Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Saturday 29 June 2024

Saturday 29 June 2024 - Sils (Hotel Maria)

The view from our room in Sils

A most enjoyable five hour drive via Bolzano, Merano and the Ofenpas got us to Sils, near St. Moritz, by 3pm. We were greeted by the boss, Regula, who helped with parking, and by Michelle, the receptionist. Here, we aren't in the EU, so Arabella and Taea have been hired by Collett's despite being UK citizens. This is their third year here. We had a long chat with them before enjoying an excellent four course meal. We are their first guests of this season. 

Before that we were also greeted by Andreas, another 'boss'. These family hotels really do try to take care of their guests. Back in Corvara the hotel was much bigger and family members toured the restaurant each evening, chatting to the guests and checking that they were happy.

Anyway, after arriving here we fancied a stroll. Michelle suggested a short walk from the hotel. It passed beside Lake Silsersee, and made for a delightful circuit before returning to our room to unpack. Some of the pictures from that walk are shown below.


Spotted Gentian

Rosy Pussytoes

Yellow Rattle and Bellflower

Our room, quite bijou after Corvara, but more than adequate, with lovely staff. Michelle, the receptionist, made a point of finding us in the restaurant and checking we had all we needed before she went home.

This is a great spot.

Friday 28 June 2024

Friday 28 June 2024 - Col dei Bos

A 45 minute ride on bus 465 took us to the Falzarego pass, just a bit further than yesterday's trip. The free bus passes we have for this week have been very useful - our car remains where we left it on arrival last Saturday. 

There were hordes of people and for a while the bus was crammed full, but unlike yesterday everyone managed to get on as the journey progressed. (No problem for us as we get on at the terminus, which is a few metres from our front door.)

We set off along path 423, with fine views across the valley to Mount Averau, a favourite spot of ours.

Down in the valley, a running race seemed to be taking place on this lovely sunny day.

We reached a path junction where runners were heading off downhill to where the hooting and cheering was coming from. For the next hour or so we met runners, some of them pictured here after they had passed us next to the remains of a WW1 hospital.

It turned out to be the Lavaredo 50km race, an ultra marathon. And what a lovely day for it. We must have met nearly 1000 of the runners and walkers over the course of an hour. They had done about 20km at this point.

Eventually a long series of zigzags and a final very steep section brought us to Col dei Bos, where we lost the runners but gained a magnificent view into the Lavaredo area from which the runners were emerging.

Time for lunch (part 1).

Sue got left behind for a while thanks to some camera shy snowbells and some chatty Americans.

After a few snowfields, Forcella Travenanzes was reached. Time for lunch (part 2), in the company of some tame snow finches.

I then continued to Forcella Lagazuoi, before ambling back to Falzarego, whilst Sue nipped up to the Lagazuoi rifugio before joining me at the bus stop.

More wonderful views from near this second lunch spot and beyond.

An uneventful bus ride got us back to base for tea on our balcony by 4pm.

We had walked about 10km with 700 metres ascent (a bit more of both for Sue) taking around 5 hours.

We went down to La Tambra hotel for office hour at 6pm, basically to say goodbye to Floris and Elison, two of the Dutch staff who represent Collett's in Corvara. Sadly Brexit makes it much more difficult to employ staff from the UK.

We were delighted to discover that Barry and a friend had made it to the top of Sassongher. He was grateful for my emphatic advice to be extremely careful. It had been a tough day.

Back at Posta Zirm Hotel, Sue and I enjoyed another lovely tasty meal.

As usual, today was suitable for some more flower photography, some of the results of which are shown below.

Mountain Avens

Round-leaved Pennycress

Alpine Snowbells

Least Primrose 

Rhaetian Poppy

Thursday 27 June 2024

Thursday 27 June 2024 - The Setsas Line

A 40 minute bus ride got us to Passo Valparola for about 9:45, for what turned out to be an excellent 7 hour outing based on Collett's 'Setsas Line' walk (M6).

Various folk, including the four sisters who are also with Collett's, set off ahead of us. Sue posed (above), and the sisters made their way down a short section of wires that made for safe handholds.

The route took us behind the Setsas mountain on an excellent path, with views to Col di Lana and its WW1 trenches.

After 3.5km we reached Bivio Sief, a small hut full of picnic tables for wet days.

The onward route to the Pralongia plateau was a lovely contouring path with a smidging of boulder fields.

We reached the cross at the high point of the plateau, where I took the following photo to compare with Sunday's picture from the same spot.

As on Sunday, we enjoyed part two of our lunch on a bench below the teeny chapel that sits above the Pralongia rifugio. Alpine summits towered in the distance above the profile of the hut.

Rather than repeat Sunday's descent to Corvara, we headed along the crest of the plateau, with superb panoramic views, nearly all the way to Piz La Ila, before which we took path number 2 to descend to Corvara, switching to path 2A when path 2 headed north.

The descent on path 2A was in woodland.

So we made it back to base in 16km, with around 550 metres ascent, taking about 7 hours.

As usual, we spotted many flower varieties, some of which are shown below.

Spring Gentian

Matted Globularia

Moss Campion

Yellow Alpine Pasque Flower

Round-leaved Saxifrage

Black Vanilla Orchid

Dandelion seed heads

Bearded Bellflower

Round-headed Orchid