Summer is here and that means perfect weather to head out into nature. But summer isn’t the only great season. Last autumn I joined our workplace hiking group for a day trip to Saxon Switzerland. It was a long, long day, but also very rewarding. On this hike we explored Schrammstein viewpoint and Wilde Hölle (or the wild hell), but I’d love to head back to this area to explore some other routes.
We had to leave Berlin super early and found ourselves at the Hauptbahnhof wiping the sleep from our eyes. The international train in the direction of Prague dropped us off at lovely Bad Schandau, on the Elbe river. I’d passed this stretch by train on the way to the Czech Republic a few times and had always been amazed by the landscape. Now I finally got to explore it a little bit. Hidden inside the forest were some gems I could not have imagined.
From the train station we took a bus to the campground Ostrauer Mühle, where our hike began. We ended up doing just over 17 kilometers through forest and rocks. This area of the nature park is known for the challenging paths that involve walking over the rocks and climbing up ladders. Therefore, a lot of the path is one-way. First we went to the viewpoint at Schrammstein, which is accessible over a series of those ladders. As fall was coming, we walked through the yellow and green forest, until we hit the rocks. At the top we were rewarded with an incredible view over the area. Pointy rocks were sticking out over the trees. After a while, the sun even made an appearance.
From here we had to follow the rocks, climbing over rocks, steps and roots. Somehow we lost half of our 30+ people group. My group stayed high above the forest, although the rocks were covered with trees as well. On the other side of the small path we found a big open rock, which was the perfect spot for a picnic. From here we continued to the Wilde Hölle. It was certainly a very pretty “hell”, but it was relatively strenuous since we had to go down some ladders and small paths, only to climb back out again. But this was all part of the adventure. The route reminded me a little of the Slovak Paradise, but slightly simpler.
Halfway through hell we found the rest of the group again. They had started the Wilde Hölle the other way around. So we continued separately took a wide path back to our starting point and made our way to the town for a well deserved meal all together. Maybe autumn was the perfect time for a visit to hell. The weather was pleasant, without the hell fire temperatures, and the scenery was great with the starting fall colors and mushrooms everywhere. There were rocks involved, but it didn’t feel like pushing them uphill like Sisyphus. It’s an intense day for a day trip from Berlin, but I wouldn’t have want to miss it!