Friday, December 31, 2004

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Backpacking in Henry Coe: 9-10 October, 2004

We took Greg's parents backpacking in Henry Coe SP. We did the tried and proven trip to Kelly Lake, where we pitched the tents. The boys went fishing. The fall colors were great. It was tarantula season, but we only saw a couple in the parking lot and a single one close to our camp site. "too bad" or "thank god" depending on who you'd ask....
camping at Kelly Lake

Sunday, September 12, 2004

In Provence: 12-19 September, 2004

- night train from Venice to Nice, walk around Nice, old town, harbor, fancy dinner
- rental car to Avignon, camping Ile de la Barthelasse, visiting Andrea's parents
- city of Avignon
- market day in Carpentras with Andrea's parents
- wine-tasting trip with Andrea's mum
- tour of little provencal villages with Andrea's parents (Pernes-les-Fontaines, Venasque, Abbaye de Sénanque, Gordes, Bonnieux, Lacoste,...)
- trip to Pont du Gard and Arles (nice, long lunch in Arles), Les Baux-de-Provence on way back
- St-Raphaël

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Hiking in the Dolomites: 7-10 September, 2004

Four nights, hut to hut with Andreas along the Dolomitenhöhenweg Nr. 1.

Day 1
: Tavel by rental car, train and taxi to Pragser Wildsee (1494 m)
The Italian trains were on strike, so we had to rent a car to get from Venice up to the Dolomites. Luckily we managed to get a car and get out of town. We drove to Bozen, waited around an hour or so until the siesta was finished to actually give the car back, caught a train to Brixen (some trains were running by that point), and then grabbed a taxi to the hotel on the Pragser Wildsee. Getting there may have been chaotic, but the hotel was absolutely wonderful.

Day 2: Pragser Wildsee (1494 m) to Seekoffelhütte (2327 m)
Nice day of hiking up from the Pragser Wildsee through the Nabige Loch to the Seekoffelhütte. Reaching the ridge over the Seekoffelhütte we experienced the first (of many) "oh wow!" panoramas from this trip. We played around with the idea of heading up to the peak of the Seekoffel (~2810m), but decided in the end to save our energy for the days ahead.

Day 3: Seekoffelhütte via Pederühütte (1540 m) to Faneshütte (2060m)
This day started fairly level, then headed down to Pederu, where we had lunch. From there it was up along a dirt/gravel road to Fanes. This is almost a normal hotel (as opposed to a berghotel) since there's basically a taxi service back down to the parking lot at Pederu. Still, it's a nice place.

Day 4: Faneshütte via Forcella del Lago (2486 m) and Lagazuoi See (2182 m) to Lagazuoi (2762 m)
The day started with low clouds/fog that quickly burned off. The morning was mostly level hiking, followed by a climb to the Forcella del Lago, where we had lunch. From here we could see the descent to the lake below and the path across the valley to Lagazuoi. We stupidly didn't have enough water with us to be comfortable, so the afternoon was long, hot and thirsty. But the views were great (almost goes without saying!). It was funny to arrive at Lagazuoi sweaty and exhausted and to walk into a crowd of loud American teenagers in flipflops who came up on the gondola. Luckily they all left on the last gondolas. Another very nice meal and good night's sleep.

Day 5: Gondola down, bus to Cortina, bus and train to Venice.
Take the gondola down to the valley, say "bye" to Andreas, and then work our way back to Venice.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Venice: 3-6 September, 2004

With Ludger, Andreas, and Elke,
walking around town, fish-market, little tapas thingies for lunch, lots of prosecci and spritzer bitters, regata storica, ...
La Regata Storica di Venezia

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Yosemite Valley: 20-21 July, 2004

Chris organized Andrea's birthday trip to Yosemite Valley. Even during the week, it was not easy to get a spot on a campsite. We ended up on Wawona Campground in the south of the park.

On Tuesday, we hiked from Glacier Point Rd first to Sentinel Dome with its great panoramic view, and then to Taft Point and the Fissures, with its sheer cliffs. Andrea made Greg rather nervous by going too close to the edge...
Afterwards, we went to the campground to set up tents, then returned to Glacier Point to watch the panorama, the sunset and the crowds.
cliffs near Taft Point, South Rim

On Wednesday, we went down into Yosemite Valley, had a quick stop at Bridalveil Fall, then started our hike up the Yosemite Falls. Up and up and up. 7.2 miles/11.6 km round-trip; 2,700 feet/823 m elevation gain. At the top of Upper Yosemite Falls, there are great pools and big slabs of rock where we had a break and lunch and a very careful play in the water... Afterwards, we went up a bit further and around to Yosemite Point to enjoy the great views. The way down was long and hot, but entertaining because of the sandal-clad tourists intending to hike up the falls at 3pm with only 1/2l water on them....
Chris drove us home safe and sound. It was a great trip.
The pools above the falls

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Car camping in Henry Coe: 25-27 June, 2004

We went for a weekend to Henry Coe SP, car-camping in the Headquarters Campground (north-gate).
We chose a nice, open spot on a bluff overlooking the valley.....
Saturday we did a day hike to China Hole via Corral Trail, Springs Trail, Madrone Soda Springs Trail, Mile Trail, China Hole Trail to China Hole, we had a nice break and watched the turtles. Back along Manzanita Point Rd and Forest Trail. (total ~10 miles, ~1400 ft elevation gain)
In the evening at the campsite it got really windy, especially at our nicely exposed spot which made the grilling a real challenge. It blew all night, but the tent held up great.
On Sunday we went to Frog Lake via Fish Trail and Middle Ridge Trail, back along Flat Frog Trail. (~ 7.8 miles, ~ 1300 ft elevation gain)
and then back home.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Andrea in the Bahamas: 29 April - 7 May, 2004

Andrea went with Christina to the Bahamas to spend a week at Greenwood resort on Cat Island.
It was a very quiet, relaxing time with breakfast on the balcony, sunbathing on the beach and near the pool, taking long walks along the beach, snorkeling and scuba diving (including a close encounter with a vegetarian shark, some big rays and lots of little colorfull fishies), playing Siedler at least twice a day, eating really good seafood every night (what a surprise! Andrea likes seafood...well, apart from lobster), and social evenings with the other resort guests.
Greenwood resort on Cat Island