Bastei Bridge Hiking, Saxon Switzerland National Park, Germany

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The best way to get closer to Nature is to walk through it, live it, and spend some time in it. I don’t know why this place has got “Switzerland” in its name but I must say that hiking in the Saxon Switzerland National Park is not lesser than seeing Switzerland itself.

Saxon Switzerland National Park is situated at the border of Germany and Czech Republic. You can say that Saxon Switzerland National Park is adjacent to its extension in the Czech Republic known by the name Bohemian Switzerland National Park.

I am not much of a history expert but if I guess the term Saxon and Bohemian are there because this part of the national park is in Saxony region of Germany. And, Bohemian is there because of Bohemian rulers in Czech republic if I am not wrong.

How to reach Bastei Bridge from Berlin?

If you want to reach the Saxon Switzerland National Park from Berlin, you can take a regional express train also known as EC (the trains red in color) to Kurort Rathen railway station. These trains are available from Berlin main railway station also known as Berlin Hauptbahnhof.

It takes around three hours to reach Kurort Rathen railway station. Alternatively, you can also come to Dresden, the capital city of the free state of Saxony and take a local train from there. Once you reach the Kurort Rathen railway station, get down there and catch a ferry across the river Elbe and get down on the other side of the river and start hiking towards the Bastei Bridge peak. It is a very small hike. The total distance that you walk is around 1.5 Km which takes around one hour to reach the peak or the Bastei Bridge view point.

More about Bastei Bridge and Saxon Switzerland National Park:

Saxon Switzerland National Park has a rocky terrain and canyon landscape. This area is famous for the sandstone. Though not much above the sea level but still it offers a very beautiful view of the area around like the river Elbe (especially the curve of the river Elbe), rocky terrain and fissures, a remote hamlet, large farms, chains of hills, very dense and green forest on the hiking way.

The hiking starts after you cross the river Elbe. If you happen to travel from Berlin to Prague by train, it is river Elbe along which the train runs most of the times. The view is really spectacular most of the times. There are some small shops where we bought French fries before starting our hike. Once you leave the village, the hike goes along a small canal and after some time once you step into the forest, you can see fern groves all around and even the old lying logs.

trying to go for a hike on a clear day so that you can see distance. If possible, stay there until the sunset. Though the timing is set for the hiking so make sure if you can stay there until the sunset. During the sunset, the setting sun rays reflect the Bastei bridge sandstone and they also flash over the top of the trees which make it even more beautiful.

Moreover, the oak and maple trees make it overall very much more beautiful. Bastei Bridge is famous because of it is a bridge constructed over two cliffs and it used to be a part of the castle at the top. This bridge is still intact and forms a nice viewpoint because both sides of the valley can be seen from the bridge.

Viewpoints around Bastei Bridge:

There are a lot of viewpoints set up at the different peaks. you can hike to 2-3 viewpoints easily in a day if you love hiking. Here are a list of the viewpoint and peak in the Saxon Switzerland National Park around Bastei Bridge.

  • Bastei Bridge
  • Castle Ruins, Neurathen
  • Ferdinandstein and,
  • Felsenbühne Rathen

Places to See in Potsdam: Potsdam in a day on Bicycle

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Little did I know about Potsdam in three months while staying in Berlin. Situated just 25 mins away from Berlin, Potsdam boasts its architectural beauty. Below is the list of places that I covered in a single day on a bicycle in Potsdam.

I and Shayan took an S-Bahn from Charlottenburg to Potsdam and Got down there. Then, we decided that we would rent a bike (Europeans often call the bicycle a ‘bike’) and explore the whole of the Potsdam in it.  Once, we got down at the railway station or Hauptbahnhof, we rented a bike for 10 Euro per day to explore the city of Potsdam on a bicycle.

I don’t remember it clearly but I think we were asked to submit our passport as a security deposit. The Bike guy also gave a cycling tour map of Potsdam which we were supposed to follow. Below is the list of places to see in Potsdam which we covered in a single day on a bicycle.

Sanssouci palace:

Sanssouci palace is a world heritage site because of its marvelous structure. Sanssouci was the former summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, in Potsdam, near Berlin. Sanssouci palace has a very interesting architecture and structure. More about Sanssouci palace can be read here.

There are around ten rooms in the Sanssouci palace which include bedroom, entrance hall, marble room, dining room, study room, library, gallery, guest room etc.

Also read: Berlin Attractions: What to see in Berlin? Top 25 Must See Places

sanssouci-palace-2

sanssouci-palace

Sanssouci-palace

Sanssouci park and Vineyard:

Sanssouci park is actually a very large park within many other places to see in Potsdam are located like the New palace, Sanssouci Palace,  Sanssouci vineyard, Chinese house, dragon house, Roman baths, marble palace etc.

One of the most amazing places to see in Potsdam is the Sanssouci vineyard. There is a big garden type vineyard just in front of the Sanssouci palace on the terraces.

There are water pools, flower lawns, flower beds, hedges, and trees. It is said that in the hedge quarter, 3,000 fruit trees were planted. There was also a greenhouse which had numerous nurseries contained oranges, melons, peaches, and bananas. The goddesses Flora and Pomona, who decorate the entrance obelisk at the eastern park exit, were placed there to highlight the connection of a flower, fruit and vegetable garden.

flower-beds-sonssouci-park

flower-beds-sans Souci-park

goddess-of-flora-sanssouci

goddess-of-flora-Sanssouci

sanssouci-vineyard

Sanssouci-vineyard

sanssouci-park-green-house

Sanssouci-park-greenhouse

New Palace, Potsdam:

The list of places to see in Potsdam is incomplete without the New Palace, Potsdam. Situated on the western side of the Sanssouci park, the New palace boasts its beautiful architecture. It was badly destroyed during the second world war, you can still see the remains outside in the palace premises.

in-front-of-the-new-castle-potsdam

in-front-of-the-new-castle-Potsdam

new-palace-potsdam

new-palace-Potsdam

Charlottenhof Palace, Potsdam:

Charlottenhof Palace is situated deep inside the park.  Not so much magnificent but this is known for the place it was built on. Charlottenhof Palace was built on marshy land and lies deep inside the park.

Also Read: History & fall of Berlin wall: World war facts & Division of Germany

Orangery Palace, Potsdam:

Orangery palace is situated at the peripheral of the Sanssouci park. There is a lift using which you can go up. From the top, there is a very nice view of the entire Sanssouci park. It is another a must places to see in Potsdam.

sonssouci-park-view-from-orangery-palace

Sanssouci-park-view-from-orangery-palace

Chinese House, Potsdam:

Chinese House, Potsdam is small yet one of the most beautiful places to see in Potsdam. It is located deep inside but it has one of the most beautiful architectures. The Chinese house was made to adorn the beauty of the flowers and vegetables grown in the Sanssouci park.

chinese-house-sonssouci-park

chinese-house-sonssouci-park

Historic Mill of Sanssouci:

I still remember this mill when I was cycling on the roads of Potsdam. I was touched and fascinated by this windmill. Though I could not go inside the windmill, but all the time, while riding my bike, I was mesmerized by the beauty of this place.

wind-mill-potsdam

wind-mill-Potsdam

Babelsberg park:

If you think that the Sanssouci park houses most of the places to see in Potsdam then that was only half of the story! If you enjoyed the medieval architecture and royal stories of the king then Babelsberg park would take you away from the history towards deep into Nature.

Babelsberg park is a really big park. Such big park that often while cycling, we felt lost in this park, can you imagine? Sometimes, we felt lonely seeing no other people around. Many local people come here to spend a leisure time in this park. Babelsberg park, just like, Sanssouci park, houses other places to see in Potsdam.

Also Read: Berlin Ringbahn metro train: See the city on ride

It borders Tiefer See or Tiefer lake and River Havel while covering an area of 114 hectares. Now you can imagine why we felt lost.

1-babelsberg-park-cycling-road

1-babelsberg-park-cycling-road

babelsberg-park-lake

Babelsberg-park-lake

Steam-powered pump house, Babelsberg:

This pump is situated in one of the corners of the Babelsberg park. A very few tourist reach to this corner of the park. Because of less people, it is not so crowded and you can spend a lot of time sitting beside the pump house there.

steamhouse-babelsberg-park

steamhouse-babelsberg-park

Potsdam place to see: More pictures:

 Cycling in Potsdam video: