The 29th of September was a fantastic Saturday. It was sunny, which was ideal for outdoor activities, and peaceful. My friends and I opted for a 10-km walk that brought us to scenic, quiet places in three borders (France, Germany and Luxembourg).
We left our dwellings at 1:30 PM for the French village of Contz-les-Bains where we joined the 60 men, women and children eager to do the bush hike. The weather was conducive, the company was great, and the organisation was flawless. Above all, I felt close to nature, especially with the absence of “western” toilet.
Considering that there were some steep and sloping areas, we did fairly well. We got to our destination and came back in one piece feeling proud and wanting to do a similar undertaking soon.
What impressed me most was the Saint-Jean-Baptiste chapel, which was built in the first half of the 15th century and whose choir is classified as a historical monument. We passed by Stromberg, which used to be a place of exploitation of gypsum and dolomitic stones. We also stepped on grounds that lead to a village known for the Schengen Agreements which got rid of borders in most of Europe.
After the walk, I had the opportunity to talk with the organiser, who gracefully explained the principle and modus operandi of “Just Boarded”. I liked what I heard. They organise small adventures that respect the environment and give fair remuneration to everyone involved, particularly the local hosts and guides. In short, for me, it’s a sensible tourism in which you are a responsible traveller and not an insensitive tourist.
With concerns about overtourism and drive for health and fitness activities, this sort of holiday, weekend getaway or day trips is a positive action not only to our wellbeing but also to the sustainability of our planet.
According to the CNN, travellers should think twice about visiting these following places as their number of tourists have increased significantly and there are risks to their ecosystem: Isle of Skye, Scotland; Barcelona, Spain; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Venice, Italy; Santorini, Greece; Bhutan; Taj Mahal, India; Mount Everest, Nepal-side; Machu Picchu, Peru; Galápagos Islands, Ecuador; Cinque Terre, Italy; and Antarctica (https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/places-to-avoid-2018/index.html).
“Tourists who come to Nepal look at terraced fields and see their beauty but remain blind to the hard labour they extract from tillers.”
― Manjushree Thapa, Forget Kathmandu: An Elegy for Democracy
(I’m writing this article while in Sarreguemines for the annual Moselle regional chess championship. I did 2 games today and still 7 to go till Sunday.)