The Pulpit

The area of the Czech Republic around Velehrad is not only beautiful but packed with things to explore. The hills there are called the Chřiby and are sandstone, grits and conglomerate hills. The area is known for wells – always of interest – and stones. I had my mind set on looking for one called The Pulpit.

So just after 9am, I set off with my buddy Jan in search of said Pulpit. Well, stones are sometimes difficult to find…….

We parked in a little village called Stupava and asked a couple of locals for directions before heading down the road towards the reservoir before climbing up one of the hills. Along the way, we found a couple of wells and stopped to visit with them, sample the water and, for me, to say a few words in my mind to the guardians of the wells.

The weather had improved and we were a little lucky. Rather than mist, fog and drizzle, it was overcast with occasional sunny periods and snow. The forest trails were thick mud essentially but I didn’t care…. I was enjoying being in the forest.

Eventually, we came upon one of those maps with the trails in different colors. We figured the way and set off again on the red trail. Every now and then, we asked others walking towards us if The Pulpit lay in that direction usually being given an affirmative. So you can imagine our surprise when after 8-9 km, we asked two me who looked at us in a puzzled fashion and said Nope – it was back the way we had come! So off we went, 1.5km back along the red trail to the map and then onwards on the red trail in the other direction. A couple more km and they accompanied us off trail to where finally, we found the Pulpit. Honestly, would never have found it alone…. never.

It was already 2pm and it gets dark at 4pm so we had little time to navigate the ice covered steps of the Pulpit, take some pics, have a hasty sandwich and coffee before setting off again.

The Pulpit was carved out of a natural rock formation in the middle ages it is believed. St. Methodius is said to have preached there converting the local Slavs to christianity – I suspect that is a myth but it adds relevant color. The cross was added in 1972. I did a quick dowse and it seemed to me that there was an energy line following the same direction as the Pulpit there as well.

As it began to get gloomy, we could see the village were we had parked the car but we were not heading in that direction. So, lost again, we decided to try a recent logging path down the hill in what appeared to be the right direction. Both of us gained 20 kg going down the hill there as it was thick, thick mud that stuck to our boots like glue. But finally, we say that we were indeed heading for the village were we washed boots in a small stream before getting in the car for the trip back to Brno. We had by my watch, walked 17.5km. My feet suggested that was a far estimate.

But it was a great day in the forest. The wells and some of the stones we saw as well as The Pulpit certainly had an energy about them and the sighting of a full restored Ford Mark 1 Cortina – the exact same as the one I had learned to drive it – sort of was a sign for me that we were in the magic.