Blog Walkabout June 2015

Travel blog Walkabout Gourmet Adventure Spring 2015European Spring 2015


Dear Walkabout Walkers and Friends,

Spring is almost over!


Greetings from the Celtic Way, which took us through picturesque Cornwall, the Bodmin Moor and now Devon and Dartmoor. Tomorrow we travel on the overnight ferry to France where the tour will continue to St Malo and Mont St Michel.

We will reach St Malo just in time to join into the Fête de la Musique, an annual, all-day musical celebration on the 21st June, the first day of summer. In all French cities, towns and often in villages too, amateur and professional musicians perform in the streets, under the slogan "Faites de la musique". Many free concerts are organised, making all genres of music accessible on this day.



New tour in Normandy

On the way to England Gabriela and Gilles worked on the program for Normandy and Northern France, which features in the 2016 program.

The tour will start in Paris and the first base is Bayeux where we visit the famous Bayeux Tapestry. It is an embroidered cloth nearly 70 meters long and 50 centimeters tall, which depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England, concerning William, duke of Normandy and Harold, Earl of Wessex, later King of England, and culminating in the Battle of Hastings.

The tapestry consists of some fifty scenes, embroidered on linen with coloured woollen yarns. Its survival, almost intact over nine centuries, is little short of miraculous. Its exceptional length, the harmony and freshness of its colours and its exquisite workmanship, combine to make it endlessly fascinating.

Our walk from St Laurent will also take us along the D-Day beaches, some of the many bunkers and the American Cemetery. We where enchanted by the pretty town of Honfleur and loved the magnificent cliff walk at Etretat. From the fabulously located Dormy Manor House we certainly have the best views of the town and the cliffs.

We discovered the Garden of Vasterival in Sainte-Marguerite-sur-Mer, a garden for all seasons that was created in 1957 by Princess Greta Sturdza, a talented Norwegian. Over more then 50 years she devoted her time to this magnificent 7 hectares natural style garden, just one kilometer from the sea.

Today it is one of the finest in France, with a huge range of plants, which thrive to perfection in its composted earth. It has an informal design with paths, woodlands, glades and immaculate grass walks leading temptingly in all directions and beautiful in all 4 seasons of the year.

From Amiens we come to the village of Vignacourt which was for much of the First World War a staging point, casualty clearing station and recreation area for troops of all nationalities, moving up to and then back from the battlefields on the Somme.

'Remember me: the lost diggers of Vignacourt' tells the story of how one enterprising photographer took the opportunity of this passing traffic to establish a business taking portrait photographs. Captured on glass, printed into postcards and posted home, the photographs made by the Thuillier family enabled Australian soldiers to maintain a fragile link with loved ones in Australia.

The Thuillier collection covers many of the significant aspects of Australian involvement on the Western Front, from military life to the friendships and bonds formed between the soldiers and civilians.

We visit this moving exhibition, which tells the story of these men in their own voices. The detailed pre-departure notes for this fascinating 8-day walking tour will soon be available.



30th Anniversary brochure
We have to ask you for some more patience before receiving our 2016 brochure. There are many new tours next year as already announced in the previous newsletter and all preparation work will soon be completed. Our website is regularly up-dated with more information.

The response to our previewed tour to Iceland has been overwhelming and at present it is fully booked. Also the program for our yoga/walking/cooking tour in the Kerala region in India had a great response and the detailed pre-departure notes will soon be available.

Gabriela will be in Bavaria later in June and update you on the Bavarian cooking program in the Summer newsletter.

We had to make some changes to our 2016 tour calendar which you will all find on our website. One of them is that the dates for Journey through the Holy Land through Jordan and Jerusalem have changed from March to the 15th October in 2016 due to various requests from guests
.

Guided Walking HolidaysJourney through the holy land | Next departure: October 15, 2016 [15 days]

First Walks of the Season

From Andalusia, Spain to Morocco
In April, Gabriela and Gilles had some very fit walkers in Andalusia and Morocco and enjoyed the many beautiful walks. We must make a special mention about the fantastic food in Morocco and one of Gabriela's personal favourite was the Berber Omelette at the Gite Tamaloute in the Rose Valley. Just about anything is cooked in the tagine in Morocco, allowing for deep, musky and lemony flavours all cooked under one conical roof. Simple and delicious!

To your clay pot, you add tomatoes, garlic, herbs and spices – parsley, cilantro, and ginger, bay leaves, black pepper and Ras-el-Hanout – and simmer for ten minutes with a splash of olive oil. In go as many eggs as you can handle and the lid replaced, cooking at low heat for another ten minutes, until the yolks have set but are still soft
.

Guided Walking HolidaysThe combination of Andalucía and Morocco was fabulous and certainly made us feel we were doing as tour stated - Following the Moorish Trail. The accommodation and food were excellent. We don't think you should change anything on this program. Thank you Gilles for what was a fun time!"r.
Bob and Jean, NSW, Australia

Guided Walking HolidaysFollow the Moorish Trail | Next departure: September 3, 2015 [21 days]


LA DOLCE VITA COMES WITH A SICILIAN

Milo joined our Walkabout team last year and has been working with us on many of the Italian Tours! He is a true Sicilian and will show you Sicily and the Aeolian Island with a special local touch! He is a photographer by profession and enjoys turning our Walkabout videos into little masterpieces.

Guided Walking HolidaysLa Dolce Vita | Next departure: September 28, 2015 [16 days]


Ancient Asia Minor and Cappadocia

We had two wonderful walks in Asia Minor and Cappadocia. The improvements at the vineyard were sensational and the degustation menu with the matching vines not so easy to forget.

As always, the boat trip to the sunken city and the walk from Kapakali to Simena has a special place in my heart. The cooking morning in Minare was also this year loved by all! The 8-day program in Cappadocia worked very well and doing the Ihlara walk on the transit day was perfect. There was a lot of water in the river and the countryside looked lush and green. As the dates worked perfectly for these two tours this year we decided to change the departure dates for those two tours in 2016 to:

Guided Walking Holidays
Discover Asia Minor | Next: May 2, 2016 [14 days]
Guided Walking HolidaysExplore Cappadocia | Next: May 16, 2015 [8 days]


From south eastern turkey to the black sea

Exceptionally there has been still a lot of snow in the Black Sea Mountains this year, which helped making the decision to delay our walk in Eastern Turkey to the end of May – just to be on the safe side!

The new date is
Guided Walking HolidaysTreasures of Eastern Turkey | May 24, 2016 [8 days]


It is a fascinating tour, which takes us to the more remote regions of Turkey and promises many new experiences and discoveries. Amphitheatres are replaced with Christian churches and monasteries and the plateaux of Artvin und Savsat, an attractive hilly area, surrounded by high mountains on all sides are so green - it reminds of Switzerland!



summer in europe

FROM Austrian Lakes District to the Dolomites

In July, Gilles will walk with a group in Austria and the Dolomites in Italy where we follow a part of the Romantic Road, which leads to some magnificent mountains. This year we have chosen a new hotel in Ortisei (St Ulrich) where we can appreciate the discrete elegance and utter relaxation of this comfortable hotel. The cosy restaurant will spoil us with delicious local dishes. Guided Walking HolidaysRomantic Path | July 14, 2015 - Aug. 26 2016 [14 days]


From the Mediterranean to the Atlantic
After many years Gabriela will team up again with Sabine and together they will lead this year's Discover the Pyrenees tour in France and Spain. The route varies from last year, as we will spend the first two nights again in Collioure like in earlier years. On the way to Prullans we pass through Céret, which is famous for its modern art gallery. Both guides are excited about the circuit walk to one of the many watchtowers with awesome views across the whole region. We are also excited to stay again one day longer in Gavarnie as the walks here are, without exaggeration, just breathtaking.  Guided Walking HolidaysDiscover the Pyrenees | Jul. 29 [14 days]


From Geirangerfjord to THE Jotunheimen national park

At the same time, Graeme returns to Norway, one of his favourite countries. We walk on top of some amazing fjords and then follow the footsteps of Peer Gynt to some of the most spectacular National Parks. As we are operating the Norway tour later this year guests will also have the opportunity to visit the famous Peer Gynt outdoor play in Vinstra. Due to some recent cancelations there are now two places available on this tour for which we can offer a 10% discount - direct bookings only!  Guided Walking HolidaysPeer Gynt's Trail | July 29 2015 [14 days]


From Piedmont, Cinque Terre, Tuscany to Lazio

After a very successful Gourmet Trail in spring, Helmut and Milo will team up again in early September to walk with a full group through the Piedmont, Cinque Terre, Tuscany and Lazio.  Guided Walking HolidaysFollow the Gourmet Trail | September 10 2015 [15 days]


Relax & Walk, Learn & Talk, Enjoy & Cook... in Provence!

Not that much time? Then you can join us on the Flavours of Provence in Forcalquier. This year local chefs, Joyce and Virgine, will introduce you to the secrets of Provençale cooking while together with Graeme, you visit a goat farm, vineyard, vegetable and a medieval herb garden, an olive mill and much more. Our walks will take us to Ganagobie and the Contadour and the tour will finish with a lunch at Alain Ducasse's small country hotel in Moustier near the famous Verdon Gorges. Also for this tour we can offer a 10% discount for direct bookings. Guided Walking HolidaysFlavours of Provence | August 18 2015 [7 days]


From the Czech REPUBLIC to Slovakia

In September, Graeme and Sabine will be heading to the High Tatra's for the 14-day tour through Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. This culturally and scenically stunning walk is a wonderful combination of discovering three amazing Eastern European cities; namely Kalovy Vary (formerly Karlsbad), Prague and Krakow with the incredible natural beauty of the High Tatra Mountains in both Poland and Slovakia. The tour begins in Munich and finishes in Vienna, two cities where you can always spend some more time. There are still some spaces available on this holiday.  Guided Walking HolidaysEastern Circuit | September 9 2015 [14 days]



A charming stay in Provence

The apartments in Forcalquier are busy at this time of the year and guests enjoy quiet times in the courtyard and garden abundant with flowers.

The apartments are well booked for this year but there are still some vacancies – you can now check the availability directly on our website. For some time we have worked on ideas to call our apartments by names rather then just numbers and as the house goes back to medieval times we have decided to name the apartments after the 4 daughters of the Count of Provence who lived up our street.

From the 12th century Forcalquier was the capital of a county that would become famous thanks to the Count of Provence Raimond Bérenger, of which the exceptional destiny of his four daughters would provide the village with the nickname "The City of the Four Queens." These four young women would become the wives of important figures, starting with the eldest, Marguerite who would marry Saint-Louis, King of France between 1226 and 1270, and with whom she would have 11 children.

Her youngest sister Beatrice would marry Saint Louis' brother, Charles d'Anjou, King of Naples and of Sicily. The two others would take off for England: ELEONORE would become the wife of Henry III, King of England, and Saucie would wed the brother to the king, Richard de Cornouailles, King of the Romans.
As from now:

bulletApartment 1 has become Eleonore
bulletApartment 2 has become Sancie
bulletApartment 3 has become Beatrice
bulletApartment 4 has become Marguerite

Guided Walking HolidaysWe wanted to immediately return, when we had just arrived. What a great place to find in South of France! Graeme set up an easy meeting point for when we arrived. The apartment was in perfect - and charming - condition... Jacquelyn from Santa Monica, USA - 08/2014


Upcoming Food & Wine Festivals

There are plenty of events in Australia from regional Food & Fine Wine Festivals to Gastronomy Expos throughout the year. These Events bring together Australian and world-renowned winemakers, chefs and industry insiders to entertain, educate and inspire, you may also visit farm gates and cellar doors, meet with local producers, attend degustation dinners, taste regional products or even attend cooking classes!

We have put a list of local and overseas gourmet events together, here is what's coming near you:


AUSTRALIA

bullet 10/07   Brisbane Good Food & Wine Month [30 days]


bullet 10/07   Perth Good Food & Wine Show [3 days]
bullet 07/08   Sydney Good Food & Wine Show [4 days]


bullet 14/08   Barossa Gourmet Weekend [3 days]

 

OVERSEAS

bullet 08/07  Taste of Chicago Festival [5 days] USA
bullet 04/09  Wellington Food Show [3 days] NZ
bullet 25/09  Fête de la Gastronomie [3 days] FRANCE


See all events for 2015


WE'd LIKE TO WET YOUR APPETITE!

So please join us on Instagram and travel with us and our photo journal through the season.


Sunny greetings and talk to you soon,

Gabriela, Graeme and the WGA team


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Cliff walk Etretat
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70m long Taperstry in Bayeux
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Ani ruins Eastern Turkey
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Tavascan in the Pyrenees
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Gjende Lake Besseggen Norway
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Valensole Plateau Provence
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Tatra Mountains Poland Slovakia
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Forcalquier Gite France
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Fete de la Gastronomie
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