The Blueberry TourThrough the Krkonose Mountains forests
The tour starts with the ascent through the woods up to the Zaly mountain (1018m). Its old name is Heidelberg - Bluebery hill. Everywhere in the fir forests there are bushes carrying blue fruits, the blueberries.
Apart from mineral resources, the riches of the Krkonose Mountains have always been its forests. The royal Captain Christoph von Gendorf started mining iron ore and smelting it into metal. To fire the ovens large amounts of wood were cut. And also the silver mines in Kutna Hora consumed enormous quantities of firewood. To supply this need, Gendorf brought in experienced wood workers and rafters from Carinthia and Tyrol in Austria. Hundreds of workers have built settlements, such as Krausovy Boudy (near our way), and lived there with their families. These settlers cut wood, built charcoal piles and floated logs on the Elbe, Aupa and Isera rivers down into the valleys. They built dams and barrages that allowed them to transport the wood even in summer. Although these dams have not been preserved, the knowledge that went into their construction has been passed on and is still in use in many regions. You can find a lot of masterly built small dams on the creek called Certova strouha close to the Bouda U Bileho Labe.
Within a period of 50 years the largest part of the deciduous forest in the Krkonose Mountains was gone. From 1609 the logging moved to the adjacent Orlicke hory (Eagle Mountains). Many settlers lost their work and began livestock breeding and alpine dairy. Some of the many alpine farm lodges have been preserved and can still be seen at the hillsides around Spindleruv Mlyn.
Little by little the Krkonose Mountains were reforested with monocultures of firs. This type of forest grows relatively fast but it is not very robust. The atmospheric pollution of the 80s severely eakened these forests and left them vulnerable to damage inflicted by the bark beetle. Huge areas had to be cleared - some of it is still visible at the Kozi hrbety mountainsides. Fortunately many areas - even hardly accessible slopes - have already been reforested since.