Super Alp! 7, the (sustainable) journey across the Alps
The 7th SuperAlp gets underway on 4 July 2013, a crossing dedicated to the Alpine Convention and to sustainable means of transport in the mountains. Simonetta Radice is among the journalists and travellers and, from Chamonix to Domodossola, she will talk to planetmountain.com about the territory of these high lands and their visions for the future.
I don’t like driving. To be honest, broadly speaking, I don’t like to be fast at all, I am definitely a low-speed person. I like the slow, rattling noise of a train or an ascent with a bike on a hill, gaining my destination one inch after another. I love to remember a kind of never-ending travel on Greek bus, years ago. After having arrived in a small village, the driver took every elderly woman home on the bus, even with some reckless manoeuvres. But more than anything else, I love walking, feeling the ground under my feet, step by step, listening to the sweet noise of the autumn leaves and even suffering the hardness of a stony ground.
This long foreword just to tell you that I am going to be part of a project held by the Alpine Convention and completely focused on sustainable mobility in the mountains: SuperAlp. Together with a number of journalists from all over the world, I will start my travesl in Lausanne on July 4th, heading to Chamonix, Cogne, Champorcher, St Rhemy en Bosses, Ulrichen to finally finish in Domodossola. We will travel only with the existing public transport: trains, buses, cable-cars, bicycles and for sure… our feet! SuperAlp will therefore be a way to experience and provide visibility to a different, environment-friendly kind of tourism, with an eye to the best practices the various local administrations have put in place.
So, travelling through the Alps. Here we are with some figures: 14 million people live in the Alpine regions, 6 million vehicles travel along alpine roads, 130 million tons of goods go through the alpine passes. And what springs to mind when we say the word “Alps”? Are we still sticking to the old Leslie Stephen’s “playground of Europe”? What does it mean nowadays to spend a life in the mountains? Which are the real challenges? Will the Alps be able to offer a new model for a sustainable and alternative development, while our consumer society seems to be more and more vulerable? People say that a travel starts much before the departure and ends much later the arrival. I am certain it will be the same for me.