Thursday, September 03, 2009

Hiking a little piece of the Via Francigena

Kid #1. Alpha female. The senior dog. You can't imagine how excited she gets whenever the word "hike" is mentioned. Maddie lives for outings such as these, and there is no place that she won't go without that fearless westie bravado. I think it turned out to be the highlight of her trip, being that for Maddie aka the alpine westie, a vacation isn't a vacation unless you muck about in a forest.

The Via Francigena of today is probably a lot more hospitable than it was centuries ago, and it is truly incredible to think that this route was once used by pilgrims on their way to Rome. The segment that we did is more of an easy [T - touristic] route, much of it gently winding through shady forest, hugging the course of a waterway. The trail is left of Hotel La Clusaz (midway between Etroubles and Gignod) and leads to the town of Gignod. It's a piece of cake for persons/dogs of all hiking levels, and popular with runners and mountain bikers. Just remember to take a left at the fork; signposts are well-signaled and hard to miss. We took 2.5 hours total, allowing Maddie and Mr B free run of the place when it was clear.

Maddie goes to Gignod Can't we just jump on an innertube and ride? La Clusaz to Gignod

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Blogger Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Great pictures. I love those perked up ears of hers.

1:45 PM, September 03, 2009  
Blogger Fern Driscoll said...

Beautiful forest... I wonder, did the Via Francigena intersect the Via Aurelia? Probably not... Mr. B looks like he's having a fine time too. Maddie is adorable.

1:51 PM, September 03, 2009  
Blogger K and S said...

looks like a great hike! beautiful photos!

2:04 PM, September 03, 2009  
Anonymous RONW said...

that Maddie just infuses you with her energy.

3:01 PM, September 03, 2009  
Blogger Brad Farless said...

Now that's the sort of thing I'd really be interested. I'd like to walk through a place like that, with so much history. I guess I'm weird like that.

By the way, by run-free do you mean without leashes? They're very behaved! I would worry that they would run off.

By the way, nice shots with Maddie and Mr. B investigating the little canal.

3:08 PM, September 03, 2009  
Blogger Rowena... said...

Foodie - when she's sitting in the back of the car we can always spot the tips of her ears in the rearview. "Maddie I can see your ears!"

Fern - not to my knowledge (and don't even get me started on Via Aurelia!). The Mads sends her kisses!

Kat - for us it was too easy, no challenge! But with the Mads still on doc's orders to take it easy...oh well, we will see what he says at her next checkup in October.

RONW - and the thing is, she does it without nary a drop of caffeine. I am so LoSt without it.

Brad - thanks (and that makes two of us on the weirdness). I flopped in history so it's ironic that I appreciate things like ancient medieval routes.

And the dogs...yes we set 'em loose. That Mr is a bit harder to contain when his hunter instincts go into overdrive. He runs extremely fast on those short legs, and has fallen off the trail once while trying to sniff something out of his reach (thank god not on a perilous drop). Maddie knows the ropes (and rules) and behaves like a real pro.

3:48 PM, September 03, 2009  
Blogger Brad Farless said...

I'm impressed with your doggie training abilities.

I was a history major, but never managed to finish my degree, probably because I was taking night classes while in the Army. I'm looking forward to getting back on that horse. I'm halfway done! Right before I took my last class I changed my major to information systems management because there seems to be a future in tech related stuff, and I like it anyway, but maybe I should just stick with what I have an interest in. Who knows... but I'll have to figure it out before I get back to studying.

4:05 PM, September 03, 2009  
Anonymous Peter at italyMONDO! said...

Interesting! I never actually heard of Via Francigena as all my work in mostly in the south - but after reading your post and learning about it on the Wikipedia article, I just added another "To-Do" to my northern list!

4:30 PM, September 03, 2009  
Blogger Carla said...

Looks like a lovely hike. No wonder Maddie is so excited!

4:32 PM, September 03, 2009  
Blogger KennyT said...

Your dog is so cute!!!

5:19 PM, September 03, 2009  
Blogger Ann said...

AHH! good to see Maddie after a long time.. Hope she is totally recovered form her surgery!

9:18 PM, September 03, 2009  
Blogger 2kamuela47 said...

cool hike! love the pics!

10:05 AM, September 04, 2009  
Blogger Rowena... said...

Brad - history major? Well now there is a topic waiting to be told on your blog. The history of Singapore, in your words!

Peter - Wikipedia gives a small taste of what Francigena is all about, so imagine us with our multi-paged, GPS notated maps that we have laid out on the floor!

Carla, Kenny, Ann, Laura - Maddie's motto is 'Top of the mountain or Bust!'

10:09 AM, September 04, 2009  
Blogger Brad Farless said...

Well, Singapore as a country is only 44 years old so it wouldn't be a very long story, and most of it would involve politics. -_-

10:59 AM, September 04, 2009  
Blogger Rowena... said...

Brad - well then it's a piece of cake. Politics, no matter how you cut it/view it/love it/hate it, is always involved.

12:09 PM, September 04, 2009  

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