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Showing posts from 2017

Torrent Neuf: Hiking along the old irrigation canals

Torrent Neuf is a hiking trail that follows old irrigation canals that are mainly carved into the canyon wall. The hike is 5 km long and completely flat. Therefore it's really easy hike with wonderful views to the mountains. There are quite a few suspension bridges on the route. If you have vertigo, it is probably not the place for you...

The trailhead is not far from Sion but without a car it is tricky to reach. We took a bus from Sion to Chandolin Belvédère and walked from there (a little bit more than 2 km going uphill). There are hiking signs pointing towards Torrent Neuf, although at some crossings the signs were missing and we just followed the general direction that seemed logical. Once we got to the big information board of Torrent Neuf it got the most tricky. There is another path going that has red marks and it looks very tempting to go along that. This is exactly what we did and after walking some time we realized it's completely wrong. To get to the actual startin…

Mountain town Sion

Sion is the capital of Valais canton. Valais is a mixed language canton - it's partly German speaking and partly French speaking. Therefore also all the places have German and French names. Valais is called Wallis by German speaking people and Sion is called Sitten. Sion seemed to be mainly French speaking though.

Valais was in my not-visited cantons list. Valais if famous for having the highest peaks of Switzerland. My trip didn't involve conquering those - some things have to remain for the future. Instead I went to see the old irrigation canals but I will write about that in the next post.

Sion is very old town and its history reaches back to prehistoric times. In the old town I had all the time the feeling that it's built for rough climate. I can only imagine how harsh the winters can be there. What you see are strong stone buildings without unnecessary embellishments.

You can easily spend several days in Sion. It has many museums and the town  itself is also nice to …

Estonia. Small medieval Rakvere

Our trip to Estonia finished in Rakvere where in every August Rakvere Night Run takes place. I'm not a runner, but my partner is. I stick to the cheering.
It is very popular run with thousands of participants. Rakvere is very small town with not that many hotels. We booked our accommodation almost half a year before the event and got the last room in the hotel we stayed at.

The main tourist attraction of the town is the castle. It is a medieval castle that has been partially in ruins already for centuries. There are all kind of events and demonstrations taking place in the castle. Unfortunately all in Estonian. So I highly recommend to have some Estonian speaking person with you who can translate. There are for example torture chamber, prison, pharmacy, pottery, kitchen, wine cellar, tournaments and much more.

Another symbol of the town is the big bull statue. It's right next to the castle and the theater house.

 If you happen to be in the area then the castle is definite…

Estonian islands. Saaremaa and Muhu

The largest island of Estonia is called Saaremaa. Right next to it is the third largest island Muhu. There is a bridge between two islands and a ferry takes you from Muhu to the mainland.

Saaremaa is known for its windmills (in Angla village you can see several windmills together and visit couple of them), Panga cliff, meteorite crater in Kaali and the main town Kuressaare.

We took a ferry from Hiiumaa to Saaremaa and spent one night in Kuressaare in one of the spa hotels there (for such a small town there are quite a lot of spa hotels). The next day we visited Muhu island and then took a ferry back to the mainland.

The most famous place on Muhu island is a protected traditional fishermen village Koguva. All the houses there look as they used to look like in the old times and there is also an openair museum where you can learn about the area and its history.

And here is the list of places we visited during our 2-day visit to both of the islands:
Angla Windmills - a site with sever…

Estonian islands. Hiiumaa and Kassari

We spent a week in Estonia to visit my family and friends. Therefore it wasn't a typical tourist trip but we still did some sightseeing. Our trip started from the second largest island Hiiumaa. Despite its size (989 sq km) Hiiuma doesn't have much inhabitants - only about 8500. The central part of the island is mainly covered with forests and bogs and there are very few villages.

Next to Hiiumaa is another island called Kassari. Kassari is the 5th largest island of Estonia but it's so close to Hiiumaa that you might even not notice driving over a small bridge and getting to another island.

It's a perfect place for nature lovers - you can hike in the forests or camp on the beaches without being much interrupted by the others.

We had a small road trip and visited following places:
Orjaku nature trail - you can walk between the reed and junipers and there is a bird watching tower where you can observe the bird life at protected Käina Bay. Kassari Museum - it is a sm…

Conquering Kanisfluh

Kanisfluh (2044 m) is a mountain known for its special shape. To get there we took a bus from Bregenz to Mellau and then went up to Roßstelle mountain station (1395 m) by cable car.

From there we started to hike. We still had to go 650 meters higher. It had rained for 2 days before so occasionally the hiking path was very wet and muddy. We really had to pay attention on where we were stepping.

 In the beginning we were passing by quite a lot of cows and also some goats. Then the trail continued through the forest with lots of bilberries under the trees.

The higher we got the less trees and the more flowers there were. Less trees meant also less shade.

Finally we arrived to the top. We were not the only ones. There were quite a lot of people having a lunch stop on top. The views are really magnificent.

On a way down we stopped at a small eating place (Alpe Wurzach). Be aware that you can only get different variations of bread, cheese and meat there. There are no options for vegan…