!!

Part 5: If the weather is fine, drive 15 mins to the nearby lake, Berzdorfer See, following signposts to Blaue Lagune, where you will find a huge dog beach, kiosks for buying lunch and surrounding forest paths for walking your dog properly before the drive back home. There is a parking fee, which at the time of publication was 1€50 for 2 hours. The dog beach is located to the right when you descend from the carpark to the lakeside.

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