Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Sunday 23 June 2024

Sunday 23 June 2024 - The Pralongia Plateau

We waited for the rain to stop, then we took the Col Alto Gondola to pick up path 23 at around 1980 metres, Corvara being at below 1600 metres.

Just as we entered the gondola, I realised I'd left my phone/camera in the hotel room, so today's pictures are courtesy of Sue, starting with two lovely Globeflower and Yellow Rattle meadows near the top of the Gondola.

The view was clearing as this photo of the Sella Group and Passo Gardena was taken.

There were too many wild flowers to recount them all in this posting. A separate 'flower' posting may follow when we get home. Meanwhile, a few highlights - such as Trumpet Gentians that lined the path.

After a while we enjoyed a tea break on a bench next to a meadow full of Bistort and Yellow Rattle, with noisy chiffchaffs in the woodland.

Our undulating path took us inexorably past Utia Pralongia to the metal cross that marks the high point of the plateau - 2185 metres, where swifts were harvesting plentiful insects and skylarks were in full voice.

This area was covered in a layer of tacky mud that was quite tricky to remove. Rather than faff with muddy boots in the refugio, we sat on a bench by the nearby chapel to enjoy our lunch - a fairly sparse affair as the masses of food provided by Posta Zirm Hotel needs little to supplement it.

On the way up, Sue had spotted Frog Orchids. 

And Fragrant Orchids (to name but a few).

Sassongher, behind my head in the next picture, ventured in and out of the cloud, but views were generally good and our visit to the plateau before a spell of steady rain was most rewarding.

The walk was 12km, with about 260 metres ascent, taking us about 4 hours.

This was Collett's self guided walk number M1. They provide a durable paper map (Tabacco 1:25000 Map 07), as well as full descriptions of over 20 local routes, plus a 'Ride with GPS' App from which all the routes can be downloaded to a phone. Sue used this today and found it to be entertaining, and maybe even helpful!

Saturday 22 June 2024

Saturday 22 June 2024 - Corvara

A leisurely start saw us being waved off by Andrea and Thomas at around 9am after enjoying their wonderful hospitality for a couple of nights. Thank you so much.

A six hour drive plus stops got us 260 miles to Corvara in mostly sunny weather. I couldn't resist capturing a few scenes through the Polo's windscreen.

Our destination was Hotel Posta Zirm, where we have a spacious room for a week. Sue is concerned that it is so big, with so much storage, that we won't find everything we've brought with us when we leave!

The drizzle that had accompanied us from Brunico got heavier after we'd unloaded the car. Here's the view from our balcony towards the Sella Group of mountains.

Soon we were off to La Tambra, a short walk away, to join other Collett's clients for 'Office Hour', a chance to socialise, and plan for tomorrow.

Collett's has changed since we last used them. Walks are now self guided as opposed to accompanied, and guests no longer enjoy communal meals together. In the past there were lots of staff based in Corvara (and elsewhere), whereas now it's just Ayelen, Elisan and Floris in Corvara. They do have the same philosophy though, and changes have been due to stuff outside their control, such as insurance and mountain guide issues.

On return to Posta Zirm, we enjoyed a very good five course meal. I'm stuffed!

Here's my view of Sassongher from the hotel.

Sue went for a stroll and found some Columbines, and some nice views.

Friday 21 June 2024

Friday 21 June 2024 - Around Tuttlingen and Möhringen

An impressive breakfast spread set us up for the day.

We had a relaxing morning waiting for the rain to subside. Then we set off on a 16km circuit to Möhringen and back.

The site of a new bridge across the Danube was soon passed.

The new bridge replaces one similar to that in the next picture. Apparently replacement was cheaper than repair.

Today's final picture was taken from that bridge, which provided shelter from the rain that fell during the last few minutes of the walk.

Various springs drain into the Danube. Its source is just a few miles upstream.

The banks of the Danube yielded Wild Privet, large Roman Snails, Hedge Woundwort, Hedgerow Cranesbill and more.

On reaching Möhringen, Brauhaus Krone, a closed café, kindly opened its doors to us as long as we sat outside on the warm afternoon. Not a problem!

Someone spotted an ancient artefact... "that's one for Alan" they chorused.

On leaving the café we crossed the river and headed into the woods, returning to Tuttlingen via a series of forest tracks.

Amongst the flowers we passed were Goutweed, Birds Nest Orchids and Lesser Butterfly Orchids. Those are the ones I snapped - there were many more varieties in the meadows and the woodland.

Then we returned uneventfully to Andrea and Thomas's apartment for another pleasant evening, with happy memories of the days when they were neighbours in Timperley and of a holiday in the Alps with them.

Thursday 20 June 2024

Thursday 20 June 2024 - Tuttlingen

We left Reims at 8:45 for a six hour drive to Tuttlingen. Breakfast at 'Oh Tres Tres Bon' in St Dizier provided a nice break.

On reaching Tuttlingen, Andrea and Thomas provided a welcome brew and delicious apple cake, before we all enjoyed a 6 km stroll.

A train whizzed past.

We soon passed a crane and scissors sculpture. Storz, a local manufacturer of medical instruments is responsible for this. The city is a world leader in the manufacture of medical equipment, with many local specialist companies.

Most of the walk followed the Danube. Coots and damsel flies were busy in the weed filled river.

A walk through the town centre revealed some interesting architecture. 

But even the view from a city centre bridge has a rural aspect.

Wednesday 19 June 2024

Wednesday 19 June 2024 - Reims

An easy journey from Wokingham got us through the channel tunnel and on to Reims (I always think of it as Rheims for some reason) by 5:30 pm. We used the motorway in France - €26 for that privilege. 

It was a good 45 minute walk from our friendly Ibis hotel to the centre, where we passed a lone pianist en route and we admired the cathedral from our dinner table outside the Au Bureau Brasserie.

Other pictures were taken on the way back by a different route.

After watching swallows building their nests at Charlecote yesterday, it was a pleasure to watch swarms of swifts in the vicinity of Reims cathedral. Judging by the state of our car's windscreen there is plenty of food for the swifts here!

There's some splendid architecture in Reims, some of it very modern, but not photographed on this visit.