Part I of the book tells you why, how, when, and where you could hike. Europe's Alps are ideal. Good for your health. Plenty of trails and accommodations, not too high, easy to reach, just right if you are thinking about an active retirement. Or to take some time out. It does take some practice.
Part II describes the authors' own hike from Nice to Vienna.The length of the Alps. Through parts of France, Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. It is a love story. Don't miss it.
Over six years, about one month at a time, Peter and Gudrun walked the length of the Alps from Nice to Vienna. 1300 miles, 170 days. Surprisingly, the hike is easier and shorter than the Appalachian Trail. We hiked along an established network of simple and safe trails, from one village to another or to mountain hostels. Slept in beds, ate in restaurants or bought food in stores. The backpack weighed only 15 to 25 pounds, easy to carry. At times, it was a little strenuous. One enjoys nature, but also people,history and culture. It is the opportunity to enrich your own life! Make it your own love story and the "Hike Of Your Life.
"..an inspiration…" "..congratulations…"
"..we shall try it also…"
"..shows a new way.."
"..I buy boots today…"
"..future retirees should read that book.."
"..few people know this.."
"..may I come along"
"..I look at the pictures, to reminisce."
"... It is a Love story..." Don't miss it !
"Stepping out of the last wooded area, we
arrived at the top of a wide vineyard. It gently sloped toward a small village and, beyond, there was Vienna, the historic metropolis between East and West, the capital of Austria. It was a moment for hugging each other: We had back-packed from Nice through the entire length of the Alps. There were tears of joy, for after six annual segments, each about one month long, we had arrived at the once so distant other end. Certainly, this was one of the greatest projects we had ever undertaken. It has enriched our retirement years in ways never before imagined, made us feel healthier and younger.....
"We found it easier than expected. No rappelling down ice-covered cliffs or crossing of glaciers and crevasses. Don't even take rope, pick, or crampons. Leave tent, sleeping bag, and food at home. You mainly need your will, your legs, and a backpack. Choose from lots of simple, if at times a little strenuous, trails. Villages and mountain hostels are always near, offering meals, accom-modations, safety, diversion, and comfort. With a little practice, we suggest, just about any reasonably fit retiree can do it. Or at least try....
Now it is time to share the excitement and to encourage fellow retirees and others who have extra time to rejuvenate body, mind, and soul: Try long distance hiking. The Alps are particularly nice for that and the book gives many useful tips. Trails in America are considerably harder and more suited for "the younger crowd", as the book discusses. Perhaps the absence of easy opportunities over here is a reason that "people just don't hike that much".
You can change that! You start with w a l k i n g to the mailbox. Later, perhaps you hike over the saddle to the left of the mountain below, in Switzerland.