Just under 20 miles drive from Dresden, you’ll find the River Elbe snaking its way through Saxon wine country and on towards the North Sea. Having passed through the spa town of Rathen and, heading north-westerly, it rolls on languidly towards the jagged rocks of the beautiful photo opportunity that is the Bastei rock formation.
Sitting within the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, just under 200 miles south of Berlin, the Bastei has long been a tourist attraction, referred to in state surveys as far back as the 16th century and mentioned in early forms of travel literature from the 18th century. Soaring almost 200 metres above the Elbe’s waters, the rocks provide stunning panoramic views of the lush surrounding countryside. Individual trees that form woods far below become washes of green and adjacent mountains loom nearby, resplendent whether shrouded in mist and cloud or reflecting a glorious summer glow.
Parts of the rock formations are said to resemble human forms – ‘The Monk’ is said to bear a similarity to a pair of praying hands. For those that aren’t keen on heights, you’re more likely to get sweaty palms as you climb to the higher outlook points on the rocks. The bridge itself spans a deep ravine and is enough to induce vertigo amongst those more sensitive to altitude, but climbers can often be seen scaling the rocky faces and standing on the tallest peaks. Perhaps one for the more daring thrill-seeker.