We have explored Šumava quite thoroughly (see our earlier blogs), but we never crossed to the German side. And, of course, it would not be Šumava but Bayerisher Wald. So, we had to do it. We started from Železná Ruda, the village just on the border with Germany, famous for the large population of beavers, (that are called a hidden gem here), working on modifying all streams around here. (Funny thing – if you search for “beavers Železná Ruda” on Google, our blog about the earlier ride here will come up.)
We started from the parking lot next to the house with a sundial that was very unique by the fact that it took into account the shift from the summer to normal time. (You just have to know which dial to look at at the proper time.) After crossing the border you will be probably the only one on the bike for the whole trip, unlike on the Czech side of the border. On the other hand, you can definitely see without even looking at the map that you are on the German side, just by looking at the houses and their yards – everything is perfectly organized and cleaned… Unlike on the Czech side.
And your ride will be quite a lot uphill. After one of the longest uphill stretches (3 to 4), you may feel like Polly in the title picture and sit down for a bit. If you arrive at point 3 with only 30% of your battery, you may be in trouble and probably should turn back and not try the big climb. At point 4 you may feel like the biggest climb is behind you, but you will need quite a bit of battery juice to get to the real top. At point 7 you will be rewarded with a beautiful panoramic view and a long downhill ride.
Back in Železná Ruda you may be wondering why the Vietnamese community established their kiosks selling everything and anything, but mostly dwarf statues, glass balls, and birdfeeders right here – yes, German tourists are coming here in droves to buy just that.
https://en.mapy.cz/s/helarabulu 32.6 km, 872 m elevation gain. To see this ride in context, check our interactive maps.