The Pleasant Unexpected in Thirty Minutes in Kingsbridge

Just a reminder that it is the “kindness of strangers” which makes it all worth while When does the hiking season begin? That depends very much on local specifics, on things like altitude and latitude: the weather, quite simply, but the season ends pretty much everywhere on the same date, and that’s when the clocks go back.

From one day to another, you will find that the available daylight hours have dramatically shrunk

The Pleasant Unexpected in Thirty Minutes in Kingsbridge

Visit the Most Famous Garden on the Riviera

The Fontana Rosa Forget what the French Government wants you to believe: public servants do make mistakes – which is why we were given 20 glorious minutes to explore this wonderful place on our own

The whole point of this blog is to tell you about hikes and urban walks so you can do them yourselves. Not so with today’s “adventure for beginners”: it is unrepeatable, up to a point, so you better

Visit the Most Famous Garden on the Riviera

Discover Picturesque Wine Presses and More On Via Tappia

Why it may be a good idea to call on local assistance for your trips around the Ossola Valley For our final walk in the Ossola valley, we hiked a small piece of the Via dei torchi e dei mulini – the “trail of wine presses and mills”.

We started in a village called Tappia …

… which is small, sweet and has a lovely

Discover Picturesque Wine Presses and More On Via Tappia

A Penitent’s Walk On the Sacred Mountain of Domodossola

Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the 15 sculpted stations of the cross on the Sacred Mountain of Domodossola provide a fascinating experience, even in the rain – or, perhaps, particularly so One thing you have to say for the Alps, they don’t do much by halves there. Europe’s highest mountain range has proper snow in winter, while in summer, when the sun is out, trees and skies and flowers radiate in the crispest,

A Penitent’s Walk On the Sacred Mountain of Domodossola

The Sparkling Diamond of the Ossola Valley

How to brighten up a cold, wet and miserable day in the Italian Alps In the unlikely event that an extraterrestrial were to land in front of my house, driven by the need to find out what earthlings found so recreational by walking from one place to another and demanding the briefest possible explanation of this mystery from me, I would tell him to fly his UFO straight to Lake Antrona.

The Sparkling Diamond of the Ossola Valley

Be Afraid But Be Astounded by its Beauty

An expedition down the Toce river reveals that the Orridi di Uriezzo are actually quite beautiful One of the main forces that have shaped the landscape of the Ossola valleys is water.

During the last ice age, all valleys – main valley and seven side valleys – were covered by approx. 1 km of ice (the scenery would have looked very different from what it looks now, with only the

Be Afraid But Be Astounded by its Beauty

D is the Gateway to the Ossola Valley

D is for Domodossola This week, we are off for a few days of hiking in the northern Italian Ossola Valley (near the Swiss border), but before we put on our boots for the more “serious stuff”, we went for a brief walk through the town of Domodossola, our base for the duration of our stay.

In Italy, Domodossola is mainly known for two things: as a hub for northbound

D is the Gateway to the Ossola Valley

Sunshine and Spectacle Guaranteed on the Promenade des Anglais

A multi-site exhibition in Nice celebrates the past and the present of France’s second most famous and most attractive boulevard

The past is a foreign country, the novel “The Go Between” famously begins, and although we all know that “they do things differently there”, we are often insufficiently aware of the size of the gap that divides us from our forefathers.

Modern life, for better of for worse,

Sunshine and Spectacle Guaranteed on the Promenade des Anglais

When Will the Twain Meet Between New East and Old West?

… and when the twain finally did meet, two worlds collided – and two rival viewpoints of history Two trillion dollars have been spent. This is not a trifling amount, even for one of the world’s richest nations. Still, East Germany – after 25 years of reconstruction – has preserved an Eastness about it which is not easy to define but easy to recognize, even by people who do not know Germany all that well.

When Will the Twain Meet Between New East and Old West?

How Easy it is to Cross the Border Between Two Old Foes

Half-German-half-Polish Usedom is used to playing second fiddle among Germany’s Baltic coast islands, but has a unique distinction

Usedom is Germany’s sunniest spot. Talk about damning with faint praise, eh?

But before any of you can accuse me of sneery sarcasm, let me point out that Usedom gets an almost Mediterranean 1917 hours of sunshine every year, more than some places in Italy (Bolzano, Milan) and Spain (San Sebastian), never

How Easy it is to Cross the Border Between Two Old Foes