in late may, we (again) visited val bregaglia for another very nice vacation. the weather was great, except on monday when it snowed. we stayed once more in vicosoprano. we did some hiking from soglio to castasegna, and from castasegna to chiavenna:
posts about sun.
we stayed during the first of the two “chestnut weeks”, dedicated to edible chestnuts which are growing all over the valley. except on the day we arrived on and the first half day, the weather was really good!
we again visited the chestnut forest in castasegna:
and we walked another part of the via panoramica, this time from soglio, and then descending to stampa:
also, again, we enjoyed some great culinary specialities. in particular, we enjoyed several meals (again) at hotel corona, where we also had the opportunity to meet the goats producing the milk for the wonderful goat cheese, which is part of our favorite tomato goat cheese salad. also the different pasta and meat dishes we had were fantastic. yeah well. if it wouldn’t be so far from here (5-6 hours by public transport, depending on how often you want to change trains), i’d guess we’d go there more often ;-)
on friday evening, we had a really amazing sky over hinwil:
today, it was pretty sunny and quite warm outside, and we decided to play with our cats (and our neighbor’s cats):
most of the time, we had fabulous weather, except two rainy days and one pretty cloudy day.
the first hike we did was going by postauto up the maloja pass to maloja village, walking from there to the giant’s kettles nearby and from there to the belvedere tower, and then down the pass towards the san gaudenzio ruin and finally until casaccia, from where we continued by postauto.
this is the first leg of the via bregaglia route. this leg is really nice, with some glimpses over the valley (for example, at belvedere tower, and above casaccia, where you have a good view on the albignia lake dam), a lot of forests and shade, and nice rivers. parts of it go quite steep downhill, but even for untrained beginners as us, it was quite manageable.
the second bigger hike we did was the via panoramica (the yellow path there) from the power plant löbbia towards northwest of vicosoprano, from where we descended back down to vicosoprano. near the power plant, we saw a sign forbidding arnie to walk on the water:
whyever they put up that sign… crossing the bridge from the löbbia stop to the other side of the water basin, one enters the via panoramica and can continue to roticcio and from there on to eventually soglio. we left the path somewhere northwest of vicosoprano. (if you have a map, it’s the leftmost path leaving the via panoramica descending downwards to vicosoprano.) this is a really beautiful hike, with lots of nice overviews over the valley and on the mountains.
another day, we took up the cable car to the albignia lake dam. one can also hike all the way up or down, but i think that one is a bit over our capabilities… so instead, we enjoyed the little tiny cable car. on the top, one could still find patches of snow, and one has a beautiful panorama both over the valley and over the lake.
unfortunately, on that day, it was pretty cloudy, so we decided to not hike to the albignia hut (that’s something we’ll do next time…), but take the cable car back down and hike from there back to vicosoprano:
one day, we took the postauto up to soglio, a cute mountain town:
afterwards, we returned by postauto to promontogno and had dinner there.
another trip we did was to visit castasegna. they have a beautiful chestnut exploration path, which shows how chestnuts are planted, harvested and dried. also with a chance to buy honey from around there at a self-service stand.
back in town, we bought some drinks and met a nice cat with wonderful blue eyes.
after being in castasegna, we visited chiavenna, the largest town in val bregaglia, ending the valley at the italian side. we had dinner there, but unfortunately, the restaurant we chose didn’t start serving dinner before 19:00, and the last postauto left short after 20:00…
in vicosoprano, we stayed in hotel helvetia, a former hotel west of the city. while parts of it are used for offices, the other part is rented as holiday flats. it is equiped with a simple kitchen for self-catering, and without much luxury features everything one needs to have a good week there. and in case one is too lazy to cook for oneselves, there are two hotels with restaurants in town, for example hotel corona, where we had three excellent dinners.
after being in tromsø, we continued to oslo. one of the first surprises met us close to our hotel. we already stayed there last year, but didn’t notice anything. this time, we noticed something greenish on the ground, which on a closer look turned out to be many tiny statues:
this piece of art is called the grass root square by do ho suh.
similar to last year, we had great weather. not on every day, though. here are some impressions from the rådhusplassen and the adjacent pier:
we also wanted to see oslo from the sea as well as more closely inspect the oslo fjord. unfortunately, the oslo fjord boats were not really running yet, and many of the boats around oslo itself were not running due to ice. nonetheless, two boats were operating (route #92 to nakholmen as well as the ferry to nesoddtangen). the following photos are from route #92:
after that, we explored oslo by bus, and then continued to tjuvholmen, which is almost finished by now. last year, i took one photo over there, which is not showing a lot since most things you could see were construction stuff. this time, there’s a lot more to see, for example the new buildings for the astrup fearnley museum of modern art:
(the snowman was on the boat to nakholmen. i just put it here because it fits better with the other portrait pictures.)
afterwards, we continued by ferry to nesoddtangen and back:
just for fun, i turned one of the snow fall shot series from this morning into a little video. sorry for the perspective change at the end, this was not intended. i aligned the shots with hugin, scaled them down with imagemagick and converted them to a mp4 video and an ogg video using avconv. (if you’re interested in the commands i used, mention that in the comments, i’ll then post them.)
despite the not so great weather forecast, the sun came out this morning and bathed my surroundings in beautiful sunlight. i grabbed my camera, put on my winter gear, and went on a nice long walk. i essentially walked around the area from the first half of our easter walk, with the difference that this time, everything was covered in snow.
something very beautiful with snow is the effect when snow randomly falls off from trees. the effect is best with sunlight:
some more impressions:
anyway, shortly after arriving back home, the sun was again covered by clouds and the landscape bathed in grey. by now, it’s snowing again.
today, while shoveling snow, the sky suddenly cleared up a bit. i got my camera and took some photos, sometimes with more and sometimes with less shade. here are some of the nicer pictures:
afterwards, when we were in the shades again, i enjoyed playing in the snow a bit, for example by jumping into the snow and by creating a snow angel:
one of the best times of the year seems to have started ;-)
yesterday, we finally had sun together with the first snow. unfortunately, i didn’t have much time before i had to leave to work, but i managed to take some nice shots. i would have loved to walk into the forest and take some pics there. i decided to do that today, but today no sun was around…