May- July 2017 Zurich- Alps- Como- Verona- Venice

I didn’t end up on Venus. But Venice is not bad either.

After my knee was more or less recovered from my accident in March I thought I might do an easy low cost walk towards and across the Alps and through northern Italy just to not forget how to walk. It could have been easily done within one month if I would have started in the end of May. But I couldn’t wait so I left Zurich too early in May and got stuck on the north side of the Alps where snow stopped me from crossing on an altitude of 6400 feet. Several times I tried it and had to turn back again. 

So I spent the time by visiting some beautiful places in that area. The most impressiv place was the Rhone Glacier. It is shrinking so dramaticly it won’t be there for a very long time anymore. They try to stop the fast melting by covering the ice with white huge white towels. This looks quite bizar but also extremely faszinating. 

They digged a 100 yard tunnel into the glacier so you can look through the ice towards the sky. That is so beautiful light blue, I just couldn’t stop making photographs. I am glad I have seen it once more before it is gone.

The day when it finaly was possible to cross the Alps a stone avalanche that came down right in front of me made me turn around again. None of those stones hit me, I was very lucky but at this time of the year these kind of things are normal. Snow and ice work like glue on rocks and when they melt, the rocks move. 

Once the Alps were behind me the weather was immediatly completly different. Hot and sunny. 

When I reached the italian border things changed. In Switzerland I was one of hundreds of walking people. Nothing special. But when I entered Italy I turned into an alien. In Italy nobody walks. There is no reason to do so. Why should somebody walk when they can do it faster with a car?!
It hapened several times that strangers offered me to take there car and go to see Venice and bring the car back in a week or so. The only reason an Italian person would walk is for pilgriming. But not for them selfs. Only if a family member has serious health problems then they pilgrim to the next church by foot instead of driving there. Mostly the church is even in the same village. A young woman told me that she has walked as a pilgrim to a famous church when her grandma was ill. She said that walk to the neighbour village was hardest 8 miles in her whole live. But it worked. The grand mother still lives.

During my entire walk through Italy it only rained once for about 2 houres. Every day I saw the sun rising and most of the days ended with a wonderful sunset.

 The more I came closer to Venice the longer distancies I walked. I was afraid it might get too hot for walking. It was already 35 degrees celcius in the shadow. Only there was not such as a shadow. My brain almost boiled.

The last few day I covered distancies of 40 miles each day and I was very happy when I finaly reached the damm that conects Venice with the mainland. The last few miles let my adrenalin rush dramaticly. The road was under construction and lorries and cars passed with a speed of 50 miles an hour. A very interesting experience indeed. Normaly I walk on the side of the street where I see the cars coming from the front but in this special case I decided to walk in the same direction like the traffic went, hoping for the best. 

Arriving in Venice after a 2 month walk was a perfect moment. I stayed over night and in the morning there was the most beautiful sunrise and I almost had the Piazza San Marco and the rest of Venice with its canals for my self. Only a few man and women were cleaning the city so the thousends of visitors will find everything tidy when they arrive.

It is amazing how far you get even if you only know a few words of Italian. Every day I learned some more. Like in every language some words sound very similar but they mean something totaly different. One of the most interesting words was hair dryer. Once I asked somebody if she could lend me hers. But instead I asked for a horse dryer.

After my journey to Venice I returned to the Alps and stayed there for a few days. Back in Switzerland I always have to get used to the ridiculous high prices for food which costs easily 3 times more than everywhere else. That is always the very first moment that I start thinking about my next journey. And that is good. 

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