Germany: Vacation at home (Elbe Sandstone Mountains)

After months in home office, cabin fever got to me. I knew I needed to get out for a few days. As big travel plan will not happen this year, at least not internationally, I needed an alternative. Even that starting from the 1st July most of the European borders are open again, I made a list in my head where I wanted to go in Germany and never did. One point on the list been the Elbe Sandstone Mountains in Saxony. I was there often as a kid, as it is not far from my hometown. And once more a couple of years ago, but only as a day trip.

I knew it is a big hiking playground with endless hiking options. I found some great tours on this page, which lead me to book an accommodation in Mittelndorf. The central town of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains is Bad Schandau. It is possible to go there by train and take busses from the town. I choose to take the car, in order to take early morning hikes and be more flexible. There are a lot of parking lots at the hiking trails.

After putting my parents in the car and picking up my sister from the train station, the arrival at the first day was already later in the evening. As the days are longer, and we had a lot of daylight left, we decided to do a short hike to the Obere Schleuse. The hike starts at the Buchenparkhalle in Hinterhermsdorf. It leads first over wide forest trails into a steep descent into a gorge. There it is possible to take a small boot for 20 minutes on the Kirnitzsch river at the German-Czech border. The boot driver was great, he had stories about stone animals and explained some background of the area. As we took the last boot of the day with only 3 other people, we were able to enjoy just the sound of nature around us.

This tour was a great start into this hiking days. It showed me once more how beautiful Germany is and if we stop only looking far, we will find out there are everywhere beautiful places. Some are getting just more attention than others and with that more people are traveling there. Nether the less, going local never means we can not find just the same great adventure as we do abroad.

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