Bosporus Walk - Part 1
The Malvern Hills to Switzerland
This is the well travelled path near home that usually leads to the Chase Inn but today will head, bit by bit, to Dover, Brussels, Zurich, Luxembourg, Strasbourg, Zurich, Verona, Venice, Ljubliana, Zagreb, Belgrade, Craiova, Targovishte, Burgas and Istanbul.
Colwall Village as we ascend the Malvern Hills with King Edward 1 emerging from Colwall Tunnel at the head of a steam special.
Crossing the Cotswolds we reach the Vale of White Horse and Uffington Horse, an art masterpiece 3,000 years old.
We then follow the historic Ridgway, a really amazing routeway.
Goring now as we join the River Thames.
Wooded Maidenhead Thicket as we begin to circumnavigate London.
Brooklands, near Weybridge. A surprising amount of Concorde was built here.
Then comes the Weald of Kent in this spring view near Kemsing.
As we walk another historic routeway, the Canterbury bound Pilgrims' Way.
And so to Dover.
Where a ferry takes us across to Calais.
Calais Town Hall, a spectacular building.
A Christmas walk centres in Audricq.
And by summer we have reached the battlegrounds of the First World War.
The battlefields straddle the Belgian border. This is Vervik, Flanders.
A pause for beer and mattentaart, a curd cake delicacy, at this Geraardsbergen bar.
Roadside shrines are everywhere. This example is in Denderwindeke.
And so to Brussels and the Belgian Parliament.
South of Brussels is another famous battlefield, Waterloo.
Where the Lion Mound marks the epic battle.
Abbey ruins at Villers-la-Ville, dissolved 1796 after the French Revolution.
Christmas 2008 and a few days winter walking around Namur.
Then springtime in the Belgian Ardennes by a roadside chateau in the village of Haversin.
Rolling hills and incised rivers. Below us here is the River Ourthe.
Also round here, legendary Belgian Beer. These little characters are the ingredient gatherers of the Achouffe Brewery.
As the walking party recovers in the brewery pub.
This is Houffalize in another war hit area, the Battle of the Bulge.
Unusually it is a German tank plinthed in Houffalize.
American Sherman tanks are much more common as per this example by Wibrin church.
We reach Luxembourg.
More wooded countryside in Luxembourg in a view from Hollenfels Castle, now a youth hostel.
The City of Luxembourg was very heavily fortified, impregnable in its day.
And Luxembourg Station from our hotel room as we prepare for another walking day.
Remersham and the German border, marked here by the Moselle River.
We cross Saarland in early spring.
Reaching the River Saar at Dreisbach.
The Saar is impressive hereabouts with a spectacular curving bend.
Back in the woods where hunting must sometimes be an issue when walking round here.
This is Wadern.
And this is Hengstbach on the border with France .
Summer now as we head for the citadel stronghold of Bitche.
Bitche's hilltop fortifications are immense.
More woodland miles follow as we head for Alsace.
The timbered villages of Alsace are stunning. This is Issenhausen, our base for a week.
As we reach Strasbourg and the European Parliament.
A pause in this impressive City.
Petite France, Strasbourg. Perfect.
Moving south and map reading advice.
We then join the towpath the Rhone Rhine canal.
A canal full of character and interest.
Colmar now, a wonderful town.
Then perfect walking in the vineyards.
And we must not forget the storks, another aspect of Alsatian culture.
Rouffach now with the Rhine valley beyond.
As we walk the Rhine to the Swiss border.
Basle Town Hall.
Then back to the Rhine as the river begins to narrow.
Covered bridges now appear and this stunning example, the longest in Europe, crosses the Rhine at Stein.
The Rhine meanders northwards from Stein so we cut inland.
To reach Baden where fortifications help protect the ancient covered bridge over the Limmat.
We follow the River Limmat to Zurich and the steamers of the Zurichsee.
This is our next lake, the Walensee.
Fantastic to be walking in Switzerland.
And roadside character by the stone flume of Flums.
Then comes Heidi's town of Maienfeld. Immaculate in every way.
The Lanquart river is our routeway to the Alps. It is also the route of the road to Engadine.
This is Klosters Youth Hostel which we found brilliant.
We had a room with a view. Over the far ridge is the town of Davos.
And high above Davos, courtesy of the Parsenn funicular, we can look down on our route ahead.
End of Part 1
Part 2, Switzerland to Slovenia
Bosporus Walk Part 3, Slovenia to Serbia
Bosporus Walk Part 4, Serbia to Romania
Bosporus Walk Part 5, Romania to Istanbul
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