Happy Italian families, sunshine and local delicacies combine for a perfect winter walk on the Mediterranean Winter walks very much have their own logic: a successful outdoor experience between December and February requires more careful thinking than a journey at any time of the year, even in the relatively mild and balmy climate of the French and Italian Riviera.
Many of the proper trails – as opposed to asphalted footpaths and beach promenades – may be muddy or downright flooded, and the winds immediately by the coast can be very strong at this time of year.
Few things in the life of an easy hiker are as frustrating as arriving at your destination after a 2-hour journey only to find that the coastal path you had been looking forward to visiting has been closed for the day by the city administration’s health
Continue reading A Perfect Winter Walk in the Italian Riviera
Easy Hikes in the French Riviera Something to do outdoors during the “rainy season” on the French Riviera Normally, we are spoilt by the weather in our part of the world, but for the past six weeks, it has been raining and raining. And just when it felt that the worst was finally over, somebody up there decided to throw the sluice gates open once again, and we found ourselves cooped up for yet another week.
Conditions were so atrocious that for much of November and early December, the littoral, the coastal path, was closed, while parts of the “back country”, the arrière pays in the hills, are still in a state of emergency. This, obviously, narrows down for us the possible choice of walks in the area quite considerably, even now that the sun is out again.
You may find yourself in a similar situation
Continue reading A Côte d’Azur Gem: Medieval Town Haut de Cagnes
Walks near London Following in the footsteps of Soviet town planners, teetotal socialists, Quakers, silly old men in skin-tight trousers and – perhaps – even Vladimir Ilyich Lenin to the first garden city in the UK.
It may be difficult to believe, but Letchworth Garden City, nowadays a well-heeled country town on the edge of North London’s commuter belt, …
… was once at the cutting edge of modern architecture and a hot-bed of socialism.
Some people believe that Lenin himself visited the town, in search of a possible blueprint for Russia’s “cities of the future”, although it must be said that there is no conclusive evidence for this. Still, even if Lenin himself never made the journey, Soviet town planners certainly did – as did almost everybody else in the early 20th century with an interest in the future
Continue reading The Story of the First Garden City in the UK
#MaltaisMore by Mrs Easy Hiker Perhaps it is because we are under the charms of Liguria (the nearest Italian region neighbouring Menton where we now reside) and lived along the stairways of Montmartre for more than 20 years, that the sight of the stairways of Valletta gave us a tug of familiarity.
There is definitely an Italianate feel to Malta’s capital city. Its narrow cobblestoned alleyways certainly remind us of many found in San Remo.
The wider ones are usually lined with cafes and shops.
Some old stairways have been reduced to pedestrian-lane size to give way to motor vehicle roads.
All in all, the stairways of Valletta definitely contribute to the charm of the island.
Continue reading Stairways of Valletta
Walks near London London’s extensive canal network is a haven for nature lovers – and often just a single stairway down from the city’s hustle and bustle One of the best things about London is that you don’t have to leave the city to do some serious walking. The West End is virtually surrounded by the leftovers from King Henry VIII’s deer-hunting grounds (Hyde Park, Green Park, St James’s Park, Regent’s Park), while from the East End, you can – via Mile End Park, Victoria Park, the Hackney Marshes and Lea Valley Park – walk straight out of London into the countryside without having asphalt under your feet for more than a few steps at a time, only to cross a road from one green space to the next.
I don’t think that you could say something similar about any other major city in the world. But that’s
Continue reading Horsenden Hill and the Grand Union Canal