Making Memories on Country Walks From Around Europe & the Americas

It’s a strange thing having a travel blog in this time of COVID.

Nancy’s Photo Challenge this week is ‘Vacation Memories’ and that got me thinking about what makes up vacation memories.

The people we meet are my number one way to have great vacation memories. Although we don’t always meet people. An AirB&B where you are sharing the house with a family is often a good way to meet more locals. As is hitchhiking but people don’t do that much anymore. Staying in a ‘youth’ hostel, even when you’re old, is good, at least for meeting other tourists/travellers. And pubs with tables that are meant to be shared – Holland has a lot of these!

Then there are the disasters. They almost always make great stories although it’s hard to have disasters on every trip – even if you try they just don’t come up that often.

Finally, there are the walks. For me these are repeatable, and fun, and I always have great memories of them. My favourite walks are in the countryside.

Looking down from the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, a walk that I will remember forever. There are several ways to do this – we went one way to the end and then the other way and back, apparently about 13 km.
Looking down on the Cliffs of Moher on the west coast of IrelandA section that I called the ‘puzzle rocks’ on the Malham Walk in the Yorkshire Dales of England. The locals were complaining that this walk had become very popular due to a television lifestyle program. It’s a roughly 12 km loop walk, relatively flat although with a set of very steep stairs. This puzzle section was a tad tricky for me but Al, with his much longer legs, had no problem!A miniature garden in amongst the puzzle rocks on our Malham walk in the Yorkshire Dales of EnglandWalking around the village of Brez, high up in the Picos de Europa in Spain. There is more than one ‘El Camino’ route, and although I would have thought this was off the route we did manage to snag some excellent ‘Peregrino (Pilgrim) de el Coteron’ wine in one of these high mountain villages.Narrow road through a village in the Picos de Europa of Northern SpainIn the Middle Ages Cap Fagnet  on the Alabaster Coast of France was pilgrimage stop. On our more modern-day walk we passed an old bunker from World War II, one of many along this coast.
An old bunker at Cap Fagnet on the Alabaster Coast of France
6 km petroglyph walk among the farmers’ fields near Tanum, Sweden in search of petroglyphs. Cows all in a row come up to examine Al on our walk through framer's fields in order to see the petroglyphs of TanumDown the hill and far away – walking the Pembrokeshire Coast of Wales, past villages, beaches, megaliths and lots and lots of sheep! The trail is actually 299 km long so we only did parts of it which we took in small bits. The best part of these Wales walks was that around 12 or so every day we came to an enchanting village that usually consisted of at least one pub, just in time for lunch. 
down the hill and far awayA brochure titled ‘Don’t Die Out There’ with tips for surviving the desert heat, was handed out to us for our hike to ‘The Wave’, a spectacular site that straddles the Utah/Arizona border in the USA. The walk into ‘The Wave’ is only about three miles from the trailhead (6 miles return), and relatively level, but with the heat the walk became one of the most challenging I have ever been on.'The Wave', striped sandstone surf near the Utah/Arizona Borderlands, USATree skeleton along Tonquin Trail in Tofino on Vancouver Island, a 3.2 km return walk rated as moderate. Lots of viewpoints through the forested sections arriving at the beautiful Pacific Ocean bay. Tree skeleton on Tofino's Tonquin Trail, CanadaAt the Quebrada del Condorito we had to walk a long way to see the condors. By kilometer 10 all we had seen were pictures of condors. But the 11 km walk was along a grassy plain with interesting rocky outcroppings, and culminating in ‘la quebrada’ which translates as ‘very deep canyon’, with condors! Then there was the 11 km return but with perfect walking temperatures and relatively level ground made this walk a piece of cake!
Condor Park Signage; this is kilometre 10...More of Nancy Merrill’s Photo Challenge: Vacation Memories.

5 responses to “Making Memories on Country Walks From Around Europe & the Americas

  1. Elizabeth, this is beautiful. It’s important to keep up this work so we’re reminded of what we are missing right now, and what we must look forward to. It’s difficult, but let’s keep optimistic!

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