A pleasant walk, punctuated by a couple of peculiar unofficial landmarks…
Access: by bus (361, 360, 390) from Smichovské nádraží to Štěchovice. By car: park in car park next to bus stop on main street (pay and display – 20Kč/day).
Difficulty : moderate. Distance : 14,5 Km Time : 3h
Detailed itinerary : From Stěchovice bus stop and car park, (with your back to the little restaurant), go right and cross the bridge then turn left along the river bank. After about 8 mins walking along the river, take the path leading up towards the left, bearing yellow trail markers. During the Second World War when the country was under the protectorate of the Third Reich, Nazi treasure was allegedly buried in Stěchovice. Although documents have since been recovered, apparently noone has yet uncovered the loot. It is still buried somewhere in this area. So if you have a lot of time to spare, you might want to start digging somewhere near the area where the path turns up to the left !😄Just an idea!
However, wait until the return trip as, outward bound, you are going to leave the yellow trail before then, on a path which you will find to your right hand side (you can not mistake it as it is the only one). Keep going straight on and you will emerge onto a minor road which you must follow, veering slightly left, to bring you out at a main road. Put your dog on the leash and go right towards the bus stop and cross. Turn down on the left and follow the road through the village Závist U Třebsina. You will spot green/blue trail markers. At Třebsín, the green/blue trail markers will lead you into the forest and where a tiny stream bisects the path, you will come face to face with a vodník.In Czech folklore, vodnice (the plural form of vodník) inhabit streams, brooks and rivers and their occupation involves drowning people (and probably dogs😮) who swim in their territory ! These delightful water sprites then keep their victims’ souls, trapped in cups. The number of cups exhibited, which of course indicates the number of victims he has drowned, is his way of asserting his status among fellow, rival vodnice. The numerous trophies here, suggest that this vodník is particularly active and experienced, so press on !
Follow the green trail until you arrive at Rozc pod Třebsínem then switch to the red trail, going left, not right. This is a beautiful path which offers wonderful views of the River Sázava. You will spot train tracks running along the top of the rocks on the opposite side of the river. The setting is beautiful ; idyllic even…….until you happen upon this !The face looks SO real…..I’m sure it is !
From then on your return to Štěchovice will be uneventful, unless of course you do manage to find the Nazi treasure….
To return to Štěchovice, when you get to Stezce, keep following the red/green trail past the football field, along the Sázava River to Pikovice. Then go left up Nádražní and keep following the green trail markers up Spojovací. At Nad Vsi, go left on the yellow trail and you will emerge on Sadová. Keep following the yellow trail markers, going left at the main road Pikovická. This desolate place was once the site of a forced labour camp. I have passed here in Winter and reading the information board, the freezing wind which sweeps this flat, isolated stretch allows one , but a glimpse of the evident harshness of the experience. Turn right on K Hájovně and follow the yellow trail all the way back to the Vltavá and Štěchovice.
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