About the Walking in Europe pages
by Ingemund Hagg
Walking - known as rambling to the British and as hiking to the Americans - is becoming more and more popular in Europe. It is fairly easy to get information about walking possibilities in your own country - to find out where footpaths are, where you can buy maps and guidebooks, what equipment you will need to be properly prepared for the trail, and weather conditions in the area in which you plan to walk.
It is much more difficult to get information about walking in foreign countries. Tourist offices abroad often know little about pedestrian tourism in their home countries, even if there are exceptions. To obtain much if not most of the information you need, you must refer directly to organizations and authorities in the country in which you want to walk.
I believe many people would go walking in foreign countries if they knew where to go and how to get the necessary information. Walking - at normal human speed - is the best way to learn to know nature and the culture in an area or a region, and people in a foreign country!
This information in these pages will introduce you to the walking possibilities in foreign countries, and tell you where you can inquire to obtain detailed information so that you can plan your walk. It thus gives you information about information, so to speak.
In many countries travel agencies and tourist organizations arrange group walks with guides. Such arrangements are mentioned in these pages only when they are arranged by voluntary organizations or where individual walking is difficult.
The information is for the "ordinary" walker and not primarily for those who want to walk for several weeks along a trail or for those who want to indulge in serious mountaineering. We know that the majority of walkers walk for a day, some for a couple of days or a week. Some walk from hut to hut but the majority uses a hotel or similar accommodation for day excursions.
Apart from personal experience with walking in many countries in Europe, I am using valuable information from fellow walkers - not the least from members of the European Ramblers´ Association. In particular I want to mention two persons. First, my good walking friend Arthur Howcroft. I have been able to draw on his long experience as a walker and a leader in different parts of Europe, and on his linguistic skills in many languages. Second, my good friend Peter Robins, a keen long-distance walker with personal experience from many parts of Europe and the person behind the first ERA web page.
A booklet first appeared in English in 1978. It was followed by an edition in German in 1980. They are both outdated. These pages were first set up in the middle of 2001.
I would be grateful for your ideas and suggestions on what should be included in these pages. Your comments and corrections will always be welcome. Please do not hesitate to send me an e-mail.