Monthly Report, October 2023

Mostly Italy.

I signed off the last report in Zurich.  From there it's relatively short rail trip through the Alps into Northern Italy - and time exploring Val Camonica (north of Brescia) and Val Senales (a bit further east and almost into Austria).  But first the Numbers.

By the Numbers 

Reporting Days: 31

Location: Mostly Italy

Distance Walked: 297 km

Distance Driven:  998 km

Photographs Taken: Hundreds


The jaunt around Italy in April and May was (COVID not withstanding) a delight, so when the opportunity to do it again in October was presented we didn't take much convincing.  

In April and May we did all the travelling by train, so the obvious thing to do was to use the train again.  However, tunnels.  

There are a few rail tunnels through the Alps, and since the April trip two of the tunnels have suffered major incidents.  The main route between Paris and Turin (Frejus rail tunnel) has been closed by a landslide (and still is) and the Gotthard base tunnel (the new quick route between Zurich and Milan) closed by a major derailment.  This meant that the plan to go to and from Italy via Paris and Turin was derailed. Plan B was to go out via Zurich (and to allow enough time for the slower old route down to Milan) and to come back via Nice on the French Riviera. The conclusion from this is that rail travel is still better then flying (the scenery is much better), but the stress level is lower if you don't try and spend all day travelling and allow a wee bit of leisure time and some nice overnight stops too!

Stop One this time was back in Boario - for another couple of weeks of neurotherapy, spa time, fine dining and very good coffee - and the occasional gelato.

Boario & River Olgio

Old Bridge, Boario

Madonna of the Alps, Boario

Lovere, Lake Iseo

Stop Two was in Certosa, high in the mountains north of Bolzano and Merano (in SudTirol) - where we finally got to spend time walking in the Senales Valley - a trip originally planned for Summer 2020.

Madonna di Senales

Lago di Vernago

And in the spirit of slow travel, the return journey involved overnight stops in Verona, Turin and Nice.



Back in UK

In April I commented that its felt like we'd fast forwarded from Spring to Summer - the converse this time was the shock of going from walking in shirt sleeves in the Italian Mountains or promenading along the Boulevard des Anglais in Nice to late Autumn in Oxfordshire.

C S Lewis Reserve, Oxford

Bury Knowle Park, Oxford

Heading North

Oxfordshire autumn not really being to my taste - I ended the month by promenading along the Esplanade in Aberdeen, before hunkering down for a bumpy overnight trip back up to Shetland. 

The Esplanade, Aberdeen

Next Month  

That'll be Shetland.

The Mirrie Dancers