Spanish Signs

Another theme that seems to have come out from my photos is that of signs! I was very impressed by the footpath signage, and indeed by the paths themselves, throughout our walk. ATG devise their own distinctive (and copyright) routes but they do cross over with many local, national and even international footpaths. The GR route is one.

The Grande Randonnée (French), Grote Routepaden or Lange-afstand-wandelpaden (Dutch), Grande Rota (Portuguese) or Gran Recorrido (Spanish) is a network of long-distance footpaths in Europe, mostly in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain.” [source]

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Monday : Joanetes to Santa Pau : about 10 miles … and four churches

Due to a bit of a mix up Miquel had to collect us and drive us to suitable point a short way along the route. The beginning of Monday’s walk was to be along a quiet but tarmac road but he dropped us in the central square of a village on the outskirts of Les Preses. We were soon on a stony track climbing quite steeply through woodland.

Day 4

Joanetes to Santa Pau: Easy paths enter the Natural Park of Garrotxa passing Romanesque churches in picturesque woodland settings. Continue through beech forest between dormant volcanoes before reaching the medieval village of Santa Pau, an ancient barony with a castle founded in the 11th century (11.8 miles, 6 hours).

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Rupit to Mas La Serra : 10.5 miles

Often on ATG walks you’re offered a choice of routes to reach the next point on your itinerary. Needless to say we chose the longer walks on this trip.

“Day 2  Rupit to Mas La Serra via La Salut: From Rupit, pass the Salt de Sallent, follow paths along the edge of the Collsacabra with splendid views, then walk through open grassy pastures and woodland to the superbly situated Santuari de Nostra Senyora de la Salut, before continuing on to accommodation in a spectacular setting (10.2 miles, 5 hrs).” [As usual we made some detours and covered more mileage than this … and took longer, of course]

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Walking in the Hills of Girona : Rupit Circular

Last week was my annual summer walking trip with my sister. For the sixth consecutive year we chose an ATG Independent Footloose holiday; our first in Spain. I say Spain, but we were very much under the impression that we were in a country called Catalonia with its own language, flag, foods and distinctive geography.

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The Teide National Park : Sentero 13 : Walking Among Volcanoes

On Monday we were off to the Teide National Park a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mount Teide is the highest peak in Spain at 3718 metres. There are many trails in the park but Barbara found this one for us which introduced us to the landscape and lead to a crater and was not too strenuous. It was also on the quieter, less frequented side of the mountain.

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Back in Bern!

During November Milady was called to the Jury at Leeds Crown Court and those two (harrowing) weeks were followed by a week busy visiting family and friends in Norwich, London and Surrey and last week preparing for Christmas – writing cards, shopping and buying presents – and planning and packing for THIS week in Switzerland!

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Coed Y Bleiddiau : a halt on the Blaenau Ffestiniog Railway

smart new roof

High in the breathtaking scenery of the Snowdonia National Park, this charming little cottage was built in 1863 for Henry Hovendon, Superintendent of the Ffestiniog Railway. Today, it is decaying; the lathe and plaster ceilings have collapsed from water penetration, and the floors and joinery are rotten. Abandoned for nearly a decade and recently listed Grade II, Coed y Bleiddiau’s remote setting has left it impractical for modern daily life.”

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