All posts tagged: Italy

Day Six – Val Ferret – La Fouly

(6 hours – 20kms) We finally leave the Hotel Crampon this morning after three lovely nights with tremendous hosts. The highlight of breakfast was Leeanne’s statement that she was contemplating an AFD (Alcohol Free Day) today! Once the giggles stopped we settled back to our breakfast of fruit, muesli & croissants. After yesterdays shambles with the bus, Ismael organised a mini bus transfer back to the same starting point. Tick! Our route today takes us slowly up the valley and onto the ridge which climbs gradually, and consistently, up towards the saddle which marks, invisibly, the border between Italy and Switzerland. Once again, excited Australians straddling the two countries for a photo opportunity. Ismael then took us into Switzerland and up the top of a nearby hill which offered great views down the valley to our nights destination, la Fouly. After another photo opportunity, Ismael noticed the crowd of walkers strolling down towards our lunch stop at a small farm, and declared a state of emergency. We needed to hoof it down the hill, passing …

Day Five – Val Ferret back to Courmayeur

(7 hours…20kms) Today has a slightly different format as we are catching the bus up the valley to the Val Ferret, and walking back to Courmayeur. The bus ride itself was crazy, Italian style, with demand outstripping supply by a factor of about three! It’s a narrow windy road up to the Val Ferret stop so the bus isn’t big, but that didn’t deter about 80 people cramming into it, the driver pushing everyone further down the back. Talk about stacks on! Plus it was a stopping all stations, as the driver willed more passengers on, sardine style. We were pretty happy to get to the pit stop and rediscover limbs seemingly crushed by the weight of humanity!! And what a day it turns out to be! The views before us are breathtaking! Ismael stated that this was his most favourite day of the walk because of the stupendous views which astound at every turn. About an hour of meandering uphill, surprisingly not too taxing, especially after the shenanigans of the previous night! The rest …

Day Four – Aosta day trip

A change of scenery today, being our rest day, so most of us are off to the Italian town of Aosta, 34kms down the valley by bus from our hotel. A leisurely breakfast then onto the 8.40 bus which wound its way down the valley, through picturesque villages, hillsides strewn with vines impressive Chateaux perched over the rock faces, and into city with the most preserved Roman ruins in Italy. We were met at the bus stop by our guide for the morning, Elizabeth, who proceeded to spend the next three hours delivering us to all the main historical sites, filling us with information about the Roman way of life, giving us a sense of how the village would have looked in ancient times. First to the Criptoportico Forense which is amongst the best preserved archaeological vestigial from the Roman era. Next the Museo Archeologico Regionale, exhibiting many pieces from the 8th millennium BC until the Middle Ages. Onwards through the old town, all the while being serenaded by the most beautiful hymn music, being …

Day Three – Les Chapieux to Courmayeur

(19kms…6 hours) Another great start to the day, with a breakfast of muesli, the freshest croissants ever, home made yoghurt, and a multitude of different breads and fruits. We had time for a quick wander around town and a team photo by a wonderful two story stone barn before being bused up the narrow winding lane to our start. We had a slow steady climb in the morning which was meant to provide stunning views of Mont Blanc for the first time but with the weather slowly deteriorating we lost our views and discovered the variables of weather in the alps as the rain slowly built. After three false starts on whether to put on the wet weather gear or not, we were finally kitted out but not before a few of us got wet with our indecision, lesson learnt. With weather gear on, we continued up the hill till we reached a saddle in the mountain which was the border between France and Italy. Luckily the rain dissipated and we were able to see …

The Cinque Terre

Two years ago as part of a nine week trip we spent five days with friends in the Cinque Terre, one of the most spectacular slices of paradise in Italy you are ever likely to see. “The Five Lands” comprises five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the time I took plenty of photos, but never did them justice in the editing suite until now, courtesy of migrating over to Lightroom and its amazing bunch of sliders that transform the images from dull to vibrant. So, here’s a revisit. We stayed in the old town section of Monterosso al Mare which was a great place to base yourself, being the largest village with plenty of good accommodation and plenty of choices for both food and drink. It also had the only beach which was much sort after, all the prime positions having been reserved weeks in advance! …

a quick reminisce before the next trip…

Before we head off again next week to see some of Spain, Portugal & France…here are a few photos from our last trip. Hopefully with another two years practise, and some fancier gear, the shots will be better, and will tell the story of our time away.      Notre Dame will be visited again, and I’m pretty sure we’ll see another of France’s iconic vehicles!               The cafe scene in Paris, to the stunning light show in Reims. One of the highlights, ballooning over Burgundy. Pompeii was breathtaking, a must visit if you’re anywhere near.       There’s quite the art to walking on the beach in Amalfi, and a lot of walking in Rome.                     A strategically placed Vespa in Assisi, and a misplaced Boar in Chianti. In one of the most wicked “butchers/deli’s ever!!     The rugged splendour of the Cinque Terre, and the majestic beauty of Lake Como.      Venice, before the madness …