The Wild West of the French Riviera

Easy Hikes in the South of France Théoule-sur-Mer may lack the glamour and urban flair of some of its coastal neighbours in the East, but has a nice little walk attached to it Looking back over the Easy Hiker posts from the last six months or so, it strikes me how few of them refer to anything that we have done on our home turf.

On the one hand, this is good, I

The Wild West of the French Riviera

Death is an Italian Opera …

… at Milan’s Cimitero Monumentale

But there are cracks in the bombast, and you can feel how a very modern sense of discomfort is creeping in.

For centuries, death operated a strict two-tier system: cathedral tombs it was for crowned heads and high clergy, the local churchyard for everybody else. (Unless you were a certified saint, in which case your bones were distributed piecemeal across Europe, more precious than diamonds

Death is an Italian Opera …

The Hub of the Dolomites

The provincial capital of Bolzano has a long history, rich cultural attractions – and even some lessons for all of us

One thing is for sure when you go hiking in the Gardena Valley: sooner or later you will come to Bolzano, in nearly all respects the hub of the province, if only between trips to different resorts. So you’d better know what to expect.

Expect, above all, crowds. Stunningly

The Hub of the Dolomites

The Hills Are Alive …

… with the sound of sizzling frying pans on our Selva-to-Monte-Pana hike in the Dolomites Something I forgot to mention in the report from our first hike in the Dolomites: for the hiking guides, that hike served as their “orientation tour”, intended not only to familiarize the hotel’s newbie guests with the landscape but also to sort out the more resilient hikers from those who would probably be a danger to themselves in the hostile

The Hills Are Alive …

Made it, Ma: Top of the World!

In terms of drama, scale and majestic beauty, few areas in Europe can rival the Italian Dolomites

For us, one way of rating the quality of our hikes is simply to count the number of pictures that we have brought home.

On some of our hikes in the past, we have made no more than 20 or 30 shots, sometimes with half of them showing the same motive – a

Made it, Ma: Top of the World!

Believe It Or Not in Gozo

Seven outstanding facts about the church of St John the Baptist in Xewkija On our last day in Gozo, we simply had to make the trip to the church we had dubbed the “Sacre Coeur”, a large rotunda a couple of kilometres behind the ferry port: after all, we had lived in the shadow of the “original” for 20 years and were eager to find out whether their close resemblance was mere coincidence or not.

Believe It Or Not in Gozo

A Hiker’s Way of the Cross of Blood Sweat and Sunburn

A pilgrimage to the Ta’ Pinu Church and the Way of the Cross may help you acquire a deeper understanding of Gozo’s profound religiosity One thing that no visitor of Gozo can fail to notice is the native Gozitans’ love for sculpture – and their refreshing lack of respect for (or even fear of) the Taste Police. The front door of nearly every Gozitan home is decorated by one or several small statues that range

A Hiker’s Way of the Cross of Blood Sweat and Sunburn

Easy Hiking on Land and Sea: Go for It in Gozo!

#MaltaisMore There is more than one way of experiencing Gozo’s gorgeous coastline The main feature of Gozo’s landscape is, of course, its coastline – Gozo is an island, after all, and not a very big one at that, so the Mediterranean Sea is not only all around it but can also be seen from almost anywhere: church steeples, hills, and – if you are lucky – the balcony of your holiday let. But no matter

Easy Hiking on Land and Sea: Go for It in Gozo!

Gozo’s Magnificent Seven …

… and what to expect from them: quaint country lanes, magnificent churches and majestic views over the Mediterranean Sea. Hikers can experience the island of Gozo on seven hiking trails that have been laid out and marked (fairly efficiently) by the Malta Tourism Authority. All walks come with a dedicated leaflet (featuring a map, photos and notes) that is available from any local Tourism Office. (The main such office is located on Independent Square in

Gozo’s Magnificent Seven …

Gozo: First Impressions

#MaltaisMore We arrived late in the day in Gozo and barely had the time to familiarize ourselves with the island, but after our first half day, one thing is already clear: it is not at all what I had imagined.

From what I had read, I had expected to find a throwback to the Mediterranean world of the 1950s, an island full of dirt roads with a agricultural delivery van

Gozo: First Impressions