G3VGR MALERWEG     Weissig Pirna      

I woke up to intermittent heavy showers and after another hearty German breakfast, checked out of the Laasen Perle and made my way back through the forest to the Rauenstein. This would be my last flattop mountain on the Malerweg, so I was pleased I had the place to myself. The Rauenstein wasn't as high as the previous mountains, so the obligatory ascent up steel ladders was not very demanding. Once past the closed cafe, the top of the Rauenstein was very interesting and the big flat rocks, with views across to the Bastei, were spread apart further, so more steel balconies, gangways and steps were provided.

The foliage on the Rauenstein is also pretty, being mainly a combination of stunted pines, silver birches and heather. I lingered up here for a while as it was probably the last highlight of the Malerweg. More to the point, I was also quite fatigued now on the eighth day of hiking and my toe was still causing difficulties. The route down from the Rauenstein was a gradual descent through the forest until the trail reached Stadt Wehlen Bahnhof. My Hiking Guide recommends ending the trail here, but it was now only 10AM and I wanted to complete the Malerweg even though the heavy showers were becoming more frequent and my foot hurt.

I continued by walking up a steep cobbled path to the top of the village of Naundorf. The trail then went immediately back down to the bottom of the village. This seemed to be walking for walking's sake. Matters improved when the trail led out of the village, past some smallholdings and onto a forest trail. The tree cover meant I was partially protected from the rain showers. The trail was very muddy in places, being made worse by being churned up by mountain bikes. I saw a few mountain bikers and again wondered about the fascination of this pastime and why it is necessary (or compulsory) to wear sunglasses with red/orange lenses while rushing through such beautiful scenery. For me, forests are for relaxation and appreciation of nature and a great antidote to the pace of modern life. I can only assume all mountain bikers are chartered accountants who need to whiz about on bikes to compensate for a boring existence. The forest trail ended abruptly at the Königsnase viewpoint just before the Malerweg's last steep descent down wooden steps to the tarmac road by Obervogelgesang Bahnhof.

At the bank of the Elbe stood a Schnell Imbiss dispensing beer and Bratwurst, which I was able to enjoy during a pause in the rain showers. Next to the Imbiss was the last of the green Malerweg signs pointing me along the left bank of the Elbe towards Pirna. The trail now along was the Elbe Radweg, a 3Km walk along the cycle way to Pirna. My Wanderführer warned that the cycle way would probably be busy with cyclists on weekends. What it failed to mention was that the causeway was also used by fast cars and vans. So the long tramp to the trail end was dangerous as well as uninspiring. It started to rain heavily as I reached the edge of the town. After a few minutes limping through the cobbled streets of the Altstadt, I reached the Caneletto House in the market place. This completed my walk of the Malerweg. After lunch in Pirna, I caught one of the vintage paddle steamers which took me downstream to Dresden to end my holiday in style.

the way up to the Rauenstein

View from Rauenstein to Bastei

Pine tree on Rauenstein

Along the Rauenstein

Naundorf Park

Inquisitive Naundorf resident

Königsnase

The last Malerweg sign

The Elbe Radweg

End of the trail - Canaletto House, Pirna

Paddle Steamer arriving from Bad Schandau

Leaving Sächsiche Schweitz


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