It was friday and I was to leave the city. It filled me with joy. Wanderlust. Thanks to graduate exams going on in our school we had a break this week and were therefore able to leave to Sedmihorky little bit earlier. I’ve been there before - several times actually - yet I was extremly excited to go back there. First time my brother and his class brought me along, when they went there on a school trip at the end of junior high. It was the first time I got drunk. Then one more time with a smaller group of my brother’s classmates. And then a year ago, after a long years of talking about it, we went there with friends.
Sedmihorky is a small village located in the north of Czech republic at the borders of UNESCO natural reserve Český ráj [Czech eden]. And the camp was even closer to the borders of it and just stepping out of it - into a forest - you are suddenly surrounded by pure beauty of rocks and trees. That’s why I love the place.
I stopped by to get a previous roll of film developed and continued to the centre where I was meeting Aja with whom I was hitchhiking to our destination. I never was one too much for hitchhiking, never really done it untill returning from the trip to Sedmihorky year ago and never done it again since. But Aja asked me to accompany her since her boyfriend wasn’t able to go this time. I agreed out of friendship, but I have to admit that this alternative way of traveling is way more adventurous, definitely more economical, more ecological, and at times faster. One could argue about the safety, but until a girl is hitchhiking on her own it is pretty much as safe as anything else. Also it is legal in Czech.
After some time of trying to figure out the right spot where to stand. We were offered a ride by a seriously looking man going to Liberec. There was this moment when he played the Nevermind album by Nirvana and I could sense that he whistling shared the same urge to sing that I experienced. The social barrier however was too strong. He droped us off close to Turnov. In the town we got some supplies and then continued few miles by train to our destination. Anča and Janek were already there waiting. We had to wait for the other, in order to get the money to pay the money for the cabin. Having nothing to do, we deposited our stuff and went for a short trip in the surrounding forest.
The others came after an hour or so, and we were able to get our cabin, some people build their tents. I enjoyed the evening very much - drinking probably the least of all of us, yet having a great time with playing the guitar, singing, talking and the games. I’ve guessed that some of the others - partying hard - were going to sleep through the saturday. I was happy to see I was wrong. Most of the people got up on before nine (More or less deliberately)
As pretty much everyone else enjoyed a morning game of volleyball I decided to go on with my reading (The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce). My favourite thing came next - the hike. We set out before noon heading to Waldstein Castle - beatiful gothic buidling in the middle of the forest, where all agreed to have lunch. Note: Raspberry beer tastes better than it sounds. Thogh not being one not too much for sports I love hiking. So when a large part of our group made it obvious they had enough I showed them the shortest way back to camp but insisted on carrying on even if that meant to go on my own. Luckily enough three lovely ladies decided to join and I would say it turned out to be a good decision. Along the way we encountered plenty of beatiful places. While walking and admiring the nature around we spent most of the time talking or playing a game when one thinks a person and the other ask yes/no questions and guess. I recall thinking Lewis, Tolkien and Polanski. We passed through an arboretum (garden/museum of trees) an an hour or two later we found ourselves in front of Adam’s Bed. A rock formation. A narrow passage led steeply downwards into a depression in the mass of a rock. Beatiful place with atmosphere to it.
After that, our destination wasn’t much further away. Hrubá Skála [Coarse Rock] is an old gothic castle build in thirteenth century. Now perhaps regrettably it serves as a hotel, but still the patio and the tower are open to public and along with the view provide worthy experience. Before leaving, we bought an ice cream. There’s a story to it. As we made our way back to camp we descended into another narrow rock corridor and after few minutes of walk we saw an ice cream, same as we had, planted in the dirt on the ground - not even melted yet. Why would someone leave it there just like that we thought. Few more steps and another one. Again. “Why?” we thought. But in few minutes we understood. It was literally(Maybe not literally literally) impossible to eat the whole thing.
The second evening was definitely more calm and quiet (Still quite loud, but music doesn’t count) thanks to the fact that most of the guys good at breaking things and rioting were at the local pub cheering for Chelsea who (fortunately) won. There is a whole story to it because they made a bet. I’d rather not describe it. Let’s just say it involved the lake and rather alarmingly small use for trunks.
The good news was that with all the cheering and rafting (Did I say rafting?) very little energy was left for any other kind of riot. We spent the rest of the night with songs and games.
We had to get up around eight to clean up the, at this point extremely messed up, cabin and return the keys by ten. Then we had some breakfast and leaved. Me and Aja got a ride right on our way from the camp (She had to rock/paper/scissors for it). An older married couple gave us a ride to Turnov. We picked a spot but weren’t able to get a ride to Prague. An old guy from Liberec stoped by and showed us to a better spot while telling us about his hitchhiking experience in Australia. Ten or twenty minutes later we were on our way to the outskirts of Prague. A young fella with a pickup gave us a ride. He was rather friendly and talkative. He wasn’t going directly to Prague, but he agreed to drop us off at train station in Čelakovice (nearby Prague). He also invited us to see where he and his friends lived. Having enough of time we agreed. It was an unusual place. Around and old farm there were four or five wooden caravans, several people (All busy with different things), ten or more dogs, vegetable patches and all kinds of things (fixie bikes, tables) in the process of making or adjustment. We got to the train station just in time and drifted towards Prague.