you went boofen?

The autumn has started with lovely weather in Poland. If the sun shines every day like it did the past week, we could speak about the real Polska złota jesień (“Polish golden autumn” – to get an idea, have a look here). The air is warm and it smells with brown and yellow leaves. I think it must be wonderful in the mountains now. If it doesn’t change within next fourteen days, I’m planning to do some hiking in Karkonosze (mountain range in the south-west of Poland,
a couple of hours with a bus from Wrocław)
with a friend of mine.

It’s been already almost six months since my last hiking trip. I went to Sächsische Schweiz (Saxon Switzerland) with my Erasmus German friend Mirjam (it was our first meeting since May 2009) and her friends from Dresden, Katrin and Boris.

Our main plan was to go boofen. In Dresden boofen has become almost a national sport.
No, it’s not extreme hiking or difficult rock climbing, boofen  means sleeping in caves. Caves to be found somewhere in the rocks (and easily accessible for the ones who go boofen). After our trip I found out that there even are websites where you can plan your route by choosing the caves where you want to stay! People swap information and rate those incredible “hotels in the wild”. One of such websites is Boofen Schmilka – an electronic guide for fans of Sächsische Schweiz and boofen.

We spent two nights in really cool caves, hiking and climbing a bit during the day. We crossed the German-Czech border for a while and enjoyed nice views eating Czech chocolate wafers Miri brought along. In the mountain villages we found a lot of colourful Easter decorations – trees and bushes would have yellow ribbons and Easter eggs all over, while people’s small gardens would be full with roosters and lambs.

On our way back the bus to Schmilka was bursting at the seams.
– Oh, you went boofen? Really? That’s so cool! – exclaimed a stranger sitting next to
Katrin and Boris.

It was cool. It was one of those great experiences in life you always wish for.
And hopefully it wasn’t the last!

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