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Silver Travel Book Club - Book of the Month - February 2018

@Humph – have a look at Cicerone Books https://www.cicerone.co.uk/ – they publish brilliant books for walkers, trekkers and mountaineers, in Europe and further afield. And considering the amount of research that goes into each one, I think they are incredibly good value.

Here is a link to all their books for Europe: https://www.cicerone.co.uk/europe

@NedtheRed – so happy to hear that Laurie Lee inspired you to start walking Offa’s Dyke. This is exactly why @Teens set up Silver Travel partner TripFiction – to help readers see a location through an author’s eyes.

How many miles have you got left to complete Offa’s Dyke….and do you plan on walking the northern section? Can Laurie Lee inspire you again, I wonder…..?

@LH – just your mention of painted flashes on stones brings back so many happy memories of walks around Europe. Did you ever go back and walk any more of the GR5?

We have been lucky to walk a few stretches of the infamous GR20 in Corsica; in the wild Aragon region of the Spanish Pyrenees; high in the Italian Dolomites; in the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland, passing in the shadow of the mighty Eiger, Monch & Jungfrau mountains; and through the enchanting – and surprising – volcanic Garrotxa National Park in Catalonia.

Each time I feel blessed that these trips on foot allow us to see landscapes that we might not otherwise enjoy, stay in places, eat food and meet people when we might not have done so from a car or a coach.

I’m heading for Spain next, to Galicia on the wild north-west coast of the Iberian peninsula, where Laurie Lee’s Spanish adventure started. Our accommodation might be different to his in the 1930s, but I’m hoping we’ll still feel and see some of the real Spain that he did, in As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning.

Andrew

Thanks @DRSask for your vivid memories of the language barrier on your trip to Germany. It’s amazing how we somehow manage to communicate on our travels, even when there might not be a shared language, isn’t it? Have you been on any walking holidays in Europe, or just road trips?

@SB – thanks for sharing memories of your Chamonix stroll. There’s nothing quite like Alpine air and scenery, is there? Technical climbing is an altogether different challenge….

@choccieluvva – love your ‘just-in-time’ Roman walking story! Did you see any of the country on foot, or just the city?

Thanks @Lottie for those entertaining anecdotes of your adventures on foot. You really do experience so much more, compared with other options, don’t you? Glad you didn’t get gored by a hungry chimney pot though!

I love walking in Europe – wish there were good walking books (but not too expensive) in English covering popular walking areas of Europe

I read this book donkeys years ago and it set me off to walk the Offa’s Dyke footpath with a friend. We walked from the Avon bridge to Hay on Wye and I would love to finish the walk, all these years later, and get up into North Wales. Snowdonia is supposed to be beautiful, and obviously perfect walking country.

Hampshire

We love walking in Europe and one Valentine break we went to Nice, one of the hottest years for February recorded there, and we saw the wonderful Flower Festival parade outside our hotel, and walked inland to Menton and along the coast. You can follow the red/white/red stone markings up in the hills following the GR5 – it goes all the way to Switzerland if you have the time!

My thoughts are that you don’t have to go on a walking holiday to enjoy a good walk.

The only time I sit still on holiday is when I am reading a book and the rest of the time I need to be exploring in some way. I recall a few years ago going to Menorca for a week as we had never been before. My initial thoughts were it was lovely and peaceful but I’m going to be so bored as there seemed not a lot to do. I scouted around for info and found that an ex Brit living in Menorca did walking tours. Brilliant! We joined up on his tours and went on some fab walks a lot of which did scramble near and around cliff edges but he knew some great places to go. Not only that he was very chatty and gave us loads of interesting stories and tips. At one point we saw a tourist bus stop and all the foreigners jumped off and ran into the cliffy water’s edge and were collecting shell fish. Apparently, this was a prime spot and these foreigners were jumping up and down screaming with delight like they had just struck gold. These walking trips were the highlight of a lovely holiday.

I’ve just remembered another time when we were walking in England while staying in a cottage near the lakes. On the walk there was a footpath through a huge field. About half way across we looked up and saw a bull on the horizon. Fear kicked in and we tried to stay calm walking faster and faster to get the hell out of there. Not wanting to make eye contact with the bull or annoy him in anyway we kept our heads down mostly and strided out only glancing up occasionally to see if he was coming for us. He was looming larger as the field seemed to get bigger and we didn’t seem any closer to edge. Looking up again I tried to work out his position and if we should divert in some way to reach safety. It was only then that I realised that he was actually changing shape and although he looked bigger and closer, he now looked a bit square. I laughed as I realised it was actually a chimney pot. I know…we should have gone to spec savers. We did enjoy our dinner and laugh that night after all those calories we must have burnt.

My husband and I were in Rome a few years ago and were walking around down in the Colesseum area. Around the Circus Maximus area (picture attached), I was getting a little, shall we say, desperate to “go” . They were doing some work around the outside of the Circus area and there was a little bit that was almost covered and private that I was sooooo tempted to “use”, but being in a foreign country and not knowing how the Polizia would react, I just had to hold on. We walked and walked, me with legs almost crossed the whole way, up the hill opposite the Colesseum until we came across a little cafe. We went in and ordered a coffee and then I attempted to go to the toilet in there. But no, the cleaner decided to clean the toilets right there and then, so I had to wait 20 minutes. She did not take away the warning signs so I just walked over them and went in anyway. I got there just in time :) And THAT is my memory of Rome :)

I remember one occasion in Chamonix when we didn’t realise how far the walk was. It was fine as we started out we enjoyed waterfalls, a glacier and a coffee in a flower filled chalet. However on the way back we got tired and grumpy as we seemed to plod for miles alongside a dusty and busy road.All of a sudden we looked up and there were climbers scaling up a sheer cliff face. At least we were on terra firma and with a final push we made it back to the hotel and a reviving snifter or two.

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