3rd Jan 2012
Not surprising it took me a long time to get to sleep last night as I was thinking of what lays ahead. I left Francy, knowing she would be worried about me for the next week and made my way to the train station. I caught the 6.20 train from Magdeburg to Dresden getting off the first stop too early but managed to jump back on before arriving in Pirna.
A local bus took me to Liebethal, a tiny village at the start of the Malerweg and the beginning of a long, long walk.
The Malerweg is a famous hiking trail located between Dresden and the Czech border. Much of the 112km trail is through the Sächsische Schweiz National Park and is famous for its amazing scenery, bizarre sandstone shaped mountains, cliffs, gorges, plateaus and forest.
For Christmas Francy bought me a book of various hiking trails throughout Germany and the Malerweg stood out as a challenge worth undertaking. Her parents thought I was a little crazy to try and attempt this in winter and especially when I said I would be camping in a tent.
Within just a few hours of walking I had passed through some narrow gorges alongside a stream, a small village and green fields. The second half was very nice, leading me through forest and a long winding gorge with steep sandstone cliffs either side. I eventually came out of the gorge and into a small village called Stadt Wehlen.
I walked around and did a little videoing while searching for a convenience store. I had to wait around until they reopened at 3pm. I knew I couldn’t camp in town and it would be dark soon, so I quickly rejoined the track and ascended to a plateau where I found a suitable spot overlooking the Elbe River. After setting up the tent I finally have a chance to relax. I’ve walked approximately 13km in about 3-4 hrs and can feel it in my legs due to the steep terrain and my very heavy bag. Apart from that, I’m doing pretty well and am really enjoying the adventure, the new sights, smells, sounds and not knowing what’s around the corner. Its almost dark now so will need the torch to finish my log.
The temperature is dropping, so I have rugged myself up in ski pants, shirt, jumper, jacket, gloves and a beanie. The wind is picking up also but luckily no sign of rain yet. I was actually lucky today as I was blessed with blue skies, which I have not really seen yet here in Germany. However, based on the weather forecast and the fact its winter, this will soon change.