Swiss Sunday – Let’s Walk next to a Giant

It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly virtual trip to alpine heaven. A country which might be 900 miles away from our home but to this family will always be within our hearts. So many trips here as a family of 3. So many memories. Let’s visit Switzerland.

Today I needed a walk. A special walk in the mighty Alps. It’s a Sunday so let’s be kind to our bodies. Let’s make it downhill all the way. Why not let the brilliant Swiss transport system take us all the way to the top. To beautiful alpine village of Murren standing at 5700ft above sea level. A special village which CANNOT be reached by public road. Yes it is car free.

Then it’s downhill all the way. Walking through along mountain tracks and Forest trails. One of the world’s greatest mountains, The Eiger towering above you. We finally reach Lauterbrunnen. Another stunning alpine village 3000ft below Murren. Set in a stunning steep sided valley. Next to the village is the famous Staubbach Falls. It’s waters crashing 970ft to the ground.

This is a truly epic area. Staggeringly beautiful. That good it was used as the principal filming location for the James Bond movie – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. One day I so want to come back here. In fact these two villages would be just about at the top of my dream home location.

I can dream….

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it’s time for our weekly virtual visit to beautiful Switzerland. A country which means so much to our little family. To me. Life happens and it’s meant that we haven’t been able to get to our little bit of alpine heaven since 2015. Our next visit can’t come quick enough.

I’ve been thinking about what it will feel like when I’m finally back there again. It’s going to be at least 7 years since that trip in 2015. Maybe it will feel like the return of a wonderful friend or maybe it will feel like the first time. I still remember what it felt like on my first trip. A flight into Zurich and arrive at the hotel in the early afternoon. Cold and cloudy. The mountains shrouded in mist. But that fresh alpine air. Wow.

Then the next day we headed on the train to Grindelwald. All those books about the massive mountains I head read since childhood, suddenly they were real. I was amongst them. Then a trip up my first Alpine Peak. Not a big one, in fact it’s only a minor summit. But now always a special one to me. The First. On that a Sunday I was up high surrounded by giants like The Eiger.

What a great name for my First Swiss Mountain. FIRST. Yes to me it’s a Mountain. Always my favourite mountain now. Just one of the most uplifting and exhilarating feelings of my life.

Yes the next time I visit Switzerland I hope it feels like the FIRST time again.

Swiss Sunday

Now that’s a view from a train station. It’s Sunday so it’s time for our weekly virtual trip to stunning Switzerland.

Some wonderful news. Switzerland is now open again to most of the world. Hopefully soon the good people from the US will be able to get there as well.

We have not been back to this Alpine Heaven since the summer of 2015. It seems like an absolute lifetime. So much has happened.

Yes we have so many obstacles to overcome but one day WE will return.

Switzerland is just part of us now. Feels more like Home than England. That feeling gets stronger each day.

We still have my partners ashes to spread here. The view across Lake Thun with the snow covered mountains in the background is one of the places she wants to become a part of. Her Home. Our Home.

So yes these virtual trips feel like a return to what should be our home. One day just maybe that will happen.

Good to see someone maintains a balanced diet when he visits his future home…..

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it must be time for a bit of virtual travel. I’ve got an idea. Why don’t we visit one of the most stunning places on the planet. Let’s go to Switzerland.

As a child I would visit my towns library. It wasn’t very big. It had masses of a Mills & Boon books. That’s not really going to float a young boys boat. The library didn’t seem to have that many exciting books. But it had one. It was a reference book so I couldn’t take it home. So every Saturday morning I would carefully get this book. Find a comfy seat and read. This was a book about climbing in Switzerland. I would look in awe at the mountain photos and read the daring tales of the brave climbers.

Switzerland seemed like a fantasy world. Too good to be real.

How could a country look this exciting and this beautiful.

I would dream of standing on top of these peaks and gazing out into the distance. My heart racing as I am surrounded by The Alps.

Then fast forward many years and I’m there. I’m stood on some of those very mountains.

Switzerland is real. It’s actually more stunning than I ever imagined.

And next to me is a little boy. A boy starting his love affair with this magical country.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday and the world is barking mad. We are still on lockdown and travel is just possible in our dreams. So let’s dream. It’s time to visit beautiful Switzerland.

I was going through some old photographs and realised that at this time exactly 9 years ago a happy family was enjoying a wonderful Swiss holiday. We had taken the train to one of our favourite places in the world. The beautiful alpine village – Grindelwald. Not a naughty wizard to be seen.

During winter it is one of the country’s most famous winter sports destinations. During the summer it’s a hikers paradise.

Apart from the Harry Potter link it’s well used as a movie setting. The Golden Compass, The Eiger Sanction, Star Wars (the backdrop to Alderaan) and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (James Bond) have filmed here.

What makes this village so special is the views. It is surrounded by some of Europe’s finest mountains. The Eiger, Monch, Jungfrau, Lauteraarhorn, Schreckhorn, Wetterhorn, Lauberhorn, Mannlichen.

It’s the home of one of the most epic backdrops to a crazy golf course on the planet.

It was also home to our Son’s favourite ever train station.

We always struggled to drag him away from it. Thank you Grindelwald for making me smile on this lockdown Sunday.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so in these challenging times, I think it’s time for a virtual tour of beautiful Switzerland.

One of the best times we to found to visit Switzerland as a family was over Easter.

In my country Easter, like most holidays has become over commercialised. Not in Switzerland. The atmosphere is just perfect.

The weather was frequently glorious for our visits. Snow still falling on the high mountains and yet beautifully warm at lower levels. The morning trains would find people in summer shorts sat next to skiers in full snow gear.

The weather was perfect for sitting outside and just watching the world slowly walk by.

Spring alpine flowers coming to life.

The snow line slowly retreating in the hot sunshine. Deep blue skies.

The yachts and small boats emerging from winter hibernation.

The colours constantly changing.

And after an exhausting day on the piste for a young one….

Nothing better than returning to the hotel to find the owners have left a little Easter gift. Thank you Switzerland for lifting the spirits again.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly virtual trip to beautiful Switzerland. Yesterday I was thinking about window views. The sort of view you would happily sit by your bedroom window, gaze out at the beauty and just smile. Sometimes the real window view is that good. The above photo is from the hotel room we stayed at on our last visit.

Well for this weeks virtual holiday let’s play fantasy window view. I’m going to pick a different dream window view for each day.

Sunday. Let’s start the week off with a view across beautiful Lake Thun.

Monday. Let’s have a window filled with an alpine meadow.

Tuesday. Let’s have the sound of water filling the room as well. A window filled with an alpine river.

Wednesday. Let’s enjoy one of the worlds greatest mountains. The Eiger

Thursday. Let’s have a window looking across a beautiful Swiss valley.

Friday. Let’s move the window to beautiful Lake Riffelsee and it’s always present reflection of The Matterhorn.

Saturday. Let’s finish the week with a view of a stunning waterfall.

See you next week my friends. Stay safe.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so I’m in need of my weekly fix of Switzerland.

A country which is so special to me and our son. We spent many happy holidays in this beautiful country. My partners beloved dad worked with a injured soldiers charity out in Switzerland after the war. He fell in love with the country. That formed a long family bond with Switzerland. In my partners absence we will keep that candle burning bright.

I still remember that first time flying into Geneva and getting that initial glimpse of The Alps.

That first sight of a stunning alpine valley.

That first afternoon walking outside the hotel, hand in hand with my partner and getting my first sight of the mountain which dominates beautiful Spiez.

Those trips on the lake boats.

That first sight of The Matterhorn.

Watching the world go by on the trains while son repeatedly asked his mum to tell him the fairy story involving The Eiger, The Monch and the Jungfrau.

Watching the sun set over The Alps while son played with his animals on the hotel balcony.

Those trips to the heights of The Alps and pointing out each famous mountain to an excited son.

Circumstances mean that we currently can’t be there, but our hearts most definitely are.

Swiss Sunday

Last week we left our Swiss Sunday trip travelling up the Funicular to the top of of the Niesen.

The Niesen is called Switzerland’s Pyramid.

If I remember correctly I promised you some stunning mountain top views. Well here goes.

It overlooks the beautiful Lake Thun.

With one of the Worlds most imposing mountain ranges, The Alps dominating in the opposite direction. Including breathtaking views of The Eiger.

Bizarrely the literal translation of Niesen is sneeze.

It’s also a favourite visiting spot for some very brave individuals.

On top our son had a blast of a time. So many dreams. And the first snow he had been able to touch in over a year.

To Lauterbrunnen

It’s Sunday which means it’s Switzerland.

We left last week in Murren – the stunning Swiss Mountain Village. It’s time to head down into the valley and towards Lauterbrunnen. You only have three options. Train, cableway or walk it. The easy option is easy. 42 trains a day running to legendary Swiss punctuality. The walk is 5.8km and takes just under 3 hours. But it’s all downhill.

It takes you through alpine Forests with frequent stunning views of the Eiger, Moench and the Jungfrau. You cross multiple streams and are never too far away from the towering waterfalls.

Lauterbrunnen is the home to the Stabbauch Falls which is Europe’s highest free falling waterfall. A drop of 297 metres. If you like waterfalls you need to pay this place a visit. I remember being told that you can visit over 70 of them here.

Next week I think it’s time for a bit of Bond and Blofeld.