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The Bastei Rocks in the Elbe valley
City: Dresden State: N/A Country: Germany
The Bastei Rocks in the Elbe valley, Carved by the river Elbe and its tributaries over 100 million years into a bizarre assembly of soaring stone frnials, mesas and buttes, its gloomy crags overhang the graceful curves of the water up to 400 m (1,312 ft) below. The tallest trees are dwarfed by the huge boulders on which they totter, and one spectacular vista opens into another all the way to Bad Schandau on the border with the Czech Republic, where the Elbe rises in Bohemia. Between April and October, riverboats ply between Dresden and Bad Schandau so that awe-struck visitors can enjoy feeling puny in the face of nature at its most romantic and darkly majestic.This feeling is most intense at the Bastei ('Bastion') Rocks, a series of needle-like sandstone spires 170 m (558 ft) high standing sentinel along the ravines and gorges hacked out of the canyon's walls. You can cross the rocky pinnacles on graceful, stone bridges built in the mid-19th century; or the river itself on the 300 m (1,000 ft) high Bastei Bridge, which offers the most magnificent view of all across the Elbe Valley. This is the Felsenbuhne Rathen, a natural amphitheatre specializing in open-air, summer productions of operas and adventure stories as eerie and fearsome as the setting.Crossing the bridge leads you to the Konigstein Fortress, its colossal scale and severity in perfect harmony with the jagged landscape. From its heights, you can see a panorama of rolling hills, winding river, imposing peaks and table mountains like Lilienstein and Pfaffenstein. Locals call it Sachsische Schweiz - Saxon Switzerland, and the region is protected as the Elbe Sandstone Massif Nature Reserve.
Climate | When to Visit
Visit during: March to October
Directions | How to Reach
By Air: Dresden-Klotzsche Airport is located north of the city. Flights leave to nearly all important German cities and a few European destinations, like London, Zurich and Vienna.By Rail: Dresden is served by two big train stations, one on the northern side of the Elbe, Dresden Neustadt, and one on the southern side of the Elbe, Dresden Hauptbahnhof or main train station.By Road: Dresden can be reached without problems by car from the rest of Germany. It is well connected with the German highway system.