My Elbe walk was completed a couple of weeks ago. I walked about 160km in seven days, plus a rest day. I followed Paddy’s little paper boat and on the one occasion I was beside a boat paddled by two men, I was walking at the same speed, so that little paper boat would have taken a very long time to reach the sea at Hamburg, not to mention the hazards of passing through locks!
It was a varied walk. The first part being somewhat dull, with unvarying scenery, although I did hear at least five cuckoos. It has been more that ten years since I heard one in England. I didn’t follow the river all the time as I cut off some bends or sought out sites and interesting country by following countryside and forest tracks.
I have added a selection of photos to a Google shared album so that you might get a flavour. The journey starts in (very ) beautiful Prague, thence to Melnick, and some photos taken at Terezin, or as most of us would know it, Theresienstadt. Spending a night there was very peculiar; you can really feel the ghosts of those who suffered and died at the hands of the 20th century Nazis. The Bohemian and Saxon Switzerland (Sächsische Schweiz) was a very enjoyable change and I spent two days walking through some spectacular rock formations with equally amazing views of the river. I took a rest day at Bad Schandau. Dresden was the real surprise. We know it suffered devastating bombing, but the restoration is outstanding. Lots of grand baroque buildings and churches, as well as great food, with music in every square.
A final thank you to those who made donations to support the work of the Red Cross in Ukraine.
The selection of photos is here.
You were so close to Colditz Castle. Towards the end of the war in Europe Paddy was considered for a team to parachute into Colditz to secure safety of POWS as many were hostages of the SS and the feared they would be moved in front of the liberation armies, which a section were. Stupid plan and was quickly discarded. Prominente prisoners survived and were freed before they reached the final SS holdout near Berchesgarten. Some escaped on route and then a red cross protecting power patrol convinced their guards that their plan was fruitless and contact was made with American forces for a hand over. This was in Austrain territory.
Your report and your photos make me want to follow in your footsteps!
I have only been to Terezin/Theresienstadt during the day, and even then, I found it very gloomy and depressing. Much more so than Auschwitz, maybe because there are less tourists roaming around and taking selfies. Maybe because it’s a regular town now, with people living there. Eerie place.
Who are the military types in uniform with sunglasses being led by a guy with a sword? Their rifles seem to have a small Hungarian flag on the butt?
Alun, there was a competition of military “honour guard” troops. Quite dreadful. It was on the same day as the Trooping of the Colour and you could not have asked for a greater contrast. Seven nations I believe ie Czechs, Slovenes, Poles, Austrians, Germans (complete with broom handles), Estonians, and Hungarians. The latter were almost out of a Nazi playbook, and given the way their nation is behaving …
Thanks – as for Hungary – I am an Honorary Consul for Hungary so I will not comment, but it did not look good.
Thanks for sharing! Nice post and wonderful pictures!! Paddy would have liked this too….😊