Places in Czech Republic

Having walked on New Year’s Day

In Czech we have a saying conveying that what you do and how you behave on the New Year’s Day, it will last through the whole year. A bit scary if things don’t go well on that particular day, isn’t it? But we always laugh at something rather than become afraid and take it easy.

We started this year with a walk nearby. First we planned to go to Plzeň to participate in a march, that kind of a march when people come to a specified place, get registered, choose the length of the trail they want to conquer and when they arrive at the finish, they get a certificate attesting to their effort. When I was single, I participated in a few of those marches but then my husband didn’t like the many people walking the same path and we were rather looking for more solitary trails. I was quite surprised that this time he agreed to my suggestion to join the event, nevertheless we looked up all the details just to find out that it wasn’t quite practical for us to go there. Yet the die was cast and we needed to come up with another destination which my dear husband managed to find. Just a few kilometres from us there is a nature trail “Devil’s load” so on 1st January we hopped into a car and off we went.


We’ve had quite mild and muddy winter so I was glad that though the temperature was just above zero, the ground was hard. There was neither snow nor frost covering our yard and I was quite surprised to see the change at the place we arrived at.


Along the way we came to a small chapel dedicated to Virgin Mary. It is said that in 19th century Virgin Mary revealed herself on the rock above the chapel to an innkeeper from a near village who went that way home late at night. He let the chapel build then.


The forest is a nice area to walk through, with many rocks and specific atmosphere. Some of the rocks form a ridge and there is a legend related to it.


The legend tells a story of a hermit who settled down by a healing spring and was tempted by devils. He promised to give them his soul if they build a big stone chapel at the spring and will manage to finish it in one night, before cocks start to crow next morning. The devils agreed but just as they were transporting the stones, fire broke out in a near village. While the villagers were trying to put it out, the noise awoke all cocks in the village and they started to crow. The devils let the stones fall at the place they were just flying over. Accordingly, the created stone formation was named the “Devil’s load”.


As you could notice in my photos, there was neither snow nor frost in the forest but when we came out of it, the scenery changed.


It was as if you closed one door and opened another one.


And then the sun came out and presented an impressive scenery…


The photo below was taken as one of the last ones and my fingers were so numb at that time that I had to try a few times before I achieved to press the shutter release. In a while the sun went down and though I would have loved to stay longer, it was time to get into the car and go home.


What a beautiful walk that was and how pleased I’m that we realised this alternative plan. I won’t complain if there are more walks like this in the course of the year…