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The Ferryman ferryman.ca
We found ourselves in the village of Hřensko in June 2017 as part of a fortnight's tour around the Czech Republic as guests of an old friend who was born in Brno. We had been staying in the village of Kytlice and spending time hiking the glorious trails of the Národní park České Švýcarsko (Bohemian Switzerland National Park) and the gorge of the Kamenice river. The village is at the mouth of the Kamenice river, where it joins the Labe (Elbe), which here forms the border between the Czech Republic and the German state of Saxony, which was formerly part of the DDR (East Germany).
Because of the popularity of the Kamenice gorge (which is well worth visiting) the village of Hřensko has become overwhelmed by the trappings of modern tourism, including a market selling all the usual tourist tat. I expect the market had its origins back when the DDR existed and Czechoslovakia had certain consumer goods which were lacking over the border.
Which brings me to the ferry, which was a surprise. It crosses the Labe a few yards downstream from where the Kamenice joins. It's a simple passenger ferry, though it may take bikes, and shuttles back and forth across the river to Schöna on the German bank. In fact the ferry sidles across the river, always keeping its bow pointing upstream. I wanted to take a quick crossing, but missed out due to a combination of misunderstanding the signs and the constraints of my fellow travelers.
There are major rail lines along the German side of the Labe, and in our short stay we saw several large freight trains pass, and also regional passenger trains that stopped at a station at Schöna. Dresden is not far downstream, so it looks like a nice trip to take the train from Dresden to Schöna, then the ferry across to Hřensko.
The ferry boat was itself very workaday, but as we watched a large paddle steamer, built in 1898, came around the bend downstream from us and used the width of the river there to turn about and head back again. Looks like something fun to look into if you're in the area!
See for a little of the history of Hřensko.
And the local German public transit authority, the VVO, in its territory, starting with Hřensko–Schöna and going downstream.