Gateway to Hell in Bohemian Paradise
I (that's my Translation Agency at the top right) would like to dedicate this "interhash" to Certoryje (Gateway to Hell, where Cert means "devil" in Czech), our favourite place we have found after three years of camping in the Czech Republic. Located in Cesky Raj (Bohemian Paradise - the most beautiful part of the country), the site is surrounded by naturally carved sandstone cliffs and pillars, hovering over canyons and excellent paths along which to set trails.
The Geological History of Cesky Raj
Two to three million years ago, the continent of Pangea began to split and a large part of Europe started to dip below the sea level.
This was around the time a meteor hit the planet and wiped out most of its life, and when the southern and eastern shores of this country were caressed by the ocean. Rain water from the interior would bring sediment to the oceanside, and the continent continued dropping until the ocean started encroaching inwards from the northwest, until as much as one third of the country, mostly Moravia, was under water. The ocean brought in its own sediment, a lot of which was soon-to-be extinct lifeforms eventually depositing the matter making up the sandstone structures we see today (layers of the sandstone structures deposited over different periods and some flood planes reaching as far as France).
|Then the plate tectonics shifted and the
continent of Africa began to collide against that of Europe, pushing up the
interior until the ocean areas became fresh water lakes. Over time, those
began to ebb away, where the outflowing rivers carved the sandstone. The
contraction of the land created seams, through which the departing water
currents passed, eroding into larger fissures, and eventually into the
various caves and canyons we see today.
At present, Cesky Raj is the largest unified natural preserve in the country, hosting bountiful forests and rare fauna - a haven for the recreational tourist.
|Over the centuries, bandits have also carved their shelters and "fortresses" in these sandstones, and kings their castles (or locals their out-houses, or garages for their cars), so the area offers rich history as well.
|Certoryje is a recreational
in Cesky Raj nestled in the
hills by a lake such that we could not possibly bother any distant villages.
The campground has lodges with room for 30, tent space for 50 (with more
room on an adjacent property), and there is a fancy hotel just up the hill
for the more demanding.
The main cabin seats fifty, with a terrace outside seating thirty. There is a volleyball court, campfire, and a rope climbing park for the bold.
Click here to take a look at the Cesky Raj campground.
Beware of ticks in Bohemian Paradise??
Czech Republic Camping Pictures - from 2000km of the best biking in the world
Some Cesky Raj links below (or Český Raj or Ráj for your own search purposes):
http://www.craj.cz/ - in Czech only
http://www.ceskyraj.holidaytour.cz/ - Czech only
http://www.cesky-raj.cz/ - Czech
http://www.ceskehory.cz/ceskyraj/default.asp - Czech/German/English - focuses on mountain climbing
http://www.angelfire.com/sd/czechparadise/ - Czech/English
http://www.cesky-raj.info/ - Czech/English/German - official tourist pages of the region
The next hash event I am organising, the Krkonose ski hash.
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