While en route from Prague to Dresden by bike for this article we just had to make a full stop before entering the latter city. A couple of hours (by bike) before the town lies a fantastically hidden place called Bastei: remnants of water erosion that happened a millions years ago.
What was left is an incredible landscape of 300 meter high rock pillars in what is now appropriately called Saxon Switzerland. It is actually one of the oldest mass tourist attractions on the continent and it’s easy to see why. You really cannot prepare for the vistas that are to be expected when taking the 45 minute walk to the top.
In 1824 a wooden bridge was built that had to be upgraded to a sandstone one: the Basteibridge that is still in use today and is a monument to the building qualities of that day. Not surprisingly the place was highly favored by the romantics of the period like Casper Friedrich and Hans Christian Andersen. Going there is literally stepping back into the 19th century. That is if you can avoid the crowds by going up in a light drizzle, which also helps getting some spectacular low clouds in the picture. Stay in the village of Rathen if you’re not into rushing it, nice views and plenty of little restaurants which aren’t too packed after dusk sets in (and the tourbusses are gone).
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