We spent our vacations in the middle of August in Giant mountains together with our two poodle girls.
We made a stop at Kuks hospital herbal gardens on our route to the mountains.
Outside the gardens we had a coffee and lavender lemonade in stylish cafeteria Lavender Kuks.
We have booked via booking.com a dog-friendly apartment in Ski & Bike apartments in Svoboda na Úpou, ideal starting point for trips to surroundings.
To be honest, we are truly not experienced hikers, nor even high moutain hikers. Our trips were conceived for two of us non-hikers and Minion after a knee surgery. Some walking, morning coffee elsewhere, walking and some lunch in the afternoon.
On the first day we walked to near Janské Lázně (small town with spa and colonnade) that took about 20 minutes from our apartments, mostly plain.
We visited colonnade and climbed up for the cableway for the Black mountain. The dogs must were a muzzle and are for free 👍👍 The girls rode the cableway for the first time in life, suprisingly climbed in so quicky we almost couldn’t catch them up 😊
On the top of the Black mountain we stopped to have a coffee, enjoyed the landscape views and started to climb down. We made a stop at the treetops trail, but unfortunatelly dog are not allowed. But we would like to visit some day when we’re here without dogs. Then we continued back for Janské Lázně and back to our apartments.
Žacléř, Stachlberg, Trutnov
This day we planned a little more culture. In the morning we drove to Žacléř. The route was truly full of serpentines. It truly wasn’t the best idea to give a breakfast to girls 🙈 We were to early here for lunch and it was pitty that the only cafeteria had exactly on this day closing day. We made a walk around the square, for the church. And then continued to other place driving.
Our next stop was fortress Stachlberg. Small and big bunkers, really nicely renovated. And a lookout tower Eliška.
There was a snack bar by the main fortress, so there was coffee and everyone of us was satisfied.
We continued for Trutnov where we made a walk around the square, the main promenade, we had a lunch. We made a long walk in the city park that was practicaly empty of peoply.
In the evening we made a smaller walk in Svoboda. There is a Lama park and a resting place with toadstool.
Hike for Rýchory cottage
For us non-hikers, this day was a biggest challenge. We had planned a circuit form Svoboda (from where every target place is up hill) for cottage of Rýchory and back. This trail is not a mainstream here, so we practically walked alone all the way up and down. Just on the top we met few tourists.
At the cottage, we had a coffee, enjoyed landscape views (it was realy nice here) and continued down for Horní Maršov, where we had a tasty lunch. After lunch we headed back to Svoboda and all of us fell of tiredness 🤣
Very originaly, this day had been conceived as a resting day for legs. Our plan was to enter Adršpach rocks from the other non-tourist side. We made a change and chose the third option. We parked in Teplice nad Metují and entered Teplice rocks. As we noticed in previous days that it is enough to get off the main tourist route to another tourist sign and there we usually go alone. So after the first few “Smetana with piano” and “horse heads” we turned to the yellow sign. True is that we went there almost alone, but it was everything, just not a relaxing route. We climbed rocks up and down 🙈, once we had to carry dogs on a ladder … But we evaluated it as a super adventure. What didn’t hurt us from our bodies before this trip, it began now. We just got pretty pretty ruined.
Regard to the expected change of weather for the worse, we decided to make the trip to Sněžka (Czech highest mountain) on the last expected sunny day, when it was supposed we could see something from the top. In Svoboda we got on a bus (the two of us after about 15 years, girls for the very first time in their lives – but they have to learn that they can’t just ride in a Mercedes 🤣) and set off in the direction of Pec pod Sněžkou. In Pec, we went up the bus in the direction of the cablway. An obligatory morning coffee took place under the cableway station in the stand.
We pushed up to Sněžka by cableway (dogs with a nozzle and for a fee).
We were on Sněžka for the first time and it was amazing there. There were as many people like at Wenceslas Square in Prague, but thanks to the weather, the views worth it.
Then we set out for the descent into the valley through the Růžohorky. It was too hot (even on the top of Sněžka), heather was blooming beautifully everywhere.
We stopped at Děčín cottage for a little snack and continued down.
For the lunch we stopped in Portášky cottage. Then we returned back a little to change a tourist sign and since that we met nobody until Velká Úpa that was great for girls who could run on their own. In Velká Úpa we hopped on bus back for Svoboda.
Svoboda and Janské Lázně
The forecast for Monday was rainy for whole day. We originaly had planned a bigger hike from Black mountain to Luční cottage. But we gave it up according to forecast and also to tha fact Růženka slipped her front paw pads into the blood,
We therefore chose a shorter circuit between Svoboda and Janské Lázně, preferably without the asphalt (which is generally a bit of a problem here in the Giant Mountains). Since this never happened to me, we didn’t have dog shoes with us. But at this stage, they would probably be useless anyway. Provisorily I made boots from the self-holding bandage.
My naive idea was that they could last for halfway. She lost them after only about two kilometers 🙈 The lesson for me is that next time we should have spare shoes with us for these cases and watch the paws more closely to put the boots on before the paws break into the blood.
In Janské Lázně we had a morning coffee with a cake and went back to Svoboda over the hill following the green tourist sign, nicely along the forest road. There was a nice nature trail for the children.
This time we did not reach Toadstool, but we turned towards Lama Park a little earlier. The forecast was changing from hour to hour since morning. So in the end, instead of a rainy day, it was quite warm all morning. In Svoboda, we managed to have lunch at the local burger house and it didn’t start raining until we arrived back at the our accommodation.
Leaving for home
On the return day, we finally had to choose a different program than planned. It has been raining since the morning, so we completely skipped the trip to the Dvůr Králové Zoo. Instead, we stopped for a short walk at the Kingdom Forest Dam. Miraculously, it didn’t rain for us there.
We really enjoyed the week in the Giant Mountains. We were not in a hurry, we really rested and walked. The weather was incredibly good for us. We only took long pants to Sněžka and evend there it wasn’t necessary. If we went a week later, it would probably be for a winter jacket 🤣