The Great Italian Adventure.


The View of Lake Como from our Hostel Bedroom Window

Northern Italy is strinkingly different from the south because of the landscape of the Italian Alps.  Our hostel in Mennaggio on Lake Como was situated on the mountainside just above the road that traces the shoreline, it had the most spectacular view which we enjoyed eating pizza from their restaurant on the patio and later that night as I slept on our room’s porch.

I decided to spend my day in Como hiking the Italian Alps, so Dan, Heidi, Matt and I hiked a valley that opened into Mennagio following a river back into the Alps.  We came across a great many of stone shacks that had belonged to seasonal villages of shepherds, miners, millers, and fisherman.

When we reached the end of the trail, Matt and I decided to continue exploring so we followed the river along old Alpine shepherd trails until the river had all but claimed them and then hiked off trail up a very steep hillside for some time until we found more shepherd trails that we followed until they intersected a main hiking trail.  From there we followed it all the way back along the valley to its base right along the Alps mountainsides.

The trail opened into a clearing which appeared to be an old village that was now in ruins, it was very eerie and the feeling was hard to explain.  At the far end of the clearing was a locked up mountain cabin and a running fountain.

We couldnt find where the trail was supposed to fork after the clearing to head up into the Alps so we forged our own trail for what seemed an unending  time over an unsurmountable elevation.  We each picked up sticks that we used as daggers to claw our way up the mountainside which was covered in leaves and was so steep that the entire face was most useful as giant several thousand foot slide.

Somehow we finally crested a saddle between the mountains which was discouragingly out of sight until we were upon it and leant to the feeling of uncertainty as to whether the ascent would truly ever end.  From there we enjoyed amazing views of Lake Como, the towns below, and the Alps surrounding us.

We then literally ran all the way back to the hostel to make it just barely in time to meet up with Dan and his family who live in the area.  His grandfather had contacted them and they, although never having met Dan and last contact and relative having been his great grandfather when he left Italy 100 years earlier, had us all over for a big family Italian dinner.  It was delicious and the relatives kept pouring in as we talked (with some of the younger kids translating) late into the night.

Ill be posting the photos from Switzerland and the West Highland Way soon after my exam this Thursday for Infection and Immunity, wish me luck.


Posted: April 25, 2011

Author: jahjr1989

Category: Blog

+1 Comment
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