Google Earth

An impressive way to experience the H2H without actually hiking it is to do a virtual fly-through along the path in a 3D mapping program. One of the best such programs out there is Google Earth, and even better, it's free. If you haven't already downloaded Google Earth, you'll need to go here to get it. Once it is installed, do the following steps to fly along the H2H:

  1. Click here and choose "Save" to download the 210kb compressed map file containing the H2H path.
  2. When the download has completed, click on Open in the resulting dialog box to open the compressed file.
  3. The actual H2H path file is called doc.kml... double-click on it to open it with Google Earth.
  4. The H2H path will appear as a red line twisting its way from Munich to St.-Rémy-de-Provence. Select the H2H by clicking on the H2H entry in the "Places" window, and then for the fly-through experience press the "Play Tour" button at the bottom of the window (the symbol looks like the "play" button on a CD or DVD player).
  5. If when you try to take the tour you get an error message telling you something like "No Placemarks have been selected", then you probably still have Version 3 of Google Earth and you need to upgrade to Version 4 (select "Check for Upgrades" in the Google Earth Help menu).
  6. One last suggestion: click on the check box next to the H2H folder before running the tour... that way you'll be able to see the names of the places at which the H2H recommends an overnight stop. They clutter the overview, but they are very useful when doing the low-level fly-through.

Note: these instructions are for Windows-users such as myself... I have no doubt that higher beings such as Mac- and Linux-users will be able to do the fly-through without instructions :-).