Monday, 24 August 2009

Munich, Germany - July 2009

I was on the 8.30am flight out of Stansted on Tuesday June 30th 2009 and bound for Munich (7th largest airport in Europe) and arrived there at 10.50am (local time) on a lovely hot morning. It was a €10 ticket to take me on the S-Bahn 1 into the City and then the U-Bahn 6 (underground) to Harras (a lovely quiet area of the City) where I was staying at the K+K Hotel am Harras. All went according to plan and a lovely room at this four star hotel was ready for me. With some 47,000 beds available the City offers a wide range of accommodation for all tastes and budgets.

Travelling on public transport in Germany is a sheer delight as every thing is so efficient and clean. As the underground was immediately outside the hotel I got the train to Marienplatz and had a look round the City and its lovely buildings. Louise and Grant were travelling from Edinburgh and were due to arrive at the airport at 4.50pm and we were to meet up at Marienplatz after they checked into their hotel.

In July last year I had stayed a few days with Louise and Grant in a flat they had rented in the City and had a great time in this lovely City and a days visit to Tegernsee where Grant and I got to the top of Mt. Wallberg at 1,722m. Grant is to be in the City once again to “worship at the alter of hops” and make an in depth study of beer halls, gardens and monasteries!! He is an expert on Bavarian beers so here again I was hoping to “sup a few”. While waiting I did decide to visit a couple of our old haunts to try out the beers.

Grant and Louise are to be in the City until Tuesday 7th July when they return home and I leave on Sunday 5th July for three days in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, returning to the UK on Thursday 8th July. We are in the City to have an enjoyable and relaxing time, visit some of our old haunts and find new ones, in the City and out with. Tollwood Summer Festival 2009 (18/6 – 12/7/09) was on at the Olympiapark and we did enjoy a lovely evening there on Thursday 2nd July. Our visit to the Marrakech Tent (part of the festival) was very memorable. The park was created for the 20th Summer Olympic Games in 1972. This is a beautiful sports landscape with sweeping roofs, a 290 metre high tower and an artificial lake. On Saturday 4th July we started at the Waldwirtschaft Großhesselohe (Wa-Wi.) beer garden, above the ISAR Gorge, south of Munich, famous for its Jazz. We wandered down stream to visit Grant’s mate at the Seehaus Hinterbrühl and went to watch rafts (the Bavarian pastime of Floßfahrt) race down the River Isar where lots of people were having ever so much fun. The Isar River comes down from the north mountains to flow through the city to the south. The river’s banks and floodplains are ideal for walking, bicycling, jogging, relaxing and sunbathing.

Munich and Bavaria is a great place to visit all year round but May to September is the main tourist season. More than 60 million people from all over the world visit Munich, the capital of Bavaria, every year. It is the most visited city in Germany. Bavaria is Germany’s largest and most southerly state (sprawls over 70, – “the land of Lederhosen and laptops.” Munich has a population of 1.5million people and is one of Europe’s busiest and liveliest places – “Munich Sparkles”. High quality art and music offered by internationally renowned museums and world famous orchestras attract enthusiasts of all countries. Few cities in the world offer so many star-studded classical concerts. Shopping facilities are wonderful with such a relaxed atmosphere. It boasts 58 theatres, 46 museums, 82 cinemas and 130 libraries and is a powerhouse of the IT and film industries, BMW, and Siemens but its centre retains a small-town feel. Munich is twinned with Edinburgh.

In Munich or in Bavaria you are never far away from a jar of amber ale. Internationally Munich is undoubtedly the Number One beer metropolis. Beer is Germany’s favourite drink and German brewers turn out around 4,000 distinctively different beers from some 1,300 breweries. More beer is consumed in Bavaria than anywhere else in Germany. German beers enjoy a loyal following around the world.

Most towns and larger villages have a brewery. There are spring and autumn beer festivals in virtually every town in Bavaria. ‘Prost’ is the toast. The Mass is a tankard that holds a litre. Beer has become an art form and is served with the greatest of care in specially designed elegant glasses for different styles of beer, suited to gracing the most sophisticated of dining tables. Beer in Germany may only be brewed using barley, hops, yeast and water. Brews are broadly divided into two categories – bottom fermented or top fermented – which simply means the yeast works from the bottom or at the top. Most German beer is bottom fermented.

Munich Oktoberfest began in 1810 and is the world’s “biggest keg party” for 16 full days between Sept and October each year. It starts on the 3rd Saturday in September, 19th this year. There are some 3,000 “Sister” – Oktoberfests spread out all around the world. If you cannot make the festival, you can still enjoy beers by the City’s six local beermeisters in a boisterous beer hall or a convivial beer garden.

Monasteries have produced some fine quality brews since medieval times and today’s monks very much continue to hold this tradition. Eleven German monasteries continue to produce beer. Kloster Weltenburg nr. Kelheim, north of Munich is the world’s oldest monastery brewery. Benedictines in Andechs nr. Munich produces Doppelbock Dunkel which is among the world’s best. Grant says it is the best although he does have another favourite - Augustiner. Founded in the 10th Century this lovely hilltop monastery has long been a place of pilgrimage, although more visitors come to “slurp” the Benedictines’ fabled beers. The nearby Braustuberl is the monks’ beer hall and garden. There are six varieties of beer on offer from the rich and velvety Doppelbock dark to the fresh unfiltered Weissbier. We enjoyed our visit here last year and again this year. Grant had such a thirst that he got to the hilltop (having walked from the station some three quarters of an hour away) ahead of me.

The world’s oldest brewery established in 1040 is the Weihenstephan Benedictine monastery in Freising, which is believed to be the oldest working brewery in the world. It is now part of the University of Applied Sciences, where the brewers go to get trained.

We take enjoyment in visiting beer halls and beer gardens and here are some in the City:
• Waldwirtschaft (Grobhesselohe) – a favourite with Grant and here top Jazz bands play all summer.
• Augustiner Braustuben (Hackerbrucke) – This is a very enjoyable beer hall with roof terrace selling Augustiner, one of Germany’s best beers and the food is traditional, tasty, plentiful, well priced with excellent service. My second visit and I look forward to going back.
• Andechser am Dom
• Braunauer Hof
• Hofbrauhaus (Marienplatz) – one of the few bustling beer halls left in the City. This is a traditional beer hall and beer garden for up to 3,000 guests. Probably the most famous beer hall in the world. I found the food good and if you want to dance this is the place to go.
• Hirschgarten – seats some 8,300 drinkers at one time.
• Augustiner-Grossgaststatte
• Hofbraukeller
• Augistiner Ustiner am Platz - another favourite in the centre of the City.
• Ayinger am Platzl (also just opposite the Hofbrauhaus)
• Viktualienmarkt - a good beer garden selling good beer in the City Centre Market area by Marienplatz.
• Löwenbräukeller
• Augustiner Bräustuben, part of the brewery complex, no 1 beer hall.
• Paulaner Keller
• Paulaner Bräuhaus
• Zum Flaucher
• Menterschweige
• Michaeligarten
• Fasanarie
• Hinterbruhl
• Franziskaner Keller
• TaxisGarten
• Weisses Bräuhaus
• Jodlerwirt
• Franziskaner Garten
• Harlaching Einkehr

This year we spent a day in the Englischer Garden, the biggest City owned park in Europe. Created around 1789 it stretches to 373 hectares (900 acres). Here there are a number of beer gardens:
• Chinesischer Turm – very famous beer garden and restaurant and enjoyable. The Chinese Tower was built over 200 years ago.
• Aumeister
• Seehaus – viewed by many as a tranquil island in midst of the pulsating city district of “Schwabing”and located on the shores of Kleinhesseloher lake.
• Hirschau – our first visit and very enjoyable.
• Osterwald-Garten
Further a field there are:
• SchloBgastatatte Leutstetten
• Waldwirtschaft GroBhesselohe
• Bräustüberl Tegernsee

Giant Breweries in Bavaria are:
• Paulaner
• Lowenbrau
• Hofbrau

As already mentioned there are over 4,000 different types of beer but here I mention a few:
• Pilsner (Pils) - most commonly drunk beer. Fermented beer of the lager type. Light coloured with a strong hoppy taste and aroma and a long dry finish.
• Hell or Helles – delivers a mild hop character with a touch of malt sweetness and is pale or light in colour.
• Weizenbier
• Maibock – spring beer. Actually called Starkbier in Munich, brewed for lent. The best is brewed and sold at the Paulaner Keller.
• Doppelbock – very alcoholic, smooth and complex and can be light or dark in colour.
• WeiBbier – a wheat beer. Available in two varieties – Hefe (cloudy) where the yeast is retained and Kristall (clear) when the yeast is removed. Both are full flavoured, spicy with a complex taste.
• Weizenbock – strong winter wheat beer with malt and fruit flavours.
• Berliner Weisse – white beer.
• Dunkles Weiß
• Dunkel – dark lager beer and brewed using aromatic malts. Tawny to black in colour, it has a full bodied flavour that is refreshing, enjoyable and full of character. Consumption, if slurping rather than sipping, needs to be watched!!
• Festbier – amber appearance and full flavour with a delicate malt sweetness.
• Bockbier – smooth, malty and warming – a delicious winter beer.
• Schwarzbeir – dark beer top fermented.
• Rauchbier – light smokiness.
• Spezi
• Kellerbier
• Alt – like the UK ales being amber in colour, smooth and well balanced.
• Kulmbach (nr. Bayreuth) comes up with the strongest beer in the world at 22% proof.

If you have not been to Germany then I would recommend that you do give it a try. Berlin is another City I would like to visit.

10th July 2009

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Exploring New Zealand

Stuart and I came to New Zealand with a sight seeing plan plus a number of activities to undertake. We would like to share these with you.

The accommodation we choose, all done over the internet, was all wonderful as was the generosity and friendliness of all the proprietors. We made Evans Bay Homestay and Leisha in Wellington our “base camp” for exploring the North and South Islands. Our car hire worked out well and the two ferry crossings on lovely calm days were wonderful. We travelled some 1,200kms on the South Island and a further 1,000kms on the North Island. Our scenic air travel was 225kms, our tramping 220kms and our two ferry crossings a further 184kms, making a total of 629kms. All along the way we saw some wonderful scenery as we travelled on some 13 State Highways. We had sunshine everywhere we went. We saw very little rain and experienced a fresh fall of snow on the high mountains in Torgariro National Park, which only added to the unique beauty of this stunning area which had a massive impact on us.

The kindness, friendliness, helpfulness and honesty of all the people were tremendous and everyone is so proud of their country/adopted country.

We did ever so much and here I am only recording our main activities and sight seeing and putting these in my order of preference; which I want to say was very difficult to do. Perhaps on another day I might well change the order!!

Activities/Sight Seeing

1 – The Tongariro Alpine Crossing ("TAC")
The TAC is known widely as “The Best One Day Walk” in NZ and is a world-renowned trek. The 18.5 kilometre track starts from Mangatefipo car park 6kms off the SH47 and from here it is a gentle introduction up the Mangatepopo valley and then it is a steep climb to the saddle with Mt. Ngauruhoe 2,387m to your right.

The Crossing is a superb full-day walk, taking in spectacular volcantic terrain – an active crater, lava flows, steam vents, and emerald lakes. The route traverses rough ground and a harsh environment for colonising plants.

It is so difficult to describe the beauty and great inspiration of this alpine crossing. Hundreds of people accompanied us on the crossing and two full busses left the National Park Backpackers on the morning of 10th April 2009. This is described as one of the best one day alpine treks in the world from alpine meadow to mountain summit with stunning volcanic features along the way. We did it in 6hrs. 40 minutes, starting the walk at 7.50am and finishing at 2.30pm. Along the way we chatted to people from all over the world who were here, like us to do this famous tramp. A bus took us to the start of the walk and at 3pm took us back.
It is a challenge, an adventure and an unforgettable experience. The vivid memories of these magic vistas will remain with me always and will be cherished.
2. – Scenic flight around Mt Cook and Mt Tasman and over the Franz Joseph and Fox glaciers It was on a lovely sunny, clear and calm day on Monday 20th April that we were fortunate to do this trip with an experienced and skilful pilot, Murray Bowes. We left Hokitika at10am and we soon rose to11,500 feet on this 140 mile journey at speeds of between 80/100mph. We were back at 11.30am. The views were staggering to say the least as was the experience. It will never be forgotten.
3 – Abel Tasman Coastal Track Here we took a jet boat from Kaiteriteri to Medlands Beach (Bark Bay) and then walked back on the Abel Tasman Coastal Path to Marahau taking us four and a half hours to walk some 25kms. The views were magic all the way along.
4 – Day’s Fishing on Ngongotana Stream, in Rotorua With Graham Butcher as our guide we fished for some six hours on this wonderful stream on Tuesday 14th April which was full of big trout but as Graham said, “very difficult to catch.” Four were pulled out between 2.5lbs and 4lbs. It was a beautiful day and we had a packed lunch and beers cooling in the water – what more does one need? We were in heaven.
5 - Interisland Ferry between Wellington and Picton and the return journey. This must be one of the most spectacular ferry crossings in the world. We were fortunate to experience the crossing twice with good weather on both occasions. A lovely experience.
6 - Huka Falls A natural phenomenon. The mighty Waikato River, NZ’s largest, gushes through a narrow chasm not long after the outlet from Lake Taupo. 300,000lrs of water per second hurtles through the narrow channel that makes the waterfall the most visited attraction in NZ.
7 – Arthur’s Pass and the two track walks – Devils Punchbowl Track & Bridal Veil Track On a wet morning in Greymouth on Sunday 19th April we crossed Arthur’s Pass to Arthur’s Pass Village and into sunshine where we did two short track walks. The first, the Devils Punchbowl took us to a most beautiful waterfall and the second; the Bridal Veil was through mountain beech forest. Tracks from here can take you as far as Mt.Tasman and Mt. Cook. The grandeur of this vast and austere mountain and river landscapes holds you in awe.
8 - Drive from Wellington to Wanganui and then to Tongariro National Park Before Wanganui and after the town we were fascinated by the numbers of small and large glacial mounds we saw; miles and miles of them. Trees were shedding their leaves and lovely autumn colours were in view. Numerous poplars were seen, many planted in straight lines but others having grown wild. We were now on the SH4 by the mighty Whanganui River and this timeless river finds its origin high on Mt Tongariro, starting as an alpine stream and gathering waters from Mt. Ngauruhoe and Mt Ruapehu. As it descends through the central volcanic plateau it sweeps in a huge northern arc towards Taumaranui, then winding its way to its exit into the Tasman Sea at Wanganui. It is the first big river we see and we are fascinated by it.
9 - Pancake Rocks We pass through the beautiful Paparoa National Park and stop at Punakaiki and here we view the unusual volcanic rock formations known as the “Pancake Rocks” and the blowholes formed by the lava tubes. Shoots of water fly high up into the air from these tubes at high tide and we did see this happening.
10 – Hangi Feast and the Geyser A night at ‘TE PUIA’ in Rotorua where we had an in-depth experience of the customs and traditions of the Maori people, a hangi-cooked feast and contemporary Maori dishes. The evening ended at 9pm after a visit to view POHUTA, the famous geyser on the site.
11 – Wai o Tapu Thermal Park This is NZ’s most colourful and diverse volcanic area and here we walked round the stunning geothermal activity and unforgettable vistas.
12 – Walk to Tama Lakes Due to snow and ice conditions (we did not have winter gear) our attempt to get to the top of Mt Ruapehu (at 2,797metres is the highest point on the North Island) on the morning of 11th April was abandoned and we headed for the Tama Lakes which is a 17kms tramp which we did in 4.45hours. The track takes you between Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Ruapehu and the two lakes, lower and upper, occupy several old explosion craters on the Tama Saddle. The views all around are stunning.
13 - Drive down the Buller River Valley to Westport and the West Coast Highway to Greymouth We pass through vestiges of the Great Southern Rainforest, some wonderful views of mountain tops and deep valleys and gorges. The swift flowing Buller River provides you with superb vistas at every turn. We see large cattle and deer farms along the route. At Tiroroa we marvel at the framed old photographs of the Lower Buller Gorge where it is still the same single track road carved out from the stone cliffs above you and down to the river some 20/30 feet below. When this large river is in full flood the water level can rise to, and above the road level, a sight that must be very frightening to see. You then come to the full beauty of the West Coast which is rugged and storm ravaged. This must rank as one of the best Coastal Drives in the world.
14 – Walk in Redwoods We chose the Tokorangi Pa Track at 11.5kms. We started our walk at 11am and we were finished by 1.45pm. This was ever so enjoyable. The forest is famous for its magnificent stands of towering Californian Coastal Redwoods at around 219ft. They were massive and everywhere through the forest, hence the name "Redwoods". (In America their lifespan is 600 years and they grow as tall as 360ft). Here you are able to experience some of the finest walking and mountain bike trails in the world.
15 – Polynesian Spa, Rotorua This was just a wonderful experience as we tried the four Lakeside Pools at temperatures of 36, 38, 40, and 42c. Yes we were able to stay in the 42c and Stuart had a brief nap in the 38c pool until a bus load of Japanese ladies came along and took over the pool!! We were here for two enjoyable hours on the evening of Tuesday 14th April looking up to the star lit sky.
16 - Drive along the Queen Charlotte Driveway between Picton and Havelock This was our first introduction to the South Island and we found the scenery spectacular. We stop for a quick walk at Cullen Point. We have lunch in Havelock, the green lipped mussel capital of the world. It is a seaport, tucked away in a sheltered cove at the head of the Pelorus Sound. It was once a thriving gold-mining town but now thrives on riches from the sea. We have lunch at The Clansman as it is flying the Scottish flag and the taste of the mussels is superb.
17 - Reefton (Town of Light) A delightful place with such clear visibility of all the mountains that circle in the background.

Food and Drink
Best Beer – Mac’s Black & Monteith’s Hearty Black.
Best white wine – Brightwater Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2008- makes you mouth zing.
Best red wine – As to reds our favourite was Pinot Noir, which exudes freshness, oozing charm with generous cherry and raspberry fruit, a silky mouth-feel and great length of flavour. Here a favourite was Rimu Grove 2005. (We only drank NZ wines and beers as they were all so good.)
Best lunch – Boat Shed Café & Restaurant, Nelson with views to Tasman Sea and Abel Tasman in background. Nelson scallops and blue nose cod was washed down with Sauvignon Blanc on a lovely hot day.
Best Pub – Sprig & Fern Tavern, Nelson
Best Dinner – Hopgoods, Nelson but the Station Café Restaurant at National Park Village takes a lot of beating. We had two meals in both. Bistro 1284 in Rotorua was excellent as were all the other restaurants we visited.

Any Downside
Absolutely none.

27th April 2009

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Bavarian Alps - Garmisch-Partenkirchen

It was 9am on Sunday 5th July 2009 and I was on my way to the nearby railway station to catch the S 7 to Hauptbahnhof Central Station and my main line train to Garmisch- Partenkirchen. I caught the 10.32am train and was in the town at 12.05pm (trains run on time in Germany and this form of travel is very enjoyable) and a five minute walk took me to the Hotel Roter Hahn where I was to be resident for the next three nights. Julie and Stephan Emslander were the owners (Julie was born in Vancouver, Canada) who were extremely helpful and I did enjoy my stay at the hotel with excellent breakfasts, a lovely indoor swimming pool and sauna. The town itself and surrounding countryside is beautiful. People are ever so nice and all speak good English.

By 12.30pm I was out of the hotel and as it was a sunny day but alas heavy clouds were also to be seen, I was on my way to try to get to the top of The Wank at 1,780m. The paths up to the top and at the top were excellent. I had hoped to do a lot of walking at the top but this was not possible as heavy cloud descended and it began to rain. I took shelter in the Café at the top of the mountain and enjoyed two beers as I studied all the great mountains and valleys all around me. It was a beautiful sight and Garmisch-Partenkirchen could be clearly seen below.

Looking across to The Zugspitze, Massif, 2,964m (Germany's highest mountain) I was totally amazed at the sheer bulk of this mountain. To get to its top was my target and I had only Monday and Tuesday to do this. Another target was Scheinbergspitze at 1,926m but this would be a bonus.

Bus services in the town were free to visitors and in the evening I did explore the town with its many lovely shops and restaurants/bars. I was away to bed early after preparing my clothes and walking kit for Monday.

I was wakened by the noise of heavy rain and on drawing back the curtains I saw heavy cloud on The Zugspitze and all other surrounding mountains. Alas it was not going to be a day to walk. I finished writing my post cards and did further reading as to the best way to get to the top of the two mountains. I also went to the Tourist Information Centre and enquired as to groups going up The Zugspitze the next day and I was advised this was not happening. Previous enquires revealed a cost of E284 for a mountain guide and you would also have to pay the costs of any mountain train or cable car needed to come down. No way was I going to pay such an amount.

I went to Maronis Café Bar Restaurant and had a vegetarian lunch and two glasses of Hacker-Pschorr beer. I went for a swim and sauna at the hotel and had an early night as a hard day lay ahead.

It was dry but there was cloud high up on the mountains on Tuesday morning so after breakfast at 7.30am I was away to The Zugspitze and I enjoyed the lovely scenery. The way up is along the Rein valley going through the Partnach gorge and at its exit you continue on the right side up to the Bock hut. Cloud came and went and near the top of the mountain with lots of ski runs were the restaurant Sonn-Alpin and a lovely small church which I took a photograph of and this is included in the slide show. Here you have an option to take the cable car (Gletscherbahn) to the top. This is the Zugspitzplatt at 2,600m and this is where the cogwheel train terminates. Getting a train to this height is a marvelous achievement of engineering.

The cloud alas prevented photographs from being taken and at the top it was dense cloud with some rain and it was very cold. Free internet access (Germany’s highest internet terminal) at the top permitted me to update my blog. I visited the HIGHEST Beer Garden in Germany – “The Gipfelalm” and had soup (Festtagssuppe, Maultaschen, GriebkloBchen, MarkkloBchen) and two small glasses of Lowenbrau Dunkel.

I could get the cable car to Zugspitzplatt and then the mountain cogwheel train down or an almost vertical drop by another cable car to Eibsee. Feeling very brave I opted for the cable car to Eibsee and this took all of 12 minutes to get to the bottom. A lot of the way down was in cloud which was a shame for all who had been to the top and also saw nothing. At Eibsee there was a short wait for a train and this took me along the valley floor back to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. I had a meal at the Siagoon Express with a couple of Aktienbrauerel Kaufbeyren Helles beers and this was so enjoyable. I had a swim and sauna and got to bed by midnight. My dream of walking on the top of The Zugspitze had been accomplished. Tomorrow, Wednesday at 9.10am I would be on the train back to Munich and then on my flight back to Stansted in the UK.

8th July 2009

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Great British Beer Festival

Great British Beer Festival
4th to 8th August 2009
Earls Court, London

On Wednesday 5th August I left Chester on the 8.55am train bound for Crewe with a quick change and onto the Manchester train bound for Euston. I was there bang on time at 11:05am and armed with a day pass (now £5.60) I was on the underground and bound for Earls Court Tube Station and then a short walk to the Conference Centre. I was there for 11.45am but with large queues waiting to enter at Noon I thought I would go for something to eat ahead of my beer tasting activities!! Again I went to the Dragon King which serves delicious Chinese food.

My Late Aunt Jessie used to live in Earls Cross Road and the number 165 springs to mind. It was a second floor flat so I am very familiar with the area having last visited it at Xmas 2008.

By the time I entered the beer festival, at the back of 1pm, it is very busy and having paid my £10 entrance fee (£8 to members) and a £3 deposit on my pint glass I am well ready for an afternoon of “sampling”. Where do you start? I decided to go in an anti-clockwise route all around the Hall. This is Britain’s biggest beer festival and brings together a wide range of real ales, ciders, parries and international beers. (See – Some 64,000 people did attend the event.

By the back of 2pm I had sampled a fair few and was merry as was the rest of the continually growing crowd. My favourite was Tom Paine at 5.5% and brewed by Harveys and was a premium dry hopped bitter named after the radical Tom Paine who lived in Lewes, East Sussex in the Late 18th Century. Other beers I remember tasting and enjoying were:
• Midsummer Witch
• Bishops Finger
• Stairway to Heaven
• Highgate – Dark Mild
• Hanged Monk
• Flight of Fancy
• Swift One

By 4pm after my second circuit of this massive hall I did decide to exit as a third circuit could prove fatal!!

If you have not visited this great event before put it in your dairy for next year would be my recommendation. (

10th August 2009

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Ultimate Everest Trek Get Together

1st & 2nd August 2009
Hathersage, Peak District

This has been the second annual get together of the Group and a great time was had by all despite a wet day on Saturday but a nice sunny day on Sunday.

We met for morning coffee at a café in Hathersage all six of us (Steve, Roger, Geoff, Glyn, Dave and I) Stuart was to travel down by train from Manchester to join us in the evening for our meal at the Scotsmans Pack.

At the back of 10am we were away on our 12 mile walk taking in Stanage Edge and Stanage Pole and by 3pm we were back in Hathersage and at the Scotsmans Pack for our first pint, more would follow in the evening. Our bunkhouse was at Abney some three miles away so we left to check it out, have a shower and change before getting back to this nice pub at around 6pm. We all enjoyed a nice meal and it was great to catch up. Stuart had brought his photographs of the trek and this brought back so many happy memories of the trek we all enjoyed. It was back to the bunkhouse for a few more drinks, discussions, laughs and in the early hours silence at last fell!!

It was up at 7am, all packed and at the back of 8am we were having breakfast in an excellent café at the swimming pool in Hathersage. Our walk was to see the two Derwent Dams and on finishing this we all went to see the Dambusters Exhibition, in one of the Towers of the Derwent Dam. Coffees were had at a local pub and by 3pm we had said all our goodbyes and all were heading home after a great two days of laughs and camaraderie.

Dave and Glyn are to organise next year’s event in the South Downs in early June and invites will be issued to all to attend. I am attaching a small slide show of the event.

Best wishes, Fraser.
3rd August 2009

Asturian House

Remote Emergancy Care

Henry Garcia Tours Madeira

Henry Garcia Tours Madeira
Henry at your Service

Homestay at Evans Bay New Zealand

Rachid Imerhane

Rachid Imerhane
Guide & Organizer of Treks - Mountain - Coast - Desert & Imperial Cities

Clashview Kinlochbervie

Clashview Kinlochbervie
Clashview Kinlochbervie





Bayhead Self Catering, Isle of Harris

Bayhead Self Catering, Isle of Harris