Elbe paddle (day 1): Usti n. L. to Decin

Today: 24km |Total: 24km

Today my canoe journey from Usti nad Labem (CZ) to Cuxhafen (DE) kicked off. After food shopping with mum yesterday, we left Koenigstein about 11am on Sunday and drove over to the start in Usti. First job was to assemble my Ally 15 folding canoe. Took some sweat and just above one hour thanks to many helping hands. Thank you!

From there the journey got underway. Todays target was Decin (a place where they had more goods in my childhood than at home … Long live united Germany) , the last larger city in Czech Republic before the German border. Due to the hot weather the water levels were low at about 80cm (2-3m are normal) and hence not one big ship to be seen (in fact, no other boat at all).


Although the water still flows at 3km/h on average, it was tough going with permanent head winds. Without paddling you basically stand still. When the wind disappeared 6km/h plus were feasible. Sunshine was relentless and so Alex and I reapplied sunblock many times.

The scenery was a mix of the Bohemian Switzerland hills, fishermen, old factories and shipyards and little villages. Plenty of birds also around though the elbe otter we spotted just as he went for a swim was the highlight.

After 4,5h and 24km (5.3km/h average) u reached Kemp Decin. Carrying all the gear up from the riverbank was the last test. Thanks to the kind fella from reception for his help with the canoe. Quick dinner, shower and off to bed.

I feel pretty exhausted. But happy. Tomorrow the first full day and one of the biggest highlights of the trip – my hometown and the beautiful Saxon Switzerland. Nite, nite…

4 thoughts on “Elbe paddle (day 1): Usti n. L. to Decin

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