Description

“Kilometer 0” was the beginning of the German/French WW1 front that stretched from Switzerland to the north sea.

It is this small area around the Swiss border, in which German, French and Swiss soldiers faced off, on which this “hike” is focused.

The quotation marks were necessary because you could debate over the definition of a hike, and whether it just needs to be longer than two hours or needs to incorporate certain terrain, etc. Assuming you’re not that interested in discussing semantics, let’s move on.

The… long walk from Bonfol to the front with its remaining bunker ruins, destroyed railway bridge, and various small signs that at one point in history not too long ago, a war raged here, is certainly historically interesting.

The now calm forests and fields make for a relaxing Sunday afternoon walk, though you can’t really wax lyrical about the beautiful views. It’s… nice.

Notes

  • Take care to take the correct path at the intersection, lest you go back the way you came like we did.

Impressions

As you may have guessed, we took a wrong turn on the way back, resulting in us missing out on about a third of the route. Luckily, none of the historic bits were affected.

We did try to enlist the help of a local guide, but alas, he wasn’t interested in showing us the way…

Suspicious looking cat
Smol guide is suspicious of this one

Bonfol itself is a neat little village, sometimes bordering on the picturesque.

The historical ruins, and the signs detailing key events along the way were certainly interesting.

All the rest… well, it’s a long walk in the forest. There’s not much to say apart from “It was nice.”

A moment that stuck with me was this abandoned van under a bridge:

derelict van under a bridge, as seen from above
French Recycling.

I can’t really say why, there was just something beautiful about it. [Cue the plastic bag dancing in the wind, from American Beauty].

A new Camera – New opportunities, New, different Problems

As you may know, I’ve been using my phone to take pictures documenting our hikes so far. Well, after 4 years of service and 2 years since the battery change under warranty, the battery decided to die again – signalling its exit with lowered capacity and voltage, cutting out under energy intense conditions like filming.

See the full blog post here.

The gist of it is that I decided that for the first time in ten years, I’m not going to buy a flagship phone with a good camera, but rather a cheap phone, and with the saved money: A real camera. Enter my new Fujitsu X-T30.

New Problems

Of course I would have to learn to handle this piece of high tech equipment, as well as learn some low tech terms like “aperture”, “ISO”, and “exposure”, among others, and that would take time. But a more immediate problem was how to take this camera along for hikes.

[…]

Anyway, I wanted to have my camera ready and not have to get it out of a bag for every picture.

So I did some research and came across the Capture Clip by Peak Design (a thing you mount on straps, belts or similar, that you can then click your camera into for safe keeping). I found mention of it wherever I looked for solutions, so I ordered one and tried it out on this hike. Here it is, and I think you can immediately see the problem:

Fujifilm X-T30 holstered in a capture clip mounted to the middle of my backpack's strap.
Fujifilm X-T30 holstered in a capture clip mounted to the middle of my backpack’s strap, blocking my left arm.

Well, the only comfortable and convenient place to mount it was around the middle of my shoulder strap, and yes, it’s a convenient place in terms of accessibility of the camera, but now the camera is blocking my arm from moving forward and inward. Great.

Fujifilm X-T30 holstered in a capture clip mounted to the middle of my backpack's strap, blocking my left arm.
Fujifilm X-T30 holstered in a capture clip mounted to the middle of my backpack’s strap, blocking my left arm.

Since that hike, I’ve moved the clip up a bit, closer to the shoulder, and while that is more convenient for arm movement, it creates a pressure point that starts to hurt (a lot) after a few hours. Sooner if the backpack is heavy.

So, excuse this small rant and please let me know if you have any better suggestions for taking your camera along on hikes. I’d really love to try alternatives to this. Now back on topic:

New Opportunities

Now that I finally have a real camera instead of an older cell phone to take pictures of our hikes, you can expect quite a boost in quality. If you liked my photos before, you’re in for a treat 🙂

Give me some time to adjust though. The learning curve is quite steep when you take the camera out of auto mode.

Stats & Info

Basic

Date of Hike:2020-10-31
Participants:Roman, Jenny

Trail

OfficialOur Version
Distance (km):1818.3
Time (h – Est. / Actual)4.54.7
Ascent (m):280230
Descent (m):280230
Max. Altitude (m):480480
Loop?Yes
Cable Car?No
Route:SchweizmobilOur (Fail) Route
Useful Links:Train Stop
Weather
Free Parking

Route Gallery

As mentioned in the post, this is my first hike with my new camera, so obviously any good pictures are a matter of pure luck. Nonetheless, full size images without watermarks are available for licensing to interested parties. Check romans.pictures, or contact me for details.

  • cat being petted
  • Suspicious looking cat
  • cat being petted
  • cat running away
  • View along the route
  • View along the route
  • View along the route
  • View along the route
  • View along the route
  • Welcome to km 0 sign
  • View along the route
  • Observation post on the swiss side
  • Border stone 111
  • Observation post on the swiss side
  • Bridge over the river Large
  • View along the route
  • View along the route
  • View along the route
  • View along the route
  • Bunker
  • inside view of the bunker
  • View along the route
  • Bunker
  • Bunker
  • Bunker entrance
  • Bunker interior
  • Bunker
  • Another Bunker
  • Another Bunker
  • Another bunker entrance
  • Another bunker interior
  • View along the route
  • Oh look! It's a bunker.
  • "Erinnerung and Freundschaft und Frieden" Memorial
  • And now for something completely different.
  • View along the route
  • View along the route
  • Cute goat
  • Cute goats
  • Momma goat
  • More goats
  • Extra cute goat
  • View along the route
  • View along the route
  • View along the route
  • View along the route
  • View along the route
  • View along the route
  • View along the route
  • View along the route
  • derelict van under a bridge, as seen from above
  • View along the route
  • View along the route
  • View along the incorrect route back
  • View along the incorrect route back
  • View along the incorrect route back
  • View along the incorrect route back
  • View along the incorrect route back
  • View along the incorrect route back
  • View along the incorrect route back
  • Chickens.
  • Ducks and their swimming pool... Poor ducks.
  • View along the incorrect route back
  • View along the incorrect route back
  • View from the parking lot. No idea what's up with that balcony.
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