Hiking the Hinterland
I couldn’t have pictured a more perfect day to meet my guide Marek of Northern Hikes for a nature walk of Bohemian and Saxon Switzerland. Nestled along the German-Czech border, this is both a hiker’s and filmmaker’s slice of paradise – the beauty of which we were able to appreciate in near solitude thanks to the scarce number of visitors during the winter months.
The iconic and unique sandstone formations found in this area have been shaped by the forces of wind and weather over millions of years, and continue to attract hikers, climbers and movie makers the world over. Covered in the white stuff, these columns are transformed into the magical winter wonderland that inspired the producers of Narnia, who ended up filming a large portion of the film on the Czech side of the park.
Following a hearty lunch of venison ragout and traditional Czech dumplings, our hike took us across the border into Germany, just as the sun was setting behind the Bastei rock formation overlooking the Elbe River (close to Dresden). If the scenery looks somewhat familiar, it’s because images of the famous Bastei bridge recently created the backdrop for Wes Anderson’s movie The Grand Budapest Hotel.
“These filmmakers sure have an eye for a truly special place”, I think to myself, as I breathe in the serenity of the moment.