Krkonose Martinova Bouda near Spindleruv Mlyn
"Arriving at Martinova Bouda"
On Saturday Mar.23rd we travelled to Martinova Bouda up in the Giant Mountains.
First by train from Berlin to Prague. In Berlin people looked quite amused when we went to the train station with our skiing equipment and rucksacks. Snow seemed to be slightly beyond their imagination. The weather was gray and rainy all the way. Only as we approched Prague, the weather became somewhat brighter.
In Prague we had to change from the train station to the central bus station. There we could change money, leave our baggage and take a walk to the old town.
By bus we then went to Spindleruv Mlyn. The weather again was sunny to slightly overcast. No snow in sight; except for a few leftovers at shadowy places.
In Spindleruv Mlyn the driver of the bouda was there to meet us and two other tourists, who had come by private car all the way from Hamburg. We put all our baggage and ourselves into a jeep and up we went. Little by litte there was more snow at the side of the road.
Then at approximately Medvedi Koleno the driver stopped. We were not yet there, were we? No, but we had to change the vehicle!
We had to get on a big snow mobil, skis rucksacks and all. We were astonished, ...at first. - But after only a few meters the road became more and more icy, and the snow on the sides increased. For us the ride became quite shaky, as the snowmobil worked its way up the icy and sometimes steep path. There were less and less trees to the sides; quite a lot of stumps and broken down trunks however; probably due to environmentally caused damage. After some time, when there was only snow around us, we could see in the distance the dark wooden walls of Martinova Bouda. We had arrived!
The weather on that evening was fine. No wind and almost clear skies. The lights of civilization were far below us and didn't disturb the darkness. The stars up above were absolutely magnificent!
"Sunday, Mar.24th - The first day"
In the morning we tried out our skis. Lunch was fantastic and for us who had not yet spent so much time outside, it was definitely too much.
The weather became foggy and the snow began to melt. :-( not what we had hoped for, is it?
Still we went outside. Who knows, for how long this snow (although being unpleasantly wet already) might last?
In the evening the weather became even slightly stormy.
"Monday, Mar.25th - Walking to Spindleruv Mlyn"
Now we had temperatures slightly below zero again. Everything was frozen. And it was foggy.
We decided, not to take a tour up in the mountains, but to follow the road down to Spindleruv Mlyn. The way down took us slightly over one hour. We walked beside the road quite often, where we had a better footing. Also, when we heard the snow mobil coming, we jumped to the side, into the deep snow. Even the snow mobil had some difficulties to stay in its track.
In Spindleruv Mlyn we only took a little walk, went to the post office, bought a few things, and then decided to go back up the mountain again.
Now it was less foggy, but therefore the wind became stronger and stronger, the further we went uphill. We had to lean heavily against it, not to be blown backwards and downhill. At the steeper passages, I felt like being almost parallel to the ground. The way back took us about two hours; ... and also some determination, not to give up, when wind and gravity were heavily against us.
"Tuesday Mar.26th - The Czech-Polish Path of Friend"
This day the clouds were higher than the mountains. Above, everything was solid grey. But below, one could even see across the valley. So we decided to go hiking, up to the ridge and then following it eastward.
When we approached the ridge, we saw signs, warning people that this was the border, and trespassing was prohibited! Another sign said, that this was the route of Czech-Polish friendship, and only people of those two nationalities were allowed in that area. The signs did definitely not look new, and this was 1991, just after the iron curtain had fallen. What should we do? We were alone up there, with nobody to ask. On the other hand at the bouda nobody said, that we should not go there. We did have our passports with us. We certainly could be seen even from a distance; two dark figures in a field of white snow. After looking around once more, we came to the conclusion, that if nobody is here who might disapprove, we might as well continue our way.