authors: Tereza Haumerová, Lenka Tsikoliya
The landscape of the Šluknovský výběžek and the forgotten places of Fukov make a romantic impression on every person traveling through the region. A strong impression from the landscape of northern Bohemia is reflected in the work of painter Caspar David Friedrich, whose central idea is the desire of the liberation of the soul. Beautiful nature is a significant positive aspect of life for the inhabitants of Šluknov, compared to the problems they face in the city. There are several cross-border meeting points with German neighbors in the countryside. In the last few years, joint educational events took place on the new cycle tours "Looking for the Monarchs of the Northern Kingdom".
The physical proximity of the city to Germany and the theme of Czech-German cooperation was very interesting to us since the beginning. We were looking for a way to convey and highlight that today nothing limits our relationship and that both sides can benefit from mutual co-operation. After 2007, we perceive the state borders differently, their function is rather a connecting one. We have decided to mediate this through the movement - the bicycle tours.
We propose a cycle path, which we consider to be one of the possible collaborative platforms. The cycle trail crosses the border several times, conveying a border experience and making cross-border cooperation visible.
The first encounter with the border occurs with two black ponds that are part of one system and together regulate the local stream.
In the Fukovský výběžek we draw attention to the difference between the natural boundary of the river Spree and the border as a human construct that does not create any physical barrier. In places, where the state border crosses Spree, we propose bridges.
The third crossing of the border takes place in a dense forest with plenty of crossroads. The Czech and German forests are growing and absorbing us. We do not know exactly where the border is, we are marked by the way we cross the border, but first we lose our path and the border. In order to find the right path, we need to focus on nature and see whether the images we see around us do not repeat.
Nature always overcomes the human construct. We plan a rectangular band of flowers, which will grow in time into its surroundings and the border will become dissapear.
In another place, we mediate the touch with the border. We take the road where the cycle path meets the water flow. At the point of contact we propose a well.
The last encounter with the boundary on the circuit of the cycle path takes place behind Sohland. There is a house, a well, a fireplace. These can be excellent facilities for school tours in nature or Czech-German summer camps. Experienced bicycle ride is complemented by Czech-German cycling trails with the possibility of renting or repairing a bicycle and refreshment.
The draft of the cycle path is inspired by the event "Looking for the Monarchs of the Northern Kingdom", initiated by Šluknovský turistický spolek. We partially modify the route to uncover the principles which guide us in the landscape. It follows the flow of the river, which is the source of drinking water in the Czech Republic and Germany, the transience and change of the seasons, the difficult orientation in the industrial forest, and the absurdity of man-made barriers.