Last weekend I made a trip to Kokořínsko which is a national park in the centre of the Czech Republic. I went with a couple colleagues from work, there were meant to be more but some last minute rearrangements meant an early start and many people backed out. This turned out to be a bonus as with fewer of us we stopped less and managed a good distance.
Our start point was Nádraží Holešovice bus station in Prague, from there we got a bus to Chudolazy. Once at our destination we walked directly east along the blue trail until we too the green trail north. We wanted to see the old castle carved into the sandstone rocks so took the yellow trail, at the viewpoint we had lunch sitting ont he edge of the cliff overlooking the valley below. You can find a map of the national park here
We then made our way towards the old castle, it was used in the 1400s and is quite impressive and you can scramble up to a couple rooms carved down into the rocks.
After checking out the Castle we then made our way towards the village of Nedvězí following the yellow trail, it takes you over the hill which at 458m is the highest point for quite a few miles around and provides good views. As it was quite warm this really took it out of me, in cooler weather I would have been fine but my head was thumping at the top and I had to take a couple minutes to regain my composure at the top.
We followed the yellow trail east through Nedvězí past a religious shrine, a lime tree (the Czech national tree) and a swing on the lime. We then headed on to Dobřen which is a town that has beautiful houses with whitewashed and walls and stained beams. We then headed north to another trail that winds itself along the foot of sandstone cliffs that have worn into interesting shapes.
From there we headed south to Ráj and then onto Mšeno where we ended our day at approximately 30k done. From there we took the train from Mšeno to Mělník and then a short bus ride back to Prague.
On this trip I wore a new pair of shoes that I had got for walking in summer as my boots would have been overkill for the trails, hotter and more tiring moving their weight with each step.
After checking the models stocked at my local outdoor store I went online, did some research and narrowed them down to a few pairs that suited my needs. I went to the store and tried the shortlisted shoes on extensively, walking around the store and ended up with a pair of Salewa Fire Tails. Some shoes when new feel different, not bad but you can feel them on your feet, these felt like I was wearing nothing which is a very good thing.
This was their first trip out and they were great, I wore a pair of Alpkit hiking socks and even without any breaking in and doing 30km they gave me no blisters at all. At the end of the day I had a slight hot spot on the ball of my left foot but that only came on later in the day when I was tired and makybe not planting my foot quite properly. The sole is Vibram and grip it gives is phoenomenal at least on dry surfaces, I'll have to see how they cope in wet conditions at a later date.