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Fénis Castle

Castello di Fénis 🇮🇹 or Fénis Castle 🇬🇧 or Château de Fénis 🇫🇷 is in Aosta Valley in the north-west of Italy. close to France and Switzerland borders. Aosta Valley or in Italian, Valle d’Aosta is the smallest and least populous region of Italy. But there are more than 30 castles in this small & beautiful region. Fénis Castle is one of the most famous one. it is well-known for its architecture and battlemented walls and the towers.

Location of Fénis Castle

The Castle is in the city of Fénis. it is just 13 km away from the city of Aosta. Fénis castle have many watchtowers which they linked together by walkway and protected with double boundary.

The courtyard, the centre of the central inhabited body, is the small quadrangular courtyard built by Bonifacio I between the end of the 14th and the beginning of the 15th century.

When you visit the castle it reminds you of Borgo medieval in Torino. do not get surprise. because the courtyard of Borgo medieval of Torino is a copy of the internal courtyard of the castle of Fénis.

Interior

Inside the castle there are numerous and gigantic fireplaces. I can imagine in the winter time the castle was pleasant and warm. they also using them for the cooking.

The rooms and balconies inside the courtyard are furnished with various types of wooden. this wood feeling made it elegant. The walls of the balconies are decorating with images of sages and prophets and proverbs in old French. You can visit first and second floor with chapel. The third floor, in the attic, was dedicated to the servant and is not visitable.

I visit the castle in beginning of the March. I am sure in the Spring it will be more beautiful when everything is green. If I have a chance, I will go there again in spring for taking better photos. maybe for the wallpaper section of my website. anyway, even visiting this castle in winter will be a good experience. if you are passing through Aosta valley you should stop there and visit this beautiful castle. you need one hour to visit the inside and then you can have a amazing lunch break at Aosta.

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San Fruttuoso, Portofino, Santa Margherita

Yes, Everybody knows Portofino is astonishing but, did you know that there is marvellous place after that which you can not reach there by car? San Fruttuoso! We did a trekking from Santa Margherita through Portofino until San Fruttuoso, and it was far behind that perfect.

Start Point

Santa Margherita

Santa Margherita was always one of my favourite city in Liguria region of Italy. Portofino is very famous among foreigners but in fact in my opinion Santa Margherita Liguria is a demo of heaven on the earth. Amazing sea with mesmerising rocks stick to the green hills which the eyes cannot stop enjoy watching them. Since I moved to Italy every summer, I had remarkable memories over there. Unforgettable and Fancy at the same time. Luckily, I live so close to them, and I’ve been plenty of times there. But, the outstanding fact about Italy is that there are always new places, new foods, new wines, new cheeses &… to surprise you.

To Portofino

Portofino

We parked the car near the train station of Santa Margherita to start our journey. It was February and even not spring yet. But finding a parking over there is not always easy and will be costly too. If you can reach there by The train, do not take your car. We walked alongside the sea to reach Portofino. This fantastic place. Luckily, I took numerous photos because words cannot describe the beauty of it.

San Fruttuoso

San Fruttuoso

When you reach Portofino, it is almost the end, and usually, you can not go further. But if you like trekking, you can find a way through the mountains to reach San Fruttuoso in 2 hours with normal pace. The passage is wonderful with eye-catching view to the cliffs and sea. I saw a man living and working on his farm, 5 minutes away from one of the most expensive places of the world. Far away from all those yacht and fancy cars. I really believe he was the richest man over there.

We walked totally 25 km and with elevation gain of around 1000 m. On the way back, we took the bus from Portofino back to Santa Margherita train station because we were exhausted and why not!

You can find Strava activity of this day here. if you have a plan to visit Portofino I highly suggest you to take your time and do the trekking to San Fruttuoso too.

P. S: every time after I posted photos that I’ve taken as stories on instagram, many people replied and told me that they made a screenshot to use the photo as their wallpaper. It makes me delighted that people liked my photos that much. But, I prefer they use the high-quality one. So soon I will put a wallpaper download section on my website for selected wallpapers. So, you can download my photos in high-quality format for the wallpaper. so look for it later in my website menu and let me know if you also use them as your wallpaper. it really motivates me.

Opera

Opera, Why I stopped using Chrome

About a month ago, I switched to Opera after many years of using Chrome as my main web browser. here I want to share with you why I am still happy about that and why I recommend you to switch to Opera too.

History of Opera

Opera

Opera is one of the oldest web browser in the Internet history. It never had a big market share, but Opera was always there since 1995. Yes, 1995 means 26 years ago(not only 5 years ago!). I am not certain, but I guess it was one best first modern mobile web browser too, Opera Mini. I want to avoid talking about history of web browsers here. Let’s see why I recommend Opera.

Compatibility

Foremost, Opera is a chromium base web browser. So, you have the same experience of Chrome + extension compatibility.

The only problem is that if you saved all your password on your Google account synced with the Chrome, you can import them automatically. But you can export all your saved password from Google account and import them manually to your opera account. You just need to enable a flag.

Opera Password import flag

Type Opera:flag in address bar and look for password import flag. Enable it and restart the Opera. Then you import your password file through import bookmark in the setting section.

Features which I appreciate it

I feel it would be better not to talk about all the features such as Internal VPN and Tracking blocking &… here I want to mention the cool ones.

Honestly, since many years ago, all the major web browser never had any big improvement for the end-user experiences. This sidebar in opera is really useful and help you to save lots of time during your web browsing.

Workspaces

Workspaces in opera

Instead of having many windows open and inside them full of tabs. You can create different workspace in the sidebar and easily switch to them. You can also move the tabs between them.

Sidebar Messenger

You can have access to your favourite instant messengers directly from sidebar without changing tab or windows. By the way, you can always switch the notification off if you need the focus.

More over, you can have instagram and Twitter feed directly in the sidebar. There is a flag which you can enable to have custom sidebar too.

Music player integrated to sidebar

Music Player

It does not matter what we do, Working, Blogging, Designing or Playing… the music players are always being there with playing music or podcasts for us.

You can integrate Music services such Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube music, SoundCloud, Deezer, and Tidal directly to your browser sidebar and easily change what you’re listening before even quit your open tab.

There are a bunch of more features and even different versions of Opera which you can discover them by your own at Opera website.

Are all those are free?

Yes, Opera is a Freeware which you can download it for free, and it is working on all the major OS.

But how opera makes money?

Yes, that was my question too. They are not Google, which we all know why they provide us free services. But why a company in size of Opera should spend money to develop a browser for us for free? The main answer is again google and all the other big companies. They always pay them more to keep them as main search engine or suggest their website somehow in the browser. So if they have more users, they have more financial support from big companies.

I Giorni della Merla

Last weekend for I Giorni della Merla we decided to go to Belavarda near the city of Cantoira in Piemonte. OK, but what the heck is I Giorni della Merla? Continue reading this post to know…

To Begin

Although it was I Giorni della Merla but it was a really hot sunny day. We start our journey from Lities. A small village which you start directly from there or even if you are ready for 400 m more height difference you can even start from Cantoira. All the information of this route completely described here. Yes, it is in Italian, but you can always use translator. These days they are working much smarter even with a hard language like the Italian.

panormaic View from Bellavarda
panormaic View from Bellavarda

The Accident

Once again, our plan was going on our own. And yes, as I mentioned before in our journey to Monte Soglio I always prefer more adventure and taking more risks. But to be honest on this trip we got lost which for me was still fine, and then an accident happened to one of my friend, and he slipped and fell down from the cliff. Frankly, we were so lucky that he did not get any serious injury. But I understand that we need to be more careful and also get more prepared for unwanted incidents.

The Second Accident

The other things that happened on this trip was after that accident we finally reached somewhere to had our meal, and then I just discovered that I left my delicious Tuna Avocado sandwiches in the fridge! Luckily, I was not that hungry at the moment. Later on that night I had a big Burger plus lots of fried stuff as a reward to myself.

The Details

This trekking include a really steep track which require a good level of fitness. So, I do not recommend it for beginners. The total distance to the summit is around 4.5 km, but the height difference is around 1000 m and if you start from Cantoira it will be 400 m more. The path almost well signposted, but be careful because we got lost of the track two times. There are some signs which also let you know the vertical distance which you take so far in an interesting graphical way. You can see it in photos at the end of this post.

I Giorni della Merla

The last 3 days of January (from the 29th to the 31st) are traditionally called “I Giorni della Merla” (Blackbird’s Days) and are considered the coldest days of the year. This is actually just a legend, but I am crazy for these types of legends.

I giorni della merla
Merla (Black bird)

The origin of the saying

There are numerous theories about the origin of the expression “I Giorni della Merla”. Which you can find them by yourself or just ask your Italian friends about it.

But according to my favourite legend, January originally had 28 days. The month of January was terrible to a poor blackbird because he envied her beautiful pure white plumage. Every time this poor bird went out seeking food for herself and her little ones, the Month became suddenly colder. Tired of this, one year, the blackbird decided to gather enough supplies for the whole month. When, after the 28th day, she went out singing and mocking January because she thought she had played him, January got upset and borrowed three extra days from his brother February so that it could continue to torment the blackbird with snowstorms, chill, wind, and rain. During those days, the blackbird was out hunting for food and had to find shelter into a chimney; when she came out, three days later, her plumage was black. Since then, blackbirds have always been black and January has 31 days.

If you check my instagram post of this trip you will see me mostly with short sleeves and that is why maybe it is all just a legend. If you are Italian and know any other origin about I Giorni della Merla, please let me know about it.

MonteSoglio

Monte Soglio

Monte Soglio is a 1971 m mountain belonging to Graian Alps (Alpi Graie). Graian Alps is a section of the Alps located between Italy, France & Switzerland. The west part of the Alps which you all know, the most famous and highest peak of it: the famous Mont Blanc.
It seems finally my Italian friends start to believe that we do not need the guide for every easy trekking route. Frankly, for me (who did the Damavand (5600 m) without any guide only with a friend who she is also was completely noob like me) understanding that why we always require a guide here is a little hard. Yes, I absolutely appreciate group trekking and meeting new people and making friends. Plus that there are numerous adventures route or new experiences that it’s much safer with a proper guide. But come on, here there are full of sign always on the route which you do not even need to use maps and routes on your phone.

Monte Soglio

Starting point

Any way, we decided to hike to Monte Soglio from Piano Audi. Piano Audi is straightforward access by car. Then you can start your journey to Monte Soglio summit exactly from there. The distance we did was around 15 km and the difference in the altitude of around 1000 m.

Alpe Soglia Refuge near Monte Soglio

Monte Soglio


Near the summit you will reach the Alpe Soglia Refuge which was really nice like all the other Refuge in the mountains.
We did this route on 22nd of Jan and there was only a little part covered with snow and glacier. You will not need snowshoes, but maybe having crampons make the passage to the summit more pleasant. (Which I did not have!)

Monte Soglio

The summit had the amazing 360º view which was really delightful. I am still a little lazy to organise my gallery system here and post photos there. So for the moment I will add some selected photos to the post gallery.

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Tre Denti and Freidour

If you love 360º panromaic view continue reading Tre Denti and Freidour post!

Tre Denti and Freidour are mountains of Alpi del Monginevro under the section of the Cottian Alps. We had a plan to just trek to Freidour with the guide of Trekking Torino but later we also continued our journey till the peak of tre denti.

Monte Freidour

We left the cars here and started to hike through the monte Freidour. although we were in the coldest days of January, it was a pleasant warm sunny day and contrary to our expectations. the route from starting point to the summit of Freidour was simple but with an amazing panoramic view of the valleys. at the end of the summit, we enjoyed the marvelous 360º panoramic view.

Tre Denti and Freidour

On the top is the trigonometric geodetic datum the IGM code 067041 called Monte Freidour. also there is a monument of the 8 members of the crew of a British Liberator bomber that crashed there on 14 October 1944, during a mission in support of Italian partisans.

After reaching there we decided to continue through The Aragno hill which separates Freidour from Mount Tre Denti. so we continued our journey till the highest dent of those three dents! from there you can have panromaic view of city of Avigliana and the lakes of Avigliana.

avigliana lakes from tre denti

At the end we reached the small chapel at the top of the eastern tooth. we had our lunch break there while we enjoyed the mesmerizing view. on the way back we continued another route which ended to Casa Canada (Refuge Melano). even if you do not like hiking or not in the mood of long journey I highly recommend you to visit this place. it is very easy to access with short distance of walking.

Such as always you can find the Strava activity on my Strava Profile. soon I need to setup an image gallery system on my website for the people who like just browse the photos fast and then I can focus more on the text on my blog posts.

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Colle Begino

When life gives you snow, do snowshoeing. (my inner voice during hiking to Colle Begino)

We had an opportunity to do the snowshoes again to Colle Begino. this time near France border so close to the famous Mont Chaberton in France. Alessandro from Trekking Torino organized guided hiking to Colle Begino. it was a Holiday Thursday and why not!

Colle begino

Finally, the coldest days of winter arrived. At the beginning, where we start near Cesana Torinese, it was really freezing cold. luckily a little bit later when we had more sun and our bodies already warmed up, it was not freezing anymore. Alessandro organized everything perfectly. we had the Crampons and Snowshoes and special gear to attach them to our backpacks.

Colle begino

On the way to our destination Colle Begino, we needed to pass alongside Lago Nero (I hope so because I did not see it. it may be fully covered by snow). we started hiking with crampons. using crampons was really pleasant. a little bit later after 4km of hiking we reached more fresh snow and we had to use the snowshoes.

Colle begino

To be honest, using snowshoes is not easy at all and it is really exhausting activity. I also mentioned before that I do not want to do it every week, but walking alongside all those fresh white snows made you forget all the tiredness. on the top, you can enjoy having a view of Thures Valley

Colle begino

On the way back we had a stop at Capanna Mautino refuge. over there you can have some warm meals and drinks. we changed back to crampons again to get back to Cesana.
the total distance that we did was around 15km and elevation gain of around 1000m. you can find all the details in my strava activity. such as always I created the reel of the trip on my Instagram

Fontana Mura

Fontana Mura

If you are looking for easy hiking/trekking in Piemonte, Fontana Mura is the one.

We were looking for an easy weekend half-day trekking and we decided to go to Fontana Mura refuge. The Fontana Mura refuge is located inside the Orsiera-Rocciavrè nature park, at the foot of the Colle Della Roussa, a pass that connects Val Sanguine with Val Chisone. The refuge takes its name from the source of the Sangone river, (originally Fontana Moura) that flows near the structure. It is located at 1726 m above sea level and is located in Alpe Sellery Superiore, and can only be reached on foot or by mountain bike from the start of the road-agro-silvo-pastorale near the town of Pian Neiretto, after Forno di Coazze.

starting point to fontana mura refuge

to start you can park your car here and start walking from here. the distance to Fontana mura refuge is about 7km and with an elevation gain of around 600m. you can find my activity of it on Strava. if you are looking for an easy hike or if you just want to start hiking it is a really nice choice.

fonta mura

if you are going there in the winter season prepare yourself with proper shoes and gear for walking in the snow and ice. at the end, you will arrive at the Fontana Mura refuge. you can continue the route from there or come back to your starting point. but I highly recommend you to try foods and drink in the refuge.

Fontana Mura Refuge

on the way back there is another refuge which is totally different and is located in lower altitude with more trees surrounding it. if you have time you can visit that too.

I will try to continue posting more about locations in my blog. but honestly writing is something that I did not do it so often recently but I promise to do my best. if this post was useful for you please write a comment or share it with your friends.

Also, I made a reel on my Instagram about this trip. take a look at it here

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Ciaspole 1st experience

I do not even know how do they call Ciaspole in English but I prefer the Italian name of it.

I never tried snowshoes (Ciaspole) for hiking in the snow and I really wanted to try them. last week I had a chance and I took it. even on the day of activity, I felt a little bit sick but who cares.

we parked the car at La Cialma starting point and wear the Ciaspole and started the journey. you can find the complete route on my Strava. although the elevation was only 754m with Ciaspole it was much harder honestly. especially on the way back you need to be really careful about deep snow, otherwise every time you need to consume lots of energy to just get out of the deep snow.

Ciaspole trekking in La cialma

Like always the best moment was when we arrived at the summit of La Cialma which was only 2193m but with a marvelous view of Gran Paradiso peak. if you are going to try Snowshoes for the first time like me, consider that the distance and elevation gain is almost felt twice with snowshoes. or maybe I was sick that day. but for me, it was a great experience. not that much I buy a snowshoe and do it every week but absolutely I will do it again if I have an opportunity.

me on the way back

And here at the end is the photo of me on the way back. I made some changes to my website. now you can see my photos and posts in the same places. I will try harder to write and post my photos more often to keep this website more updated. but if you want to catch up with my latest updates please follow me on my social media such as Instagram and Twitter.

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Trekking from Qazvin to the Caspian sea through Alamut Valley

I never did trekking from Qazvin to the Caspian sea but I always was too excited to do it.

Finding topics and ideas for a new blog is kind of really hard. you don’t know yet your audience and you don’t even have enough courage to start. I was struggling with myself and forcing myself to start writing here and I thought let’s begin with things I did in my life which had a big influence on me. so I decided to write about the unforgettable things I did in my life and yeah I should dedicate a section to it. so this post it’s not the first and last on this topic.

it’s all started with my guest from Couchsurfing. I was recently starting hosting people back in my apartment in Qazvin. which was a quite large apartment. after I had some guests I received a last-minute request from some French people.

yeah hosting five people together is not something so often in the Couchsurfing community. but back then I lived in a really big apartment and it was easy to host even bigger group. after they spent a night at my place they asked me about trekking route from the Qazvin to the Caspian sea through the Alamut valleys. “I know it’s possible and I always had a dream to do it” I replied & they told me ok let’s do it!

we spent a first night in the Gazorkhan near Alamut castle and the second day we started our trip by passing beautiful Pichebon. it was a really great adventure which I did it again lots of time later. if you ever have a chance to do this trekking route I highly recommend it.