Today, when I am writing this article, we have been on our way for nearly a month and already we have experienced many cool things. Below you can read the summary of our current journey through Europe.
The first days featured the Alps. We got a peek into the National Park at Berchtesgaden and specifically we walked around the lake Kὄnigsee. The way to the Eagle’s nest was closed because of the amount of snow, so we continued on to the mountain village of Hallstatt. From this picturesque village by the lake we left to survey along the Maler Weg route which carried us through the local recesses. It was followed by the Triglav National Park and here I was a little a bit sorry for going on a road trip when we do not have more time to explore this wonderful place. But even so we had the chance to see the canyon of the Soča River, whose turquoise waters have sculptured this gem. Afterward we headed to the cascading waterfall over the settlement of Lepena. The next day we spent by the lake Bled, that is significant because of a church built on a small island in the middle of the lake and also by a castle that towers on a cliff above the lake. We visited Slovenia for the first time but certainly not the last.
The necessity was to visit the capital Ljubljana, where we were charmed by the peaceful atmosphere. However, we went back to the mountains and namely into the Val di Funes area, from where Reinhold Messner came from. A view across to the chapel in the valley over which rises the massif of Odel’s mountain is great! We were not lazy and decided to undertake the Adolf Munkel Weg that runs just below Odel Mountain.
Through the Italian valleys that are full of vineyards and orchards, we reached Lago di Garda (Lake Garda), where we camped in a super camp right on the shore. Around the palm and olive trees, the lake made lovely waves and we felt like we were by the sea. Unfortunately we cannot complete Ferrata with our furry friend but at least we had hiked a very nice path, which is partly carved into a rock and which the other part is the tunnel that leads through the mountain. We even dipped after the trek, but it is really not the sea and in the beginning of May it was a cool refreshment. After the days full of mountains and hills, we experienced a bit of culture and visited the beautiful cities of Bergamo and Milan. Especially in Milan, I shook my head at what it was possible to see on the road.
The next stop for us became the National Park Gran Paradiso, where we accidentally took the dog. From the village Noasca we set out on the trek to the cosy Rifuggio di Noaschetta, where we pitched our tent. We saw a lot of animals along the way and in addition to the predators in the sky and the ubiquitous lizards, we saw several marmots, toe deer and also twice - chamois.
From Italy we moved to France. We wanted to pass some trek in the National Park Ecrins, but we did not want to push our luck again, because dogs are not allowed in the park and moreover the program of the last few days had made us pretty tired. We chose a less demanding walk in the foothills and the views were still something rare.
And again a little bit of culture. We travelled through Provence, where we investigated the neighbourhood of perhaps the most famous aqueduct, Pont du Gard. We could not leave out Arles with its arena and amphitheatre. The icing on the cake was the beautiful villages built on the rocks. The ochre Roussillon and the golden coloured Gordes charmed us. We could not omit the former residence of the Popes-Avignon, which is also known for its bridge that ends in the middle of the river. We finally got to the sea for a little while. In the area Camargue, we visited the residence of Saintes Maries de la Mer. We went trekking through the wetlands and while sloshing in the sea from one side, on the other side flocks of birds kept us company. In the salty and shallow water we also had the opportunity to watch as a bonus, flamingos flying over our heads during dinner.
From the sea we headed to the little town Carcassonne that really looks the same as the board game from the box. We walked through its alleys and historical walls. With first a stop in the pilgrimage town of Lourdes, we entered the Pyrenees, which really inspired us. Just camping in their foothills, when there were about six birds of prey circling in the sky over the meadow, was an unforgettable experience. The next day we drove to the town of Gavarnie, where about 20 kilometres later the road ended. After, it is necessary to walk and one hour later, one came to a mountain massif from which in spring, water falls in several cascades. The peaks of the mountains rise up to 3200 meters above sea levels. This amazing place is called Cirque du Gavarnie and we recommend it. In the National Park itself, dogs are again not allowed, not even on the lead and the official reason is that they would disturb the game. But we cannot get our head around it why in the Scandinavian Parks dogs are allowed totally cool. We are already looking forward to the north!
In the Pyrenees we went through the most amazing journey we had ever been to by car. This very narrow path without a guardrail, climbs up the hill, through the dark, unlit tunnels and the deep cliffs beneath us with views of the valley and mountains around. This way leads the historical route of the Tour de France. At that time some wonderful veterans, who were just riding in a fun race, were keeping us company. We stopped in the mountain saddle of Col du Abisque and climbed one of the raised points of the surround. The views of course were phenomenal!
We got across the Pyrenees to Spain and today, when I am finishing this article, we are already camping near by the beautiful town of Toledo. During the month of our journey, we have experienced a lot and I hope we will experience much more. But it is not always about the beautiful views and the wine drunk in the camp. Sometimes the tiredness announces itself and lately the terrible heat has vexed us. Since we left our home, we have not slept in a bed, we do not know what a bath or a television is. We are chasing WIFI where we can but we have a “clean head and straight back”. Every day we experience all the positives and negatives and we look forward with excitement, to what the future will bring us.