walkhighlands

A Night Hike through Brdy, Czech Republic

Date walked: 09/02/2019

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 13.3km

Ascent: 263m

On Wednesday afternoon my facebook beeped at me with an event invitation: “Join us for our annual night hike through Brdy. Meet up at the Prague main train station at minute to midnight this Friday.” That sounded intriguing. My country got a generous amount of fresh snow just the week before, but unlike some of our mountainous national parks that had to close off some areas to tourists for safety reasons (broken branches and fallen trees under the heavy snow), Brdy were going to be OK. Higher temperatures of the last few days melted off some of the snow, but there was plenty on the ground still. This promised to be a fun night snowy walk. And so on Friday night I headed off to our main train station, looking for people in hiking gear waiting around at the assigned time and place. I easily spotted a group of people who looked like they might be heading for the same adventure and soon enough we met up with the rest, including my friend, who invited me. As it turns out, these guys have known each other for over 20 years and have been doing this trek for as long. And each year, they try to bring in new souls. I guess I was one of the “chosen ones” for this year. :o

We reached our starting point, Mníšek pod Brdy train station, half past one. We said hello to the train station dispatcher, whose face only slightly betrayed bewilderment and possible thoughts about our insanity, and headed toward the sleeping town Mníšek pod Brdy. This part of the trek was on a road, but with the late night / early morning hour we met only two cars. During the day however, it could be busy. Our group ended up being 18 people and a dog. Personally I prefer much smaller groups, in fact I love solitary hikes, but this turned out to be OK. The group spread out and separated into smaller segments that regularly waited for each other to make sure we didn’t lose anyone. I got a chance to walk by myself, deep in my thoughts, enjoying my surroundings, but still able to chat with people when I felt like. In the end, a perfect combination.

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Edge of town Mníšek pod Brdy

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Church of St. Venceslas, Mníšek pod Brdy


We passed through the sleeping town, meeting only two people rushing past us - probably from pub to home? We left the paved / tarmac road at the edge of the town and followed a green tourist markers, leading us to Skalka, a small hill (553m), on a zigzagging forest path. Skalka is a complex of two baroque buildings, a chapel and a monastery on top of the hill overlooking Mníšek. We took a moment and officially started the night trek here. From here to the end of our hike, we stayed on forest roads and paths. All of them have tourist markers, differentiated by color (depending on the route), but in the dark, I wasn’t able to say what color our path/s had. But, looking at the maps afterwards, we followed the red marker from Skalka to crossroad Červený kříž and then to Kytínská louka [Kytínská meadow], our next stop, overlooking the village of Kytín. Here we used our headlamps to shine some light at us, while attempting to take a group picture. One can definitely say, there are people in it…

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passing through the sleeping town

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Skalka

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a group photo at Kytínská louka [meadow]


The forest’s dark trees nicely contrasted with the snow on the ground that crunched under our feet. The snow gave enough light we didn’t need to use our head lamps at all (with the exception of the picture taking attempt at Kytínská meadow). Few people still used them, but I kept mine off most of the time as I was able to see the road/path in front of me without any problems. We retraced our steps from Kytínská meadow back to Červený kříž where we followed a yellow tourist marker to Jezírko and further toward the small town of Řevnice. The only other souls out in the cold winter night were several horses we met along the way. The encounter was surreal – walking in the dark (but with the white snowy road visible), suddenly you hear strange noises, sort of snuffles / snorts coming out of the forest darkness around you. Only after turning on our headlamps we could see there were horses standing a meter or so away from us (in a small corral). I’m not sure who was more surprised by the encounter, us or the horses.

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Well hello two-legged crazies. What are you doing out so late...?!


We reached Řevnice just in time to buy train tickets and say goodbye to people who were not returning to Prague and our train was there. I got back home and crawled to bed as the sky started to lighten up with the new day.

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the edge of Řevnice, the end of our trek

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a map of the hike


Downloadable route: https://my.viewranger.com/route/details/MjIwMDEzNw==

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LucieK


User avatar
Activity: Walker
Place: Loch Lomond + Trosssachs
Gear: hiking boots and pants
Member: none
Ideal day out: any day in the mountains
Munro rounds: 1

Munros: 1
Sub 2000: 1



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Statistics

2019

Trips: 1
Distance: 13.3 km
Ascent: 263m

2018

Trips: 4
Distance: 46.9 km
Ascent: 1682m
Munros: 1
Sub2000s: 1


Joined: Aug 23, 2018
Last visited: May 16, 2019
Total posts: 15 | Search posts