Via francigena 2017

Switzerland

Martigny - Orsières (19,5 km)

In the 14 days of vacation that we had, we wanted to walk the section from Martigny to Pavia. The beautiful weather that accompanied us was in the mountains still a blessing, after leaving the region of Aosta rather a curse. Flat paths without shade, rice and corn fields with terrible mosquitoes, one should not run these stages in high summer. Nevertheless, we again enjoyed the typical Italian hospitality and learned new sides of this extraordinarily beautiful country.

The journey by train to Martigny was long and annoying. Rail replacement traffic, delayed and cancelled trains, too tight changeover times. That meant little sleep. So we went from Chemnitz via Leipzig, Frankfurt, Basel, Bern and Visp to Martigny. We arrived late around 11 a.m. and started immediately. Behind the beautiful town the mountains were already piling up, some meters of altitude we had to climb today. In sunny weather, the path led nicely shaded uphill through the forest. For the 1st day of pilgrimage waited already decent climbs, interrupted by easy paths between the mountain flanks left and right.

We passed through the small towns of Bovenier and Sembracher before arriving at our destination in Orsières late in the afternoon. Our first walk was to a small store, to stock up on inexpensive beer and food. We are in Switzerland, after all, and the French one at that. I realized this when we had to look for the hotel. No one spoke German or English. Eventually we found the Hotel de l'Union, the talkative and friendly owner was, thank goodness, multilingual. After the arrival beer Manu still made a stroll through the village, while I made myself comfortable on the balcony with the fine view of the mountains.

Orsières - Bourg Saint-Pierre (15,4 km)

After the good breakfast and a fabric Bernhardiner for Manu as a gift from the hotel, we quickly went very steeply uphill after the village. It was sunny again, beautiful views opened up, idyllic mountain cottages and wonderfully colorful meadows lay along the way. Passing the small village of Liddes we reached our destination Bourg Saint-Pierre. Napoleon had stopped here with his army after the crossing of the Alps, therefore every second object here is called Bivouac Napoléon.

First we walked past our hostel, because I wanted to look for the pilgrim hostel, later I realized that we had to go to a motel with pilgrim discount. Arrived at the Maison St. Piere (now a hotel), we first did something against our parched necks 🙂. We had the rest of the afternoon free time, I slept, Manu read in the garden in the beautiful sunshine. After the subsequent stroll through the beautiful surroundings, there was a fine dinner to end the day.

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