59 – Rocky Lookout

A 10 Km hike which is not too demanding and offers an unexpectedly wonderful view over the hilly Křivoklát forest area.

Difficulty: moderate Distance: 10 Km Time : 2h50

Access: Park at Hudlice and follow the trail signposted with blue trail markers through the forest and across the fields to Svatá.

As you arrive in Svatá you will notice the white-painted wooden house, pictured below. It is the Josef Scheiner villa. This was Scheiner’s country house (chata) and I should tell you a little about this man who held the highest position in the Czech Sokol Organisation – that of Mayor – for 25 years!

Just a couple of weeks after moving to Prague, in the basement of the most majestic, Prague, CSO building, I stumbled upon an excellent swimming pool, which became thereafter, my weekly swimming venue, so I had already found out everything about this fantastic organisation before a crowd of euphoric, elderly Czech-Americans who were attending the 2018 Sokol slet, poured into the metro carriage in which I was commuting ; some in traditional costume – kroj – others in tracksuits, and all carrying sports bags and a flag. In case you have never heard of the Sokol movement, I can assure you that perhaps without noticing, you have certainly passed many of their gymnasiums/cultural activity buildings in villages and towns all over the Czech Republic. The association was founded by Miroslav Tyrš and Jindrich Fügner in 1862 and their very first flag was painted on silk, by the famous Josef Manes.
Tyrš himself was a professor at Charles University and the ethos of the association was inspired by the Greek kalokagathia ideals as well as by the teachings of Komensky, and purported that a healthy body results in a healthy soul!

On the facade of the white house in Svatá, you will see plaques dedicated to both Tyrš and Fügner, as well as the motto of the Sokol. Both presidents, Beneš and Masaryk, were members of the Sokol mouvement. But after Tyrš’s death, it was Josef Scheiner, lawyer and writer, who had been a member since he was eleven years old, who dedicated himself to the expansion of the association, establishing ties with international athletic and gymnastic associations and achieving the massive popularity of the movement among the Czechoslovak population. A slet, by the way, is a huge event over several days; like a rally, with processions and impressive shows and as a teenager, I remember vividly inserting a beautiful postage stamp, issued to commemorate such an event, on the Czechoslovak page of my stamp collection album! Discipline and precision in the training, as well as the impressive number of members, led to the Sokol being referred to as the Czech national army and indeed the movement was banned several times historically, due to the considerable military potential it represented. With 200000 members, during the First World War for example, the Sokol fell under scrutiny and Scheiner was arrested and interrogated in 1915. It was Scheiner who was asked to take command of the military on the first day of the Prague coup in 1918, and a plaque on the facade of the house informs the passerby that Masaryk visited twice (Feb 1919 and June 1920). Having taken much interest in the history of this association, I was more than pleased to happen upon the chata, previously owned by this Sokol legend!

Cross the road and continue following blue trail markers until you arrive at the intersection, pod Vraní skalou. The yellow trail branches off to the right but you are going left, still on the blue trail. Almost instantly you will arrive at the Vraní Skála signpost where you must turn right to follow the yellow trail. To your right, you will see huge rugged rocks. One of my dogs actually spotted a goat, staring at us, from the top. After a kilometer you will arrive at Vraní Skála, which you can climb to a wonderful and totally unexpected rocky lookout point. It is a 28m ascent and if you are walking with a four-legged hiking partner, it is not advisable to try to take him/her to the top. My dogs didn’t even try to follow and waited for me on the rock ledge before the barrier-assisted climb pictured below. Exercise caution in wet weather.

The view is well worth the climb and I particularly enjoyed using the metal sights mounted on the rocks, which allow one to aim one’s view precisely at a particular village or hill summit ; Krušná hora (609), Velíz (595), Kublov, Karlovy Ves, Nový Jáchymov..etc.

After descending from the lookout platform, you can use the map below to complete the whole 10K circuit. We hope you will enjoy this walk as much as we did!

Dogwalksprague wishes you and your pup(s) a very Merry Christmas 2020!

©All images and text subject to copyright. Reproduction only with permission of dogwalksprague.blog

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