Saturday, May 24, 2014

Wsi spokojna, wsi wesoła

It's been really long time since we had a chance to immerse into polish countryside which, by the way, I have always found delightful.But this summer we were invited to a get away wedding of our best friends who decided to organise the reception at Brzezieński Młyn - a very small village in Kaszuby. We stayed there for two days which was enough to have an insight into peace and quiet of the place.

 We started our little excursion by walking around the village. It's actually amazing how the image of a polish countryside changed within the years. It developed a lot but didn't change entirely. I guess you need to be polish to understand the rustic/rural character of a shop selling dotted aprons... Anyway, I liked this place a lot.

Here is the quaint image of the contryside:

And here is what the countryside has the best to offer:

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Les Gorges du Pont du Diable

We decided to have a quick excursion on our last day before leaving to Poland and we chose Yvoire and Les Gorges du Pont du Diable for our destination. This site is nothing more than a tribute to the powers of nature - namely erosion. It's amazing what water can do to rock!

A legend has it that this place used to be a devil's hideout (therefore its name).

A whole tour took just a bit over 30 minutes. We followed a guide who answered all our questions and waited patiently while we took the photos and gazed at all those magnificent colours. A truly enchanting place.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Le Parmelan (1832 m)

Our last hike together during these holidays and at last -good weather, yey! We chose to go along Le Parmelan, starting from its highest point - La Tête du Parmelan (1831 m). We really didn't know what to expect - will there be snow or not, nevertheless we decided to give it a go and it was a good decision. 
The first part of the trail led through the forest, and then le Grand Montoir path that was leading very steeply up the rock. This passage is very dangerous in winter because of frequent avalanches. This time it was rather easy, I would even say there was no need to use the cables installed there for safety.

The snow started right after we did the chain passage. We were actually both surprised by the amount of it! Fortunately, it was very wet and heavy so we could pass through only with a bit of vigilance. A couple of minutes before the summit we could see a breath-taking view on the Alps, still covered in snow.

We made a pause by the cross but it was only the beginning of our trip so we didn't stay long. Our round trip was supposed to go up to La Tête, then along the ridge of the mountain (which is actually pretty long) and then down at the other side and back to the car at the footstep of Le Parmelan. So we left a rather crowded top and went on a deserted hike along the range... We didn't descent so there was snow everywhere - something that we hadn't expected. It was very difficult to follow the path because there were few foot trails and the snow was hiding the paths from us. It was also hiding the wholes in rocks, so we really needed to watch our feet. The fact that we were the only human beings around was also a bit disturbing... If other hikers didn't dare to claim the ridge, perhaps we were too bold?

Despite the uncertainty, we enjoyed the views - Annecy valley on the right, the Alps on the left. But it was no carefree hike and it actually became an opposite of carefree when we had to admit we had lost the trail. We reached a point there were only rocks and chasms around and what was worse, we really didn't know how much time we had followed a goat trail instead of a marked route. We had no choice, we had to backtrack. Fortunately, at some point we spotted the correct trail, something like 30 metres under us. The problem was, we didn't see any possibility to cross this distance at it was almost vertical, through rocks. In the end, we spotted a place that was good enough for us, so we took the risks and... slid!

As much fun as it looks in the photos, it was actually a scary experience. It's not easy to control a slide like that and we had rocks and wholes covered by snow around. I felt a great relief the moment I found myself standing on the marked trail. From that moment our route continued rather calmly, even though there were pretty steep passages ahead of us. Nevertheless, nothing could frighten us afterwards.