1st day1st day: hostel Kochanówka - The Old Walloon Cottage - Szklarska Poreba - Kamieńczyk hostel - Szrenicka alp - Szrenica hostel - hostel: "Pod Łabskim Szczytem" (under Labski peak) duration: about 5 hours. (not including stay in The Old Walloon Cottage and Szklarska Poręba town)
however, I advise to start at approx. 9 a.m., because there is a lot of attractions and shelters on the trail and
in practice the proposed route takes approximately 8 - 9 hrs./ difficulty: quite easy
Kochanówka hostel is located about 10 minutes from road: Jelenia Góra - Szklarska Poręba. From the main road You should follow black marked trail. You can take a bus from Jelenia Góra - journey takes about 40 minutes. Next to the bus stop is also a parking. Kochanówka hostel was founded in 1868 - originally functioned as a pub, called Kochellfalbaude. Near the hostel is located waterfall Szklarka - 13 meters high. Such environment makes that spending night in Kochanówka is very attractive and somewhat romantic. Our trail starts at the waterfall and is black marked (paralel to the black trail there is also blue trail, which is quite boring and leads directly to the hostel under Łabski peak, but we have to follow the black marked trail).
The first stage of hiking leads through forest along Szklarka stream. After about 20 minutes, we go out into the open space, there are the first buildings. We have to look for carefully signs to Old Walloon Cottage (Stara Chata Walońska). Old Walloon Cottage is placed on the right side of our trail, but it is quite inconspicuous and easy to miss. Old Walloon Cottage is worth a visit, because there is lot of attractions: the opportunity to visit the underworld - numerous original exhibits as skeletons, animal antlers, a collection of beer and wine bottles from the communist era, with interesting names; collection of rocks and minerals found in Karkonosze; the possibility of self- making the personal Walloon amulet.
The entry is free of charge, more information at: www.chatawalonska.pl/
. We go back to our black marked trail - from here is about 30 minutes to the center of Szklarska Poręba town. There are many restourants in the town, so You can eat and drink something. After the rest You have to find the main road and turn left (it takes 10 - 20 minutes) into Jakuszyce direction, untill the entry to the red marked
This trail will take You to Kamieńczyk hostel within about 40 minutes. The route leads along the gorge, at the bottom flows stream called Kamieńczyk. Along the way, near the shelter is a descent into the gorge and waterfall. The descent is paid and helmets are mandatory. In 1973, here was an accident, a stone hit and kill the tourist, after that, descent to the waterfall was closed for many years. At the Kamieńczyk hostel You can relax, there's a viewing platform - You can admire Karkonosze mountains and Kamieńczyk waterfall.
After the rest and taking a photo You have to hike further along the red trail. After a few minutes You will reach the cash point - where you have to buy an entry ticket to the Karkonosze National Park. For about 45 minutes we hike on pavement following the red trail (however path is very wide and there is no way to get lost) to the next point - Szrenicka Alp. There is a hostel with a powerful silhouette, offering 110 beds. From here is close to the next hostel - Szrenica. From the alp You have to still follow the red trail - after about 20 minutes there is a crossroads, here we can see black marked trail which turns left - this black trail will take You to hostel Szrenica (within 5 minutes). Of course, if You don't need a rest, You can not turn the left and follow red marked trail. The entry to the peak Szrenica (1362 meters above sea level) is not allowed. This area is under strict protection.
After the rest in hostel You have to go back to the crossroads and continue following red trail. A few minutes later You will pass the rock formations called the Three Little Pigs, the next few minutes You will come to the rock called Twarożnik - here is also the yellow trail
which leads (several minutes) to hostel Vosecka Bouda in Czech Republic. The Czech hostels generally are not similar to our Polish. Usually you can not eat your own food there. In Vosecká Bouda we were serviced by the waiter, and a beer cost 10 zł (in 2011). If you decided to visit Vosecka Bouda, you have two options: go back to red trail and go to the right, following red trail, or go the green marked Czech trail (it's important to go to the left, not straight)
which will take You to the yellow trail, then You have to turn the left on this yellow trail.
Both variants take the similar time - 1 hour. However, the green and yellow option is more interesting, because we
pass on the way the source of the Elbe (Labe Pramen). When you will reach again the red trail, go straight to the hostel under Łabski Peak (Elbe Peak),
there is no trail, but there is a path, called the "wet path". This path will lead You, after several minutes to yellow trail - this part of trail (from crossroads red and yello) takes about 30 minutes. Below photos of hostels met on the way. From left side: Kochanówka, Kamieńczyk, Szrenicka alp, Szrenica hostel,
Vosecka bouda, hostel under Łabski Peak: