We’ve been thinking about going on a hike in the Sandstone Mountains for a while. So, now we chose a weekday morning, and a rather unknown trail to avoid running into crowds of people. The touristy “Bastei” though, the impressive and famous bridge in the rocks, we still wanted to include in our route. Josi’s friend from the US was here for a visit and we thought he should get a chance to see it.
We started on the trail proposed by the hiking app. We passed by a beautiful view point with some sandstone rocks, that were immediately tested for climbability. The fog made the landscape appear like a painting.
Soon we discovered that we haven’t been on our trail for while. Doesn’t matter, we thought, that always happens to us. Here, in Saxon Switzerland, pretty much everything is a hiking trail, so we just followed an arrow that we saw on a rock. This arrow led us to a couple steep rock formations that as a human, you can cross with some athletic moves, and as a dog you manage it if people help you. But well, we were following a designated hiking trail, so we were sure it would become more suitable for dogs again soon.
After crossing multiple piles of rocks, we encountered a challenge that we hadn’t come across with the dogs ever before: a big, long ladder. We knew that ladders exist in this area, but by no means we anticipated running into one on this trail. Josi could carry Leni down more or less gracefully, but what about Dràgàm? We meditated about our options… go back and cross all the rocks again? Not really. Climb down the ladder and Dràgàm jumps for his life? Not a good solution either.
Now it turned out to be a lucky coincidence that Lonnie was around on this hike. He didn’t see the ladder as a big problem. ” We can just lower Dràgàm down.” He had done this with sled dogs in crevasses before and was confident that everything was doable. Alica wasn’t sure what to think of this idea. But there was no better option. Said and done, Dràgàm was tied up in all the harnesses and leashes we had with us. Lonnie lowered him down and Josi, standing on the ladder beneath Dràgàm, enjoyed his sharp claws in her face. Alica was watching the procedure with fear in her face from behind a rock.
After everybody survived the ladder, our hike became a lot easier. Now we discovered a sign with descriptions for all the trail markers. The sign we were following was the black arrow.
“Climbing approach – NOT FOR HIKING!” Okay. Now we knew why we crossed piles of rocks instead walking on a trail. OF COURSE we ended up on the only one out of ten different trails, that is not a hiking trail. But, the others would probably have been boring 😉 The further route we looked up on our map and now it became very idyllic. After a nice view from a village, we walked across fields where the dogs could run around.
Before going up to the Bastei, we went through a jungle-like forest.
Then we reached the impressive Bastei bridge and the cool rocks!
A nice and memorable hike. That same evening, Alica ordered a rappel harness for Dràgàm.