G3VGR MALERWEG     Kurort Gohrisch Weissig      

On leaving Anna's Hof after breakfast, I didn't see any signs in the village that showed the way to the Malerweg, so I walked along the main road towards Pfaffendorf until I saw a sign to the Muselweg. This led me into some forestry land towards Königstein. Eventually, I reached a viewpoint, named "Schöne Aussicht" which had a fine view towards Königstein. The map showed I'd gone out of my way and was now about 1Km North of the Malerweg. Following green and white signs, I rejoined the Malerweg above Pfaffendorf and walked down to the village, enjoying the scenery, which behind Pfaffendorf was dominated by the massif of the Pfaffenstein.

Getting to the top of the Pfaffenstein was yet another strenuous steep ascent up stone steps and steel ladders. The cafe at the summit was closed and there were no other visitors around. Next to the cafe was a watchtower which presented fine views from the platform at the top. The Pfaffenstein was the biggest flattop mountain I'd encountered so far and it was very interesting to explore. Some areas were only accessible through narrow crevices in the rocks and it gave me the impression of being on an Indiana Jones film set. After having to take off my pack to make my way through a particularly narrow gap, I arrived at a viewpoint opposite the Barbarine, a tall, narrow, rocky spire, popular with rock climbers. The steps down from the other side of the Pfaffenstein were not so steep as the way up and the trail continued through the forest towards Königstein.

I walked past an area in the forest named Quirl, where there were many honeycombed boulders next to the high rock faces until I reached Diebshohle. There were no thieves in the cave on this day, just a group of young climbers eating their trail food. The trail continued downwards and exited the forest. I was now in the outskirts of Königstein and the Malerweg signs had disappeared. I didn't find another sign until I reached the town centre. It was now lunchtime, so I bought a Bratwurst and beer from a Schnell Imbiss run by a nice old man. After enjoying this fine cuisine (Thüringer Bratwurst is acknowledged as the best in Germany), I caught one of Frank Nunn's antique double-decker buses, which took me up to Festung Königstein. Being a warm sunny Saturday afternoon, Festung Königstein was busy with many visitors. This largest fortress in Europe is an extremely impressive structure with very high walls and completely occupies the flat-topped mountain on which it stands. It probably holds a record for fortresses, having never been taken, not even during WWII. Access to the fortress was via a large lift which whisks everyone up to a courtyard. Due to the day's timetable, I only had an hour to spend here, which is totally insufficient. I spent most of the time walking around the ramparts. From the ramparts were excellent views and I could see all the highlights of the last week's travels. Especially impressive were the breathtaking views along the Elbe.

Too soon, I made my way back down to continue the Malerweg to Weissig. This was a boring end to the day. The trail continued along a tarmac road, winding itself unnecessarily around the village of Thürmsdorf before heading off through farm fields along the edge of some woods. Eventually, I saw Weissig in the distance with the Bastei behind the village. Weissig seemed quite an affluent village with many expensive houses, all with immaculate gardens. I had to travel further on as I had been unable to find any available accommodation in the village when originally planning the trip. As I walked through another farm field towards the Rauenstein, I met the first person in the area who spoke English. A young lady asked me a question in German which I wasn't sure I understood, so asked her to repeat it. As usual, on hearing my accent, she asked me if I was Dutch. When I told her I was from London, she broke into English and asked if I'd seen a choir along the road. No wonder I wasn't sure I'd understood the original question. To reciprocate, I asked what kind of choir was she looking for, which caused confusion. She also told me the Laasen Perle, my hotel for the night was only another 10 minutes further on. I was pleased to hear this because my left toe had been painful all day and I didn't want to walk/limp much further. The trail turned into a forest at the edge of the Rauenstein and 25 minutes later I arrived at the hotel. After a shower and some improvised medical attention to my toe, I was able to sit outside with a few Hefeweizen and a nice meal of Wildschweinbraten.

Looking for the Malerweg

Pfaffendorf and Pfaffenstein

Steep steps up the Pfaffenstein

On top of the Pfaffenstein

Narrow crevice




Königstein Schnell Imbiss and antique bus

Festung Königstein

Along the ramparts

Elbe and Lilienstein from Festung Königstein

View from ramparts

View from ramparts

On the way to Weissig

Laasen Perle

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