Hiking on Snezka - the highest point in Czech Republic - from Karpacz, Poland

Hi there! It's 6 AM!
Even though I'd say it was not the best idea to choose hiking a mountain at the end of our one week trip, reaching the top of Snezka (1603 m) was a very satisfying feeling. And I'll tell you why!

After spending some time in Germany and Poland, on our way back to Prague we stopped for two days at the border between Poland and Czech Republic in a little town called Karpacz. Sounds like the beginning of a story for kids. We got a train from Wroclaw to Jelenia Gora, then took a bus to get to our destination. By the stop where our bus was supposed to come I asked a young man if by chance he knows if we need to buy tickets in the station or from the driver. Before doing that, I apologised for disturbing him and asked if he speaks English. His friend started to laugh and with a pure English accent replied super amused "Oh, this is the only language I can speak!". English was the last nationality I would expect to meet in that part of Poland!

After a short ride by bus, we got to Karpacz. The daughter of the house owner told us her mother doesn't speak English, but she would come in 2 hours and answer all our questions. We got to Isma, and I told her in Polish we have a booking. The woman started to explain us some things regarding the place in Polish and as I could understand almost everything I continued answering shortly and nodding. She was confused, as most of people are when I can understand so much, but not speak. I felt like home. We got a room with the view over the mountain and it was just so quiet and peaceful that now when I look at the pictures, I feel nostalgic.

As I was too excited to get into the forest and the mountain, I thought we could do some hiking in the 3 hours left before the sunset. We chose a random trail and walked for half hour, but despite the wish of the heart, our bodies where just too exhausted. That is the kind of moment when you realise that even if you are optimistic, even if you think "I want, so I can", you - as a body - are not so strong as your soul is. So, we decided it would be better to get some rest, go to sleep early and recharge with energy for the next day.

Early morning faces
The weather forecast said there would be thunderstorms next day starting in the afternoon and we agreed to wake up at 6 in order to be back by 2 in the afternoon. When we left the house the town was quiet and you could hardly meet a human being. We did not meet anyone until we got higher in the mountain and passed by a house. We started thinking that maybe it was a bad idea to go hiking, the weather was getting worse, we could no more see the top of the mountain, it was cloudy, foggy and at times it was raining. But we continued. It should have been an easy hike, but after the 80 km which we had already walked the last days and the few hours of sleep we had during the week, it was not so easy.

At a certain point people started to appear out of the blue from a different direction. There is a funicular which runs all the day and it stops close to the top. My boyfriend kept saying it was not fair that they get to the top so easy and... dry. We had to wake up at 6, walk a long way under the rain and then all of the sudden they get here at the same time as us.

Last part of the hike was the most difficult one. Nico wanted us to give up and go back down. He was all wet, it was very windy and freezing, and besides that, we were moving way too slow. A phrase I would never forget he said on those last 300 meters: "Look at this fucking grass growing here and not giving a shit about anything".
But you know what? I won! A few days after he said it was the most beautiful part of the trip, despite everything.
It was his second hike ever. Somehow ironically, the first one, was more challenging but... easier.

Border sign says - C - Czech Republic! On the top.
We did not give up. We reached the top and the extraordinary feeling I had was not due to being on the top, but was coming out of the hike satisfaction itself. Those people that reached it by funicular have seen something beautiful, but I do think the real beauty stands in the journey you make to reach your destination.

What have we learned from this experience?

If you plan to hike when on a trip, don't do it on your last day, when you are simply too tired for even an easy trail. Don't forget you're still going up! And never give up. After a rain, even the sun comes out, at least in your soul... which may be even warmer and more overwhelming.
So, go through the rain, you won't melt!

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