G3VGR MALERWEG     Hohnstein - Altendorf      

After checking out of the Sächsische Hof, I caught the bus back to the pretty town of Hohnstein to start the third stage. The weather was even warmer today when I visited the little shop in Hohnstein Marktplatz again to buy some water and croissants. The trail continued along the Räumigweg through predominately pine forest with views to Hohnstein castle and across to yesterday's outlook at Hockstein. After passing the Gautsch Grotto, the trail followed a high route along the Polenztal until reaching the Gastätte at Brand.

I sat in the warm sunshine on the café's terrace with an Apfelschorle for a while, enjoying superb views of the landscape dominated by the Lilienstein. Following along the path, I reached another viewpoint with expansive views across the Tiefer Grund to Waitzdorf, my next destination. Just like yesterday, I was confronted again by a steep descent to to the floor of the Polenztal, with a corresponding steep ascent to my next destination, which today was Waitzdorf. A few more steel ladders to contend with again today and more steep wooden steps down to the valley floor. I met a few people walking up the steps to Brand. Some were accompanied by pet dachshunds. It seems the architects of the wooden steps never considered the average leg length of a dachshund when calculating the required rise of the steps. Consequently, the poor little dogs were having difficulty in negotiating the steps. However, like all dachshunds, they did not show their discomfort or displeasure and bore their height handicap stoically.

The corresponding ascent to Waitzdorf was hard going due to the heat and the heavier full pack I was carrying today. On the way up, I was anticipating a cold beer and some lunch, but was disappointed to find the only gastätte in the village was closed for its Rühetag. After plodding along hungrily for a few hundred metres further, my disappointment was relieved by the views from Ochelwande. These were similar to the earlier views from Brand and yet again I was surprised how the area is dominated by the Lilienstein.

From Waitzdorf, the trail continued along the Ochelweg through more pine forest until I started following a stream in dappled sunlight towards KohlMühle. The village of KohlMühle was a little strange. All premises dispensing refreshments had synchronized their Rühetags with Waitzdorf, so there was also nothing obtainable here. The single street passed by a decrepit linoleum factory, opposite some old buildings from the DDR command economy era. All in all a fairly depressing place. It does possess a railway station, so it is possible for people to escape the place easily.

I now had only a few more kilometres to walk and was looking forward to completing this section as I was now hot and hungry. The trail continued along next to the railway track on the left with forest to the right. After a few hundred metres, I started following a river then across into a field full of stinging nettles. As I was wearing shorts, this was less than enjoyable. The trail terminated at a small cave at the edge of the riverbank. This was impassible and I decided that I was obviously no longer on the Malerweg. After retracing my steps back through the nettle patch and along the railway line, I found a handwritten note pinned to a tree, informing me of a detour due to a pedestrian bridge across the river having collapsed.

The detour took me steeply up through the forest until I reached a clearing before some farm fields. Now I was near Altendorf, the finishing point of this stage, I stopped in the shade at the forest edge to rest, finish my water and eat an energy bar. While I was resting, four German hikers arrived. They were intending to spend the night at Altendorf and we walked on together the short distance to the village. This metropolis was also not overly endowed with facilities. I saw one shop selling door and window frames (closed) and a Pension/Restaurant (closed). There was a Tourist Information office (open), though I have no idea of its necessity. The German hikers asked there about accommodation and found out there wasn't any available, so they bid their farewells to me and set off for Mittelndorf where there should be available accommodation. I had pre-booked all my accommodation to avoid this kind of late afternoon complication and continued down to Bad Schandau along the panoramaweg from Altendorf. Bad Schandau is a nice spa town on the banks of the Elbe and similar to the equally nice spa towns along the Rhein and Mosel. After coffee and cake at a Konditorei, I checked into the Hotel Elbgarten, my base for the next 3 nights.

Hohnstein Rathaus

Along the Räumigweg

Gautsch Grotto

Along the Brandstrasse

Morning break at Brand


Steep steps down from Brand

Brand Baude


Waitzdorfer Hoehe

near Kohlmühle

Impassible cave

Bad Schandau - Market Place

Bad Schandau - Elbe Promenade

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