Discover a mystical landscape in Bastei, Germany


The Bastei bridge was built into a majestic 194m-high rock formation. — Pixabay

One of the most beautiful hiking spots in Germany is without a doubt the Bastei, a jagged formation of sandstone rocks and cliffs jutting out of an Alpine-like area just south of Dresden.

In fact, the area is so unusually mountainous for Germany’s relatively flat north that is has been given the name “Saxon Switzerland” (Sachsische Schweiz).

The Bastei bridge, a centuries-old stone structure built into a majestic 194m-high rock formation, offers breath-taking views of the mystical landscape and the Elbe river winding through the valley below.

The area is part of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, together with the so-called Bohemian Switzerland in neighbouring Czech Republic, known for its characteristic rock formations that are ideal for climbing.

The area is also famous for its beautiful hiking trails, and visitors can expect to see one breathtaking natural landmark after another. The highlight for many is staring down the cliffs below the Bastei ramparts built into the sandstone landmark.

However, if you have come to the Bastei for the perfect pic, you will need patience, as this is one of Germany’s most popular day-trip destinations, drawing over one million tourists per year.

But things are set to get easier at the end of this year, when new platform “floating” over the rock formation is to be inaugurated, according to construction officials involved in the project.

The area was even more crowded over the past years, as the first 10m had to be cordoned off in 2016, because the sandstone was porous.

After securing the rock, the platform, which is about 20m long and 3.5m wide, was placed above it. The €3mil (RM13.37mil) construction is supported at the back of the rock and hangs freely in front at a low height, so that it seems to float.

The Saxon Switzerland national park is located some 50km east of Dresden and can be easily reached via public transport. It’s also great for a weekend trip from Berlin or Prague.

Situated in a relatively cheap area of Germany, the nearby town of Bad Schandau with its hotels, restaurants and historic streetcar is a good starting point for hikes, and is about three hours from Berlin by train or car. – dpa

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