Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it’s must be time for our weekly trip to beautiful Switzerland. A country which we haven’t been able to visit in a few years but which still holds a special place in our hearts.

Someone asked why we love this country so much. Well the first thing is that is has so many links to our Hawklad. His mum’s family have had links to the country for nearly 80 years now. That’s so important to our son.

Another reason is how the Swiss villages just look so perfect in the alpine landscape.

Another reason is the country’s beautiful lakes. They have a magical quality.

Another reason is those walks through the wooded mountain valleys. They are simply breathtaking.

We hardly get much snow these days where we live. The excitement of coming to land where the snow is always there. Even in summer.

The mountains are nothing short of epic.

Finally its not a bad place for an 8 year old to have breakfast.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly virtual trip to one of the worlds most beautiful countries. It’s time for a little bit of Switzerland. So while we are wandering amongst The Alps let’s consider a few random facts about this wonderful country.

  • Switzerland is one of the main filming locations for Bollywood movies,
  • Einstein’s most famous equation about Energy was developed while he lived here,
  • Guess where the Swiss Army Knife was invented…..
  • It has the largest nuclear shelter in the world,

  • The majority of the world’s luxury watches come from Switzerland,
  • It has four national languages. Romansch, German, French and Italian,
  • Most transport announcements are also made in English,
  • It has its priorities right. Education is really well funded and teachers are well paid.

  • It’s original name was Helvetia,
  • The country does not have an official animal. Many think it is the bear but actually if you spend anytime here then you will quickly realise that it should be the Cow,
  • Monte Rosa is its highest mountain at 15203ft,

  • Switzerland has many laws protecting animals. Dogs can eat in restaurants. Social animals must be kept in pairs. If one of the pair dies you must replace it. This applies to small animals like Guinea Pigs,
  • Switzerland is always in the top 3 countries for life expectancy,
  • The worlds largest particle physics laboratory lies beneath Switzerland,
  • The Swiss love chocolate. They eat over 11 kilos of chocolate per person each year. Yet they have the least obese population in the whole of Europe,

The final random fact. Many believe that Scotland is the home of golf. Wrong. It’s Switzerland.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly visit to that most beautiful of countries. A virtual wander to Switzerland. A place we haven’t managed to visit for a few years but which is very much on our hearts.

It’s a land that is dominated by the mountains. The Alps.

In every direction your eyes are drawn to the mighty snow covered peaks. How do you squeeze so many mountains into such a relatively small country.

60% of Switzerland is mountainous. That includes 451 mountains. 24 are over 4000m. That’s a lot of mountains to either climb or just enjoy from the beautiful valleys.

Apart from the monumentally stunning views the thing that strikes you is the quality of the alpine air. It feels so crisp, so fresh and so clean. It’s a staggering feeling. No wonder doctors would often recommend a trip to The Alps to recuperate.

Yes it’s good to reach for the heights some days.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly trip to beautiful Switzerland🇨🇭. A country which means so much to our little family. We haven’t been since 2015 but it definitely still feels like home.

This week we won’t be venturing too far away from water. All the photos feature beautiful Lake Thun.

It’s a wonderful deep blue coloured lake that sits on the northern edge of The Alps. So it is surrounded my imposing mountains and rolling hills.

Deep snow does not often fall here even during winter. But you are often surrounded my snow covered mountains. So very close. During the summer it is often very warm here. Then the cooling lake waters are such a delight.

During the summer months it is popular with those who sail, windsurf and swim. Lake steamers take tourists on relaxing trips across the waters. Those who like to fish come here all year round. It’s also a hikers and runners dream.

Lake Thun and the little town of Spiez are just so stunning. It’s tempting to spend all your holiday here. Why travel when you have all this.

Lake Thun also has one of the most beautiful little playgrounds in the world. Definitely one of Hawklads favourite places ever. A great place to dream.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it must be time for another virtual trip to stunning Switzerland. It might be four years since our last visit but the memories are still so strong.

Memories of vineyards, castles and walking through alpine meadows. The spectacular Alps always in view.

Walks along crystal clear lakes and through spectacular mountain valleys.

Beautiful towns and dramatic rivers.

A walkers and climbers paradise.

Some of the best views on the planet. And let’s not forget the weather.

Sometimes the weather in Switzerland demands two ice lollies. That means poor Dad misses out. The question is – how cold are the lollies.

The answer – VERY COLD.

But definitely worth it.

Swiss Sunday

The Matterhorn

It’s Sunday so it’s time for our weekly virtual trip to beautiful Switzerland. A country which means so much to our little family.

Spiez
The Eiger

1st August is Swiss National Day. It celebrates the signing of the a Federal Charter in 1291. The Charter committed the various individual Cantons to stand together against outside aggressors and judges. It was officially recognised as the country’s founding document in the late 1800s. In 1993 86% of the population voted to introduce a national holiday on this day.

Lake Thun
Lucerne

It’s quite fitting for us that the Swiss National Day falls on the same day as Yorkshire Day. Our little family can have a joint celebration. In many ways we think of ourselves as Yorkshire first, Swiss second, European third, British fourth and English fifth. Our dream would be for Yorkshire to be followed recognised as a Swiss Canton or for us to get Swiss nationality. That’s a fun thought.

Lauterbrunnen
Grindelwald

So what happens on Swiss National Day. Every community holds celebrations which include bonfires and fireworks. Buildings and streets are adorned with flags and bunting. The community comes together to hear speeches, sing the national anthem, enjoy local produce and watch traditional folklore entertainment.

Aare Gorge
Spiez Castle Chapel

So if I time this post correctly then it will just about sneak into the 1st August here. So happy National Day to our families favourite country. We love you.

Hawklad on top of The Niesen

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly virtual trip to beautiful Switzerland. Today takes us back to 2011. We had the same routine for every Sunday we had in this stunning country. Up early to catch the first boat to Interlaken. So the day would start with breathtaking views from the hotel room.

After breakfast it was a short walk to the boat stop. Spiez always has the most stunning flower displays.

The Lake Thun trip lasts a couple of hours and is just the most relaxing thing I have ever experienced.

The views of the The Alps are never ending.

It’s amazing how the Swiss manage find the most amazing places for roads, tunnels and buildings.

The lake is deep, very deep and it’s almost hypnotic. The colours are frequently breathtaking.

Eventually the lake narrows as we arrive in Interlaken.

Hawklad would always love to spend his trip outside, watching the mountains slowly drift past. He also loved listening on this trip to the traditional Swiss Choir.

Then it’s back to the hotel for a balanced diet of Heinz Tomato Ketchup with some optional food.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly virtual trip to Alpine Heaven. Stunning Switzerland.

Switzerland is a place we visited many times as a family. Not been there since 2015 but it’s still a special place for me and Hawklad. This Sunday we are going to revisit one of our finest memories. The trip to the Gonnergrat.

The Gonnergrat is a rocky ridge that stands at 3135m (10285ft). At the top the you find a gothic looking hotel, a beautiful chapel, restaurants and two astronomical observatories.

The train trip from Zermat to the top is truly epic. Its Europe’s highest open air railway. It’s a nice feeling to know that the electricity it takes to climb the mountain is generated by the trains breaking system on the way down.

The summit has a stunning alpine panorama but the jewel is being so close to one of the worlds most iconic mountains, The Matterhorn.

The Gonnergrat overlooks two glaciers. The glacier system is the second largest in The Alps.

It’s just the most glorious place. It has the most amazing atmosphere, the air is staggeringly fresh. It’s as if you are almost able to touch heaven.

In places the Gonnergrat has an out of world look which contrasts with the stunning alpine valleys below.

So I give you the Gonnergrat. A truly epic place. A place which is currently our highest ever location. It is 41 times higher than the hill we live on. That fact is very important to Hawklad. He likes that fact very much.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it’s time for our weekly virtual trip to stunning Switzerland. Pure Alpine Heaven.

One morning on every trip, I would be let out early to go for a short European jog.

Not too far as breakfast would be soon calling.

Everyone of today’s photos was taken from the route of my run.

It took me just under 40 minutes to do the route. Adding a couple of photo stops.

So in just 40 minutes, all this beauty.

So much on the doorstep of the hotel. The amazing thing is that Switzerland has so many places like this.

You don’t need to be running here to literally have your breathe taken away.

I might enjoy running but I have to say there are better ways to exercise and take in the beauty of Lake Thun.

Whitby

It feels like it’s been an eternity since we last took in some seaside air. I think it’s just under two years. TWO YEARS…. That must be my longest ever inland run. Especially not great when you are a seaside child, born on the North Yorkshire coast. One day with patience.

This is Whitby. Here’s a few random facts about this beautiful little town.

  • Captain James Cook lived here and his famous ship the Endeavour was built here.
  • Whitby has some of the best Fish and Chips on the planet.
  • The black semi-precious stone Whitby Jet.
  • Bram Stoker developed the idea of his Dracula book here. The opening chapters are set here. Also the idea of Dracula taking on the form of a huge black dog is based on local legends.

When I was a kid we would come here on a day trip by train. While my parents went about doing parenting things, I would be sent up the 199 steps to The Abbey which is in the background of the second photo. My job was to hunt for Dracula’s grave. I never did find it but maybe next time.

I’m not sure that time wasting parenting excuse would have any chance of success with our son. More chance of him convincing me to go. These days we come to Whitby for the chips, the ice cream, the beautiful beach and a bit of dinosaur fossil hunting. This part of the country has been named Jurassic Coast for the number of discoveries it yields. This is one of ours.

So let’s hope it’s not long before the fossil hunting is back underway.