Europe 2013

Trekking in Europe 2013

Summer 2013 we made our first really long mountain trek in Europe, starting from early June until early September 2013. We started the hike in Alsace and follow GR5 through the Jura mountains and the french Alps. At the Mediterranean Sea we had a small break for all most a week before continue our walk in the Italian alps follwing GTA (Grande Traversata delle Alpi).

Planed trekking route for our hike 2013, rough sketch
Note this is a very rough sketch of our route!

Day 1: 5 June, Chatenois to Ribeauville

Today we started our long hike through the mountains in Europe. We started out in Chatenois, a little village in Alsace, and walked to Ribbaeauville. About 20 km. 

The sun was shining. We walked along vineyards up the hill into the forest. We past the castle, Haut-Koeningsbourg, which was taken by Swedes in 1633, who also partly destroyed it. 

We continue downhill through some forest and the village Thannenkirch. 

In the afternoon we reached Ribbaeauville happened to be a very charming small town, touristic but still very nice. 

We stayed at the campsite with fearless Storks walking around our tent.

Day 2: 7 June, Ribeauville to Aubure

The whole days walk was through forest. At first walking upwards about 940 meter. On the top we found the Konige sthul. It was a nice stone block with a nicely made stone chair from early 1900. We sat there for a while, once when there was no threes it must have been an amazing view. But it was still a nice place with pine and blueberries around. 

We continue, the path had leveled out and after a while we started to go down and arrived to Aubure. The highest positioned villages in the Alsace. We found a spring in the centre, not the nicest spot but we sat down on the bench there and had our lunch, some nice left overs from the dinner from yesterday. 

We found a really nice Gite, owned by a really sweet lady with a huge dog and hens and a lovely garden in the back. She showed us our rooms and served us beer in the garden.

Around six we made some dinner, fake risotto with mushroom and paprika with nice spicies. .

We also drank a glas of nice white wine, Gewürztraminer. We went early to bed, the common bedtime for hikers is 22.00.

Day 3: 8 June, Auburg to Le Bonhomme

We made some breakfast in the garden, the chickens kept us company. The old lady gave us some apples from the garden. 

Again we mostly walked through forest, but this day we now and then got some nice views between the threes. We came up to the top of Pierre des Trois Bans, and had a really nice view over two valleys. 

Down below there was a shelter, a couple was camping there. 

We continued our walk up on the ridge for a little while before heading down through some cow fields. 

We came down to the small village Le Bonhomme, it was quite, siesta time. Only some kids tried to get our attention by throwing small charcoals at us though their window while we where sitting outside of the church.

We walked up the hill to the gite and camping, it looked nice so we decided to stay.

Two older men arrived a bit later, they had walked all the way from Ribbaeauville, rather impressive in their age. They told us that they walked many trails together, Alta via and in the Pyrenees, 

We found a nice place for our tent. We made some dinner, couscous and tomato sauce, home dried. Again nice food with some nice Riesling that we had bought in the village.

During the night we had some thunder and rain.

Day 4: 9 June, Le Bonhomme to Col del a Schlucht

It was still raining in the morning, we had breakfast in the tent and waited for it to stop.

We packed and took the wet tent up to the Gite and dried it on the table. The weather became better and we had some coffee and thee before we took off at 10.

The sun came through now and then. The first part went mostly through woods and upwards. But after a ski resort we came the National park, Reserve naturelle de Tanet-Gazon du Faing, and the nature drastically changed. We where both happy about the change as we started to get really bored with the forest. 

The nature reminded Yrr about Iceland. Some alone standing furs seemed to have ruff life with almost no branches on one side. The landscape was more flat and really nice views every where. The weather was unstable with dark clouds hanging around. We walked for a while in this remarkable landscape. 

After a while the heavy clouds did what was expected and we continued for the rest of the day in the rain.

We came again in to the woods. Low growing beech forest with fresh light green leaves. A very beautiful forest! We reached Col del a Schlucht. Terrible passage in the mountain with souvenir shops and restaurant. The rain was poring down but we decided to continue a little bit further, away as soon as possible from Schlucht, up to a Gite not to far away, that was nicely placed in an open field with a nice view.  

We unpacked, took care of some wet things, showered, cleaned some clothes and sat down for dinner with four nice guys from Belgium. The where no hikers, but visiting Alsace for testing some wine.

The food was great, first a vegetable soup, maybe pumpkin, than we had some macaroni pudding with really nice sausages and green salad. For desert we got blueberry pie.

From the window we could see some wild goats jumping down the hill, they looked very playful.