Hike to The Spring of The Elbe River

Last couple of weeks were pretty gloomy in Prague. Usually I like this kind of moody autumn weather. It’s a chance to enjoy candles during the day, drink cups of hot tea and snuggle under the blanket with a book. Well, until you have to work from home, like me. Then, you would skip the blanket fort and stick to the computer. But this lasted for so many days, that I started to questioned if the sun exists.

We started to check online cameras in Krkonoše, Czech northeast mountains. So that you understand, my husband and his family come from this area. And as there was an inversion, the weather on mountains was glorious. We were visiting my in-laws during the weekend, so we immediately planned a trip somewhere above the clouds.

Our goal was to visit the spring of the Elbe river because I’ve never been there. And on pictures, the SUN was shining there!!! But… when we woke up on Saturday morning, the fog and slight drizzle welcomed us. Yes, the inversion passed away and clouds moved over the ridge. By coincidence, Prague was enjoying super shiny day. I would lie that I wasn’t disappointed. The first week away from home for a long time, and we totally messed it. I became desperate for a little bit of sun rays and my mood reflected it.

But this didn’t discourage us from the hike. Our plan was to drive an hour to the village called Horní Mísečky, walk up to the Elbe spring, and then back to our car. According to the map, it is about 15 km walk.

When we left the house, I was still hoping that the weather will improve and we will see at least tiny bit of sun. After we arrived into Horní Mísečky, my hopes were dashed. Fog was everywhere and one could not see few meters ahead. Even thought we came pretty early (around 9 a.m.), there were groups of people setting for the same tour as us. This was one of the pros of the weather – no crowds. I know this place is popular among hikers, same as the Sněžka mountain.

The path to the Elbe spring from Horní Mísečky is only up and with around 400m elevation gain in few kilometers. We chose the track leading through the forest instead of road. Luckily, because there were even less people. And the views, even through fog, were magical. Trees and bushes hidden in low clouds, everything was damp and glittering with dew drops. Best part – the silence. But it’s different kind of silence in nature. You can hear birds and streams in the distance, and only human sounds are your own voices or steps on sandy footpath.

I must say that this route is much more comfortable than the one to the Sněžka. No rocks or steps, only nice forest trail up to the hill. And thanks to all the fog around us, it was a bit adventurous because we didn’t know what lies in front of us. Or when the climb will end.

After an hour of walk we reached the road again and walk to the Vrbatova Bouda. Normally, we would stop for some hot drink or a bowl of soup, but it was closed due to the Covid situation. So we continued to the spring. The fog got even worse, there was a slight drizzle and wind was blowing – in this moment, we were grateful for our warm clothes. But after we passed Bohumil Hanč memorial stone, it calmed down.

The path to the spring from Vrbatova Bouda is roughly another hour, but the hills are not so long and steep. We met several people, most of them with dogs which always cheer me up. We also discover some leftover snow from previous days.

When we reached the spring, the number of people increased and it was hard to enjoy the moment of reaching our destination. It is not for nothing that the path is said to be the goal. I took some pictures, mainly of different mosaic crests. Each crest symbolizes cities where the Elbe flows. My favourites are Magdeburg and Pardubice crests.

The spring itself is marked by stone pool. Some people threw coins into it, guess for luck. From this pool, small stream flows out into the nature and somewhere along the way it becomes a huge river.

We ate our snacks and set out on our way back. Most of the walk was same as we came, but we took the road path down to the parking lot. I must say it wasn’t as pleasurable as the hike up. The road heads only down and it can be challenging for knees.

After we reached Horní Mísečky again, we walked around some new hotels. I like these kind of wood paneled houses. It fits better the landscape. This skiing area is mostly alive in winter but now, it was pretty empty (also thanks to Covid).

I must say that this little trip was exactly what I needed. Get out of the house into the nature, move my body and feel sore legs the next day. Even thought the weather wasn’t on our side, it was actually pretty nice and autumnal as it can be. Now we are enjoying the sunny cold days and it’s also a pleasant change.