Thursday, September 7, 2017

Sun and Rain in Val d'Aosta.


This year we again spent our summer holidays in the Val d’Aosta. There is always something new to discover here.

I finally got around to doing the short hike up to Lago Arpy, with its specular view across the lake with the Monte Bianco group of mountains in the background. This was the visual highlight of this year’s holiday for me.
Lago d'Arpy,AO

Lago d'Arpy,AO

Lago d'Arpy,AO

Lago d'Arpy,AO

Lago d'Arpy,AO

Lago d'Arpy,AO

Lago d'Arpy,AO

Lago d'Arpy,AO
Even bad weather can be spectacular. Clearing bad weather made the Piccolo San Bernardo pass quite spectacular with a very strange light.
Passo Piccolo San Bernardo, AO

Passo Piccolo San Bernardo, AO

Passo Piccolo San Bernardo, AO

Passo Piccolo San Bernardo, AO

Passo Piccolo San Bernardo, AO

Passo Piccolo San Bernardo, AO
This pass has been used since ancient times as the prehistoric stone circle and the remains of a roman staging post testify. It is one of our favourite dentations to take a walk in the Val d’Aosta.

Passo Piccolo San Bernardo, AO

Passo Piccolo San Bernardo, AO

Passo Piccolo San Bernardo, AO

Passo Piccolo San Bernardo, AO
We also went up the San Bernardo pass on the Swiss border with Italy. The clouds around the mountains made for some strange landscape photographs. It is good fun driving up to the pass on the long series of hairpin bends.
Passo San Bernardo,AO

Passo San Bernardo,AO

Passo San Bernardo,AO

Passo San Bernardo,AO

Passo San Bernardo,Switzerland

Passo San Bernardo, Switzerland
 I managed to push on foot a bit further up the Val di Rhèmes than last year. This is my favourite valley in the Val d’Aosta as the landscape is the most varied and interesting.
Val di Rhemes, AO

Val di Rhemes, AO

Val di Rhemes, AO

Val di Rhemes, AO

Val di Rhemes, AO

Val di Rhemes, AO

Val di Rhemes, AO

Val di Rhemes, AO

Val di Rhemes, AO

Val di Rhemes, AO

Val di Rhemes, AO

Val di Rhemes, AO

Val di Rhemes, AO

Val di Rhemes, AO
In Valnotey near Cogne, I finally did the stiff climb on one side of the valley to the vantage point where one gets a great view of the valley from above.
Vanontey, AO

Vanontey, AO

Vanontey, AO

Vanontey, AO

Vanontey, AO

Vanontey, AO

Vanontey, AO
A badly marked footpath took me up the Valsavarench almost up to the snow line. The highlight of this walk was the remains of curious stone building in the higher reaches of the valley. Probably to support the big snow load in winter, this building had an arched stone roof instead of the usual timber roof that is to be found in this region.

Valsavarenche,AO

Valsavarenche,AO

Valsavarenche,AO

Valsavarenche,AO

Valsavarenche,AO

Valsavarenche,AO

Valsavarenche,AO

Valsavarenche,AO

Valsavarenche,AO

Valsavarenche,AO

Valsavarenche,AO
Whilst on an afternoon walk in a little village above Sarre called Ozien, I came acros a stone and timber building that reminded me of a prehistoric carving of a house that I saw in the Valle Camonica.
Ozien, AO

Ozien, AO

Ozien, AO

Ozien, AO
The Valgrisenche is probably the least interesting of the valleys in the region. Some dramatic sun and storm light saved the day on this quite uninteresting hike. Returning I noticed a secondary valley that might be more interesting to do the next time I am here. 

Valgrisenche, AO

Valgrisenche, AO

Valgrisenche, AO

Valgrisenche, AO

Valgrisenche, AO

Valgrisenche, AO
 
As always, we walked in the Val Veny and Val ferret right under Monte Bianco. Always spectacular.  

Val Ferret, AO

Val Ferret, AO

Val Veny, AO

Val Veny, AO

Val Veny, AO

Val Veny, AO

Val Veny, AO

Val Veny, AO

Val Veny, AO
A visit to the Castello di La Mothe was a bit disappointing as it is just more or less an empty shell.

Arvier, AO
Castello di La Mothe , Arvier, AO

Castello di La Mothe , Arvier, AO

Castello di La Mothe , Arvier, AO

Castello di La Mothe , Arvier, AO

 Arvier, AO

Arvier, AO
I spent a rainy morning in the Chiostro di San t’ Orso with its lovely column capitals.

Chiostro di San t’ Orso, Aosta, AO

Chiostro di San t’ Orso, Aosta, AO

Chiostro di San t’ Orso, Aosta, AO

Chiostro di San t’ Orso, Aosta, AO

Chiostro di San t’ Orso, Aosta, AO

Chiostro di San t’ Orso, Aosta, AO
Who knows if we will be tempted to return again next year in this wonderful place.   
 
Lago di Arpy, AO

Lago di Arpy, AO

Val di Rhemes, AO

Valnontey, AO

Passo Piccolo San Bernardo, AO

Val Veny, AO

Val Veny, AO