Dungarvan Hillwalking Club Swiss Holiday, September 2nd-9th. Report by Clare Grace
We stayed in the village of Alt St Johann, a compact hamlet nestled in a valley, which was a walker’s paradise. There were many grades of walks organised on five of the six days. Our Canadian friends, Marg and Tony Blake, once again came up trumps and led a most rewarding walk during the week.
On the Friday the group visited St Gallen, an historic town with Irish connections, about one hour away. We enjoyed a guided tour of the city, including the Stiftsbibliothek Museum which houses the library of the former monastery of St. Gallen. Some of us travelled by ski-lift to the summit of Säntis, which is 2,500m above sea level and the highest mountain in the Alpstein massif of north-eastern Switzerland.
The countryside was so tranquil and clean. The Swiss brown cows were friendly, albeit a little noisy with huge clanging bells around their necks! They had furry ears and were so cute. We succumbed to the obligatory fondue night. The best part of it was when a group of yodellers showed up. The sounds they made were mesmerising. The purity of voice, the harmony and the absolutely pitch perfect notes and half notes were such a joy to listen to.
The weather from start to finish was exceptionally good. Although the weather cannot be attributed directly to Ronagh and Erich Baumann, our trip leaders, I do have a sneaky suspicion that they just might have organised that too! They were such valuable assets with their extensive local knowledge, their language skills and their excellent organisational ability. Many thanks to them for organising this holiday for us.
Thursday Blackberry Walks
The Thursday walkers became as excited as six-year olds on their recent walks when they discovered bushes laden with luscious blackberries. On recent walks in Carrigavantry, Dunhill and Crough Wood, they snacked away happily throughout the afternoon, and as always, rounded off their feasts with cake at the end. Other recent Thursday walks included trips to the Vee and Mount Stuart and some walked up Mount Stuart twice!
B Walk, Sunday September 21st, Knockmealdowns
We were lucky to have Veronica and Mary leading this walk. These two fine navigators had planned well and the Gods of fair climes were smiling down, as the weather from start to finish was exceptionally fine and summer-like, particularly for late September. The views of the Vee were spectacular and the surrounding countryside stunning as colours changed and shadows fell.
We started at Bay Lough and made our way to the peak known as 630m, from there we proceeded to the summit of Knockshanahullion, (652 m) where we stopped for lunch. Tom supplied the anti-midge spray which allowed us to sit comfortably and contemplate whilst re-fuelling for the descent. Some of the lads made a spurt as we neared the end of the walk in order to catch the last of the football match on the radio.