Sunday, April 19, 2015

Le Moléson (2002 m)

Holidays are over... High time to go back on the trails. I didn't choose the itinerary for today, I guess I would have been less courageous myself :) But Moléson was the mountain I had always wanted to hike. It's just beside Gruyeres, my beloved village that I visit several times every year. Every time I was there I looked at the lonely peek with a sparkle in my eye. So when there was an opportunity to join a hike there I didn't hesitate.

Although we've had good weather this year, it's still April so mountains are still in snow. We learnt about it in a pretty painful way. Wet and heavy ground slowed us down, we had problems finding the path and most of all, we were constantly sliding. Some passages would not pose any difficulty in summer but today they were delicate and it even happened to Sergey that he lost the grip and slid down a couple of metres. Fortunately, he was able to somehow stop and nothing serious happened.

Not without a struggle, but we made it to the top from where we had a nice panorama over the Alps. The sky was clouded but clouds were high enough to let us see far and well. We made a lunch break, happy and not aware that even more struggle ahead of us :)
Whenever I can, I always do the routes that go in loops, I don't like to trace back my footsteps on my way down. Today was no different. What I didn't know was that the variant that was chosen for our descent was not really used in winter. At least we didn't see any traces of hikers. It looked like the opening walk for these chemins and now I see why.
The path led on a ridge of a neighbouring mountain that looked like that:

I don't have that much experience in winter hiking so I didn't trust this overhanging snow. In fact, if it wasn't for Sergey who went first and encouraged us to continue, I would have turned back. I did this passage with my heart in my mouth and felt seriously relieved when it was over. The rest of the route was substantially easier but not really a Sunday walk either. To cross all the snow fields was not an easy task and we moved rather slowly at times. At some point we lost the path and had to go downhill in the snow. I was glad we made it safely to our car.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Sardinia Day 7: Cala Gonone and Goodbye Orosei

Our last day on the marvel island... It went so quickly, I wish we had another week. We had been waiting to see the most famous beaches around (Cala Luna, Cala Goloritze etc.) until the last day. They can be reached by water or hiking on foot. We came to Cala Gonone full of hope that maybe today the wind would be a bit less fierce and would let us hop on a boat and paddle to one of those divine bays... But no... We had no luck and had to let it go. Radek didn't feel like hiking, he just wanted to rest so I gave in and we spent most of the day chilling on the beach or around. See yourself.

While waiting for the wind to go away we visited Cala Gonone aquarium. The tanks were full of all kinds of tropical marvels. I like aquariums, I believe that the strangest creatures of our world live in depths of waters. It always puts me in awe and disbelief that such monsters live side by side with us.

Having checked yet one more time with a boat company whether it was possible to visit the beaches (nope, it wasn't), we headed out to have lunch. We managed to find the sweetest spot to enjoy the Mediterranean way of life - a lovely patio on the verge of the sand. We stayed there considerably longer than the usual meal time and didn't regret a minute!

We still didn't have enough of the beach, after all we didn't spend much time on the sand during the past week, so we crossed the fence and spent some time bathing in the sun and chilling. The inquestionable adventage of visiting places like that off season is the piece and quiet in not really secluded places like that.

Having lost all the hope for seeing Cala Luna (you clearly see my disappointment), we came back to Orosei to have a walk around. It would be funny to live there and not to see the place. Orosei is not super touristic, it's more of a small town than a holiday resort, but we still enjoyed it.

We finished the day and the whole trip by saying goodbye to the sea. Farewell Sardinia, you've brought us a lot of joy.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Sardinia Day 6: Capo Caccia, Grotta di Nettuno, Alghero, Bosa

Day 6 was yet another busy day in our Sardinia trip schedule. We started driving east to Capo Caccia where high white cliffs stand out directly from water giving a breathtaking panorama over the Mediterranean and offshore islands. Another attraction of this place was Grotta di Nettuno - "an underground fairyland of stalactites and stalagmites". We chose the more difficult way to get there - on foot by a 656-step staircase of 110m height. We got pretty tired in the morning sun while going down. I don't have to mention that the way up was even more of a challenge.

The cave itself was pretty interesting - caves usually are to me. Maybe not the most spectacular cave I've ever seen but sure worth visiting.


From Capo Caccia we moved to Alghero - a big, touristic resort with beautiful old town and rocky sealine. It was a nice change to have people and open restaurants around. We had a nice walk through the old town and the seaside boulevard, we popped in a couple of tourists shops, grabbed ice cream and some refreshments on our way - in summary: normal holiday stuff. It felt nice.

Our last destination for the day was Bosa. I was lurked in to this place by postcard-like photos of the marina. Well, I learned that they were photoshopped a bit more than I expected but I won't complain. We were already tired in Bosa and didn't feel like doing the full tour of the city so we just strolled around and sat down for dinner. What was nice though was the road that led us to this tiny little place. We were going directly above the sea line and could admire the rugged shore. I recommend taking this route, it was truly spectacular. We didn't stop by for views to often though as we didn't want to wake up Wojtek. The views stay in our heads.