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  • Writer's pictureEliza Bartlett

Ciao Italy - Hello Switzerland

The last few days have been some of the most challenging and most incredible days! My journey across the alps finishing my Italian leg and into Switzerland has been breathtaking.. Not only breathtaking due to the 2473m I had to climb, but the scenery that came along with it!

I’ve had plenty of luck come my way over these days! The weather has been perfect for the entirety, meaning reduced challenges on difficult paths.

I even had the cutest and friendliest dog keep me company and walk with me for about 10km one day, before I had to try to leave him due to the dangerous roads I was walking on!

I’ve stayed in some beautiful accomodation with spectacular views. I was lucky to have a wonderful colleague who paid for a night at a lovely B&b in Chatillon. The owner at the B&B Clair Martin was aware of my walk and so lovely. She gifted me with her homemade Madeleines cakes for me to take with me for the road.

Another massive bit of luck came my way! The pass (road) from Italy to Switzerland had remained closed for an extended time this season due to snowfall, meaning there was going to be challenges getting through this section by foot.

Not only is it basically prohibited to walk while closed, but the risk of walking the actual Via Francigena path covered in snow is far too dangerous due to Avalanches.

I couldn’t have been any luckier. The pass(road) opened 1 hour before I arrived, meaning I could walk on the road instead of either waiting days for it to open, or having to catch transport through the tunnel (as walking prohibited through the tunnel).

The scenery on this route was unbelievable! I still had challenges of walking through snow, tough incline and having to keep myself safe on roads with traffic along with walls of snow along each side. With snow and sun, also came a lot of melting snow, meaning the roads were wet and rivers flowing.

I also had to deal with constant low blood sugars that didn’t agree with the terrain or conditions of the walk.

What was meant to be a tough 20km walk today, ended up being a 30km due to having to take to road at times instead of being able to follow the trail.

It was an exhausting day, but one that will stay with me forever! Absolutely incredible!

I can’t believe my Italian leg is now over. It was 1800km over 63.5 days! I will forever remember the challenges, but more so the amazing scenery, food, animals and people I have met over this part of my journey! Excited to start this next leg in Switzerland before making my way onto France just next week!

Thank you for the ongoing support once again and for all the messages and donations! 💙

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