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It has been used as a currency the word salary is derived from the Latin for salt , has made people rich and has been fought over in wars. The Savoy needed salt from the Mediterranean, but the coastline and hinterlands east of the Alps belonged to the powerful city-state of Genoa, which meant the Savoy salt had to be landed in Nice port and then hauled over the mountains. In its heyday, up to 55, mules were employed carrying salt from Nice up and over the 1,m Col de Tende, bringing wheat, animal skins and wool back south in return.
It was an age when salt roads criss-crossed the world. Even just from the coast inland to Turin there were multiple routes, falling in and back out of favour as political conditions and the salt taxes demanded by local towns fluctuated over the centuries. Almost years after the demise of the salt trade, its traces still remain. Image 10 of The early-morning air is still fresh when we arrive at Breil.
We roll into town for coffee, and visit the market in the town square. On a ride such as this, when you have the capacity to carry things and are never sure when the next opportunity might come, it makes sense to stockpile nice stuff when you see it. So, a few peaches, cooked meats and speciality pastries heavier, we head up the hill.
The first 15km of our route takes us up the valley of the Roya river, a tumbling, gushing torrent in a deep V-shaped gorge dotted with tiny Baroque chapels and ruined bridges, reminders of the long history of trade on this route. Steep and full of switchbacks, it snakes through pink granite rocks and acid green larches, against a backdrop of dark and forbidding forests on the opposite side of the valley.
Behind the cluster of chalets rises a tiny track surrounded by laburnums and wild flowers, which soon becomes potholed, then more potholed than paved, and then gravel, rock and dirt.
It clears our roads, but also spells danger for fish, moose—and sometimes humans
It will take us to over 2,m above sea level. We skirt beneath it to pass our first col, the 2,m Baisse de Peyrefique, and continue on a wide dirt track through the meadows on the ridge. Our only companions up here are some Czech bikers on big overland motorbikes, who are currently eating a picnic and washing the dust off in a stream, and a 4x4 pick-up with a sheepdog and bales of hay in the back.
Image 6 of Thousands of men once lived up here, keeping watch on the foe down the hill, and it feels strange to ride through a deserted space that was once so strategically important. We round a corner and the famous gravel switchbacks of the Col de Tende come into sight.
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Far below, cars queue for the tunnel into Italy, but up here there is nobody around. As we climb the surface deteriorates. Soon the salt from my sweat is stinging my eyes. Even on lightly loaded bikes, riding gravel in the Alps is difficult and intense.
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Image 15 of Sit on a rock and cut yourself some salami always take a knife for impromptu cheese or salami-chopping interludes. The skies have lowered as we climbed and suddenly we find ourselves in the clouds. Share this:. Locations Reset Algeria A: Abalessa. Sahara E: Sahara Desert. Travel Guide North African desert tribes and their culture Much of the story alludes to or illustrates the cultures of several tribes in Northern Africa.
Ibiza Salt Road
Featured Book. The Siberian Dilemma s: How do you find a man in Siberia? Germany is also home to around four million Muslims and about , Jews. To enter Germany you need a passport that is valid for at least fourth months from your date of arrival. For citizens of EU countries a valid identity card is sufficient.
REVIEW: The Salt Road by Jane Johnson
Goods from other EU countries do not incur duty as long as you carry them with you and they are intended for your own personal use. There are restrictions for specific goods, such as tobacco, alcohol and perfume. The main language is German, of course. However, you should be aware that there are many different regional accents and dialects, although High German is understood everywhere. Many Germans also speak good English, so there should not be any language barriers for foreign visitors. Overall, Germany has a warm, temperate, wet climate with westerly winds. Extreme fluctuations in temperature are rare.
Rain falls throughout the year. EU citizens do not require a visa. Citizens of all other countries will generally need a visa, with the exception of some countries for which the European Community has abolished the visa requirement. Nationals of those countries do not require a visa for visits to Germany lasting no longer than three months in a six-month period. Home Home. Is this your country? No Yes. Media gallery. The Old Salt Road. Old Salt Road — On the roads of the salt merchants.
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To complete the voting process, you need to click on the email confirmation link You will receive a confirmation email shortly. A route with tales to tell The wealth of these towns was built on transporting and trading salt or collecting duties from the tradesmen that passed through.
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