The Climber's Wife

Posts by Melissa Mieow


Posted on August 8, 2015

In the Frankenjura (or, Franconian Switzerland, if you will) the state of bucolic bliss is occasionally interrupted with grunts and squeals.  You would be forgiven for wondering what had upset the wild boar, but in fact this is the ritual call of the ascending (or rapidly descending) sport climber. The last time we visited we had stayed in Egloffstein, which is a gorgeous little village, complete with tiny castle.  As we had the van, this trip we stayed in forests and tucked away meadows.  I love the area, it is just so incredibly pretty: there are sweet little farms, fields of ripening wheat and barley, lowing fat cattle, dripping fruit trees, forests of beech, steep valleys and spires of rock. There is a ridiculous…

Back to Milan

Posted on August 8, 2015

After leaving Ceuse, we headed to Milan for a lovely few days with one of the Climber’s sisters, Miss Moneypenny the accountant.  While waiting for her we stayed in the carpark of a suburban Burger King, which was actually a lot more comfortable than it sounds.  Nevertheless we were quite pleased to move into the comparative luxury of an AirB&B apartment. Toilets! Showers! Standing room! Our little city break was mostly taken up with strolling around the centre of town.  The area is perfect for peramulation – so many wonderful buildings, so many fashionable people, so many amusingly indiscrete tourists.  I also stopped by the stylist I raved about last year and got my hair cut.  It was absolutely wonderful, again.  You really ought…

Buoux and Ceuse

Posted on October 5, 2014

I like boats. There is something about sailing away into the (literal) sunset that just seems so right. It’s even better when you’ve sailed away (a little sadly) from Corsican paradise and you end up in a tiny, rambling Provençal village bowered with flowers, holding hands with your lover and waiting for delightful friends. We were meeting the French Chef and the Irish Yogini, a sunshine-y couple I had met in Nepal on my yoga course. We were to stay in their family summer house. If you just let your mind wander to the subject of honey coloured homes in Provence, bathed in the lavender light of the long twilight and you’ve probably got an excellent idea of their place. That first evening we…

GR 20 Part 2

Posted on October 1, 2014

After waving farewell to Dr Wonderland in Bastia, I unsuccessfully attempted to drown my misery in a glass of rather pleasant wine. I proceeded to clump around the town thinking dark thoughts about the evils of employment and resupplying my food stash. I then plopped, tired, grumpy and bereft of friends, onto the train. It was however impossible to maintain a proper spirit of dejectedness on the ride out to Calvi. The scenery was absolutely magnificent – mountains, ravines, pretty farms, aching forests all flashed by. As we swung towards the town the sea glittered out to the right and pine forests darkened to the left. Ahhh! A new adventure. The town of Calvi has a number of claims to fame, not least it’s…

The GR20 Part I

Posted on September 11, 2014

  Corsica floats serenely in the Mediterranean between France and Italy, with the island of Sardinia to its immediate south. Along the centreline of the island rises a chain of mountains, falling away on both sides to fragrant marquis vegetation at lower elevation and thence to the sea. Inhabited since the Mesolithic era, it’s inhabitants have paid dearly for the strategic value of their island, having been invaded, attacked and or colonised by the Carthaginians, ancient Greeks, Etruscans, Romans, Vandals, Ostrogoths, Byzantines, Lombards, Saracens, the Papacy, the Genovese, Barbary pirates, Pisans, the Spanish, a military Bank, the French and (during WWII) German and Italian axis troops. Nomadic shepherding was the way of life in Corsica until the late Middle Ages when various powers (notably…