It’s my last day here in the Alps. I fly home tomorrow. I spent another day walking on prepared snowy paths in Central Switzerland. I joined my friend Kathrin on the train from Meiringen and we travelled just over the Brünig Pass to the village of Lungern where I worked in the hotel for the summer of 1975. The family I worked for at the Hotel Rössli became great friends of ours and the niece and her family that visited me on Sunday. The hotel is long gone and has been replaced, sadly, by a bank branch. The train journey took just over twenty minutes and we soon arrived at Lungern station. After a twenty minute walk we were at the totally new cable car station, only opened last year.
A walk along the Hasliberger Dorfweg (Hasliberg village trail) is like a 1960s geography lesson brought to life. Just as I did yesterday, I took the crowded cable car from Meiringen/Alpbach to Reuti at one end of the trail. In school we learnt how to draw a Swiss chalet and the practicality of the design. We learned about transhumance and how self-sufficient each farm needed to be and about diversification. In physical geography we studied glaciers and valley shapes and the importance of communication routes. The evidence is all to be found on this walk.
Hooray! This morning the rain had stopped and the sun came out and it was time to head up, up, up to the nearest peak and make my way back down quite a bit of it on foot.
“Enjoy a mixture of history and horse racing as our walk takes us through the glorious Coverdale countryside to the pretty and interesting Coverham Church. After lunch we will return over the famous High Moor Gallops to Middleham with the opportunity to view the ‘Middleham Jewel’ as we complete our walk.”
This morning I met up with my friend Lynne (dovegreyreader) in Ashburton. It’s our regular annual get-together which some years includes hikes on Dartmoor and others lunch or coffee and a natter at one of our favourite places in Ashburton – Moorish. We sometimes swop a little gift and this time I’d brought a knitting pattern for Lynne; she had kindly brought me a knitting pattern and the yarn to go with it. So, after we’d said our goodbyes I cadged a lift into Bovey Tracey in order to visit Spin-A-Yarn to buy the relevant knitting needles and get started.
Most of our walk along the Österlen Way was along pretty level paths – always looking out for those orange route markers (sometimes just a dash of paint on a post) to confirm we were on the right track – mostly hugging the coastline but as we neared the end we had to pass through Stenshuvud National Park (Stenshuvud Naturrum). Here there were good facilities and plenty of printed information in English.
The most ‘commercial’ ancient monument along our route was the Ales Stenar preserved stone ship on the cliffs above Kåseberga harbour almost at the end of our first day’s walking. It is the largest preserved stone ship in Sweden and, on this occasion, we were not the only visitors. I say ‘commercial’ as there were probably about 20 other people on the site. There is no charge to view and the stones just sit there as they have for centuries (carbon 14 dating puts it at 500 – 1000 AD).