Friday, 19 May 2017

On Higher Ground

When I was a girl, I spent a few holidays (summer and winter) in the German region called Allgäu, south of where we live. (I did show you glimpses of that area when I revisited it for New Year's Eve in 2015/2016; you can find those posts here and here.)
Also, my sister and I went to summer camp twice when we were young; once in Switzerland and once in the alpine region of Italy (Southern Tyrolia). That had been, so far, all my experience with hiking up and down real mountains.

Last week Tuesday, on the 9th of May, that was to change: O.K. and I decided to hike to the top of Mount Giove, which raises above Cannobio and was well visible from our hotel room.

But first of all, here is the sight that greeted us that morning from our patio:

Our first stop was the church and village we could see from our room, Sant'Agata.

From there, you already have a good view of Cannobio and across the lake:

Our route took us upwards and onwards, through the village:

A steep uphill stretch through the woods followed, with a stop at a chapel (San Luca) and past the ruins of an abandoned village (one of many in this area). We did not stop for breath, let alone photos. Only when we arrived here, a bit more than half way up the mountain, did we stop.
This small cluster of buildings is an "Alpe", a sort of mountain farm where guests can stop for just a drink or a snack or even spend the night or a longer period in one of the houses.

The views from up here were fantastic, but I found something much closer to look at, too:

Signposts are always welcome, even though we had a good guide book with us:

 For a little while, we walked on this almost even, comfortable road. Then it was time for the last steep bit, and finally, we were on top of Mount Giove (Giove is Italian for Zeus, the highest god in Greek mythology) at a height of just under 1,300 m. 

From the mountain top, looking away from the lake, I spied this half-abandoned village:

The man on the bench and a lady with  a dog (already gone by then) were the only other two people we met here.

A "before and after" is always interesting, isn't it :-D 
Having covered a height difference of 880 m was no mean feat for me, but I enjoyed every minute of it!

On our way back down (on a different route) we spotted the gorge of Sant'Anna, where the river Cannobino comes through on its way to Cannobio and, ultimately, the lake. We were going to walk to the gorge on another day that week.


  1. What a fantastic, lonely and yet complex place, with so much to see and discover. Made me feel quite envious! you had nice weather too.

    1. We did most of the time, with the exception of Thursday, which was an all-rainer.

  2. Well that took nearly a mug of coffee! I'm sure I didn't enjoy the experience anything like as much as you did but I certainly lost myself up there in the mountains. I'm now wondering whether, even with training, I could ever do that sort of walk again. A big difference between the mountains there and in Scotland (apart from the scale) is the number of little mountain villages. The last photo had a slightly vertiginous feel to it for me. The lizard didn't look like a common Italian wall lizard to me but I couldn't tell the scale which didn't help. Do you know what it was?
    PS I hope you had sunscreen on.

    1. We both had sunscreen on, and luckily, neither of us burn easily; we just turn brown :-)
      I don't know what the lizard was, but it was about as long as my hand from the tip of my index finger to the wrist. Now that surely helps...!