Travel Pics

a weeknd without wine – well, almost!

By billn on July 12, 2021 #travel#travel pics

Sunrise in Sedrun
Sunrise in Sedrun, Graubünden (Switzerland) – an early breakfast was required…

There actually was some wine on Saturday evening – to celebrate still being alive – something from Sardinia – it seemed the most interesting on the hotel’s list. For the previous 5 days not a drop had been drunk, though with visits in the Côte d’Or, plenty had been ejected to the spittoon that week.

You will probably know that I’m a keen runner, one that has mainly taken to the trails in the last years as this surface seems less aggressive on a sensitive hamstring of mine. Last year I decided to try my first mountain course though typically aggravated said hamstring about 10 days before the race, so couldn’t take part. One year later, last weekend, it was time to try again. Of course, I aggravated my hamstring again just 4-5 days before the race this time but not enough to put paid to the trip – I could anyway use it as an excuse for not trying too hard – runners are well known for preparing their excuses ahead of time 🙂

To collect our race numbers and to be allowed into the start area we had to show our vaccination infos – easy in Switzerland as it’s one of the first countries to have rolled out the covid app with vaccination info on your phone – a QR-code. That box ticked, we were allowed into the athlete’s area without a mask – a novelty in public these days.

Concerning the race, I think the technical term (today) is WTF!

The bald stats – 16.4km – though my GPS said that I did 16.8 – with 1,250 metres of climbing up to 2,500 metres altitude, numbers that seemed abstractly no problem. I did the baby race, not the marathon (that enjoyed double the amount of climbing) and I’d assumed about 8-9 minutes per kilometre for each 200m gain of altitude and then the rest of the course would be downhill – so easy – or(?)! Pff! – more like 12-13 minutes per kilometre and one was 15 minutes – the last major uphill one, fortunately – as it is simply impossible to run or find sufficient space for overtaking – the latter is only possible through the kindness of those in front of you, by making space for you. Early on, I thought I would have to properly stop and take a rest but somehow came through. I was a little faster than those around me on the downhill and only landed on my arse once – fortunately, in this particular place, there was only wet mud/grass rather than the moonscape of rocks higher up the hill. Thank god for Goretex shoes – but my socks will never be white again 🙂

The result was still my slowest 10-mile race ever, yet surprisingly, one that delivered one of my highest finishing positions for years too. Mountain running requires a level of resoluteness that I’ve never needed when racing on the roads. The place and the people, indeed the event, I loved but my initial instinct was ‘never again‘ – I didn’t notice any of the views from 2,500 metres – I certainly only saw the place for my next footstep on the harum-scarum downhill!

So, never again? As my better half explained – ‘Yes, that’s what most women say when they give birth to their first child – but most will do it again.‘ And you know(?) I can already see how altering my training can bring me an improvement of at least 1 minute per kilometre… 😉

Sunday when we got home we drank a little Chablis from one of the J.Moreau samples from Thursday – no surprise that it was less good despite being left stoppered in the fridge – 72 hours open clearly being of no advantage!

the saturday saunter…

By billn on November 09, 2020 #travel pics

In the deep of the Berner Oberland, with magnificent, if misty, views of the mountains – a modest 10km walk in just under 2 hours…
A fabulous day out…

weekend stuff

By billn on November 02, 2020 #degustation#travel pics

After returning from France, the weather was lovely on Friday & Saturday, so after multiple chores on Friday, we chose a walk for Saturday in the beautiful Emmental – which is on our doorstep. All thoughts of confinement were bannished here in the Swiss countryside!

The trees and houses, set on top of hills, are like a slightly more rustic Tuscany – but with better mountains for a backdrop 🙂 We chose a 10.5 km route of Landiswil – Aspiegg – Löchlibad – Tanne – back to Landiswil – it could have 9.5 km if we’d done it properly!

Returning to home, there was wine – hooray! There was also a wholely unnecessary amount of mess and work to extract a broken cork, but at least once we got at the wine, the effort was to be rewarded!

Way back when, I opined in these pages that if 2005 had been only an average vintage, then 2006 might have some chance to compete with 2002 for the best vintage of the decade. I also thought some 2006s to be the equal of their counterparts from 2005 – and here, in action, was a great example of that:

As for the new week before us, I’m asking myself if all is really lost in terms of domaine visits in November – we shall see…

weekend 01 Nov 2020

2016 Moreau-Naudin, Chablis 1er Montmains
I love the wines from this producer but I really wasn’t sure what to make of this wine. Of-course, I expected concentration given the amount of frost suffered in this vintage, but I didn’t really expect such ripeness too. Fine acidity, but hard to find the minerality. Excellently tasty wine but you might have been hard-pressed to guess that it came from Chablis – and Montmains is such a cool (temperature!) terroir too.
Rebuy – Maybe

2006 Camille Giroud, Gevrey-Chambertin En Champs
Singing on all levels – bar one – that damn cork!
Now that’s a great nose of clarity, depth and width – slightly cushioned and a great invitation. In the mouth too, here is a simply delicious wine of very good concentration, red-cherry fruit and just enough freshness that the wine gives you no reason to think about ‘balance.’ Layered finishing whilst always showing good energy. With a little help, I had to drink nearly all of it on the first day. A glass remained for day two when it showed no additional development – good or bad – only a suggestion of barrel that I didn’t see on day one. That’s a great villages wine and a textbook example of a great 2006.
Rebuy -Yes

these hills are made for walking – & even jogging!

By billn on July 29, 2020 #travel pics

Left or right?
Left or right?

All countries seem to be recommending taking your holidays at ‘home’ this year – and I’ve seen images of terrible queues in the Swiss mountains in the last couple of weeks, but it seems that we found a beautiful and only modestly visited area: Guarda in the Swiss Engadin. Back now – so I must finish my June Report for publishing before the month-end:

Images only with my ‘phone:’

€9 coffee, €40 brunch – then back to beaune for pizza…

By billn on December 20, 2018 #travel pics

Wednesday was a rainy day, so we decided to hop on the train to Monaco – only €2.30 on the train – I decided that there must be some nice hotels or casinos where we could drink a coffee and pretend to be Mr and Mrs Bond – indeed there are – but the rain was firing down which made the experience sub-optimal!

Today we quit our AirBnB early for Beaune – but with a stop for brunch in St.Tropez – a mere €40 in the Café de Paris – lovely, creamily scrambled eggs though! Out of season there are still very big boats here, but the feeling is smaller, cosier and certainly prettier than much of the Côte d’Azur. Then we headed back to Beaune and real life – i.e. a pizza after 740 km in front of the steering wheel…

monday-tuesday on the côte (d’azure!)

By billn on December 18, 2018 #travel pics

Azure is the colour – of-course! Sunday bought plenty of rain – as will tomorrow – but yesterday and today we were out and about. Nice – what to say, I simply loved. Today we hopped into Italy – Ventimiglia – a super market and an old town not for those with a bad head for heights. Considering the weather forecast, I think that tomorrow I may mainly be typing…

a little dark menton…

By billn on December 16, 2018 #travel pics

We would have had a little more light for arrival on the south-coast, yesterday, but the gillets-jaunes caused more than a few problems on French motorways!

weekend wine – week 33 2018

By billn on August 21, 2018 #degustation#travel pics

I’ve mainly been catching up on some Mâcon samples for this week’s publication of the July report, but something rouge still managed to slip past our lips…

2014 Sophie & Guillaume Joncy, Côte de Brouilly La Trad’ Nature
Red wax-topped. Plenty of colour. Hmm, a nose of depth, in a faintly lactic, ‘natural,’ style – call it sauvage – but not only is this still a lovely invitation, with extended aeration the nose becomes more pure cherry-fruited. Good volume – round and really mouth-filling – with a fine texture. A bottle that empties at quite a rate – super-tasty wine!

And a little Canton Bern wanderings from the weekend:

Burgundy Report

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