Lowland hills

Sometimes, nature can surprise me more than I’d expect. Some places I’d expect to be either flat or lazily rolling hills with no steep parts, yet I can be proven the opposite. I roughly had an idea where I was to go this Saturday – I planned to go there last year at roughly this time, but weather and then other things happened and I had to postpone it, eventually to the next year at least as the place is nice in early April with the flowers blooming.

Warning: long post with lots of photos.

Small advantage was that I did not need to plan stuff myself as coincidence made the place part of the 2018 plan of the local hiking club. The journey, possibly biggest trouble, solved for me effortlessly, hooray.

Despite the forecast being very promising, the morning was really cold, around 3°C here and the displays at a fuel station on the main road showing even -2°C. It was rising only lazily at first with the morning fog. Good thing is that even if it remained, we were to be 200+km away in the end and so it would not trouble us.

After mandatory break half-way on the journey, the change was almost complete. By the time we had 50km left to go, I felt like frying in the bus and by the time we were dropped off, I utilized a bench that was there and changed from my hiking trousers to shorts that I did not even want to take with me at first. To the shock of the others, who know me to be a bit more selective on what “warm enough for shorts” means.

Anyway, the hike started with path going from the village upwards to the castle ruins above, giving us a chance to look at the reservoir lake below, for now the two lover parts.

I remained there for a while, walking around the ruins, taking photos. Then, it was time to reach the highest peak of the area, at full 554 meters ASL. The peak itself was off-limits until 2016 as it was used as radar station during the cold war and took some time before the buildings were disassembled and the peak open to public.

For which I am very glad as the landscape is really nice and it’s quite obvious (if you know what to look for) that the geological origin of this place is same as with the limestone portions of East Carpathians, such as Strážovské vrchy and Malá Fatra in Slovakia (both places I really like to visit).

Despite being very low and very small mountain range – I covered pretty much all of it in single hike at leisure pace – it had its beauty, proved by the fact I took around 100 photos there. And as it tends to be when I get to taking photos of flowers, my thoughts are usually “I have no clue what it is, but it looks nice”.

With all respect to the flowers, I am still more impressed by rocks, and it’s the limestone rock walls are something that will always cause me to stop in awe.

And I need to say, I was stopping a lot. Eventually, some of us did not resist and found our way to the top of one of those rocks, eventually remaining at that really nice place for a short break.

After getting down from there, we walked to the last peak of the ‘main course’, a flat “table rock”. On the way up, we saw a bit more ruins of long-abandoned castles and could admire more flowers though it took me a while to find a patch that would be good for taking a picture.

Below the peak, I took another picture and eventually walked a bit off the path we were taking to have a closer look on a limestone rock, because, as I mentioned before, I really like them.

Then the path took us to former limestone quarry. Now it is abandoned for some time. Inside were large blocks of different rocks with descriptions and some other facts about the place and minerals in general. Then, we were finally closing to Mikulov town where the hike was to end. I took a detour to a hill above the city that is more known because of the chapel there, but as it is with me, I went there to see the city from above.

Then I crossed it, going to the ruins of castle on the other side and eventually the nearby chateau (the GPS log ends at that point). Along with some others I met there, we then went back down to the city and to the final part, to find where our driver was parked with the bus, which proved to be a bit of long walk around the city and eventually pushed the day’s total distance walked to almost 26 kilometers (I was at 21,5 or so when reaching the chateau).

In the village where we started, I took a map of the area and with some luck, I’ll try to plan another hike nearby later this month. Or, it might end up like my last year’s plan and be pushed to another year, who knows.

For now, that’s all.

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