It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly virtual trip to beautiful Switzerland. This wonderful little country has been a special holiday destination for our family for a couple of generations now. Life has happened and that family is much changed now. Much smaller. Now the baton of Alpine Trips is really just lies with Hawklad and me. We must find a way of keeping that tradition going. Why?
Because family tradition is so important. Once it’s gone it’s gone….
Because Switzerland is so special and so worth it…..
Sadly 2021 doesn’t look like being a year where we can venture those 1000 miles again. It’s been 5 years now since our last trip. So let’s keep those memories strong until life opens up again and once more a family trip to alpine heaven can happen again.
It’s Sunday so it’s time for our weekly trip to beautiful Switzerland. One of most stunning countries on our planet. A place which has a close link with our family for generations. Due to life we haven’t been able to visit in person since 2015. But it’s still close to our hearts and we will return one day.
Although Switzerland is completely land locked you are never far from water. Whether it’s one of its myriad alpine rivers and streams or one of its 1500 stunning lakes. Water always seems to be in the forefront of any Swiss photo. This morning what would I give to be in this beautiful country and stood next to Swiss water.
It’s Sunday so it must be time for a trip to Alpine Heaven. To a place which has been close to our family and it’s heart for years. Life has happened and we haven’t been able to visit here since 2015. I give you stunning Switzerland.
Our family looks very different these days. Life has definitely happened. Now the only ones who will carry on the Swiss tradition are Hawklad and me. So that’s what we will do. Virtually until life shifts again and then we can once again step on those alpine slopes again. That day can’t come quick enough for me.
So no new animal photos this New Years. A year without the holiday zoo trip. So we replaced it with a few hours watching a David Attenborough DVD. Which worked out quite well and significantly cheaper.
“Dad I’d like to go to the Galápagos Islands”
Your mum went there on one of her adventures. I must find the photos she took.
“What did she think of it.”
She really loved it. Well until one of the volcanoes had a minor eruption which restricted where she could go and then she caught a minor tropical disease as she left.
She ended up being holed up in a hotel room Ecuador. She missed her flight back.
“Didn’t you fly out to check on her?”
What do you think. If she’s had a tropical pesky then she could keep it to herself. 6000 miles was as close as I was getting….
“Yes I’m with you on that Dad”.
15 years after that tropical virus the ‘avoid the pesky’ strategy is in overdrive here. It has been for 9 months. It will be for many months to come. I’m fairly relaxed about things but Hawklad most definitely isn’t. So we batten down the hatches. Get ready for the long haul. It might be an idea to stock up on those Attenborough documentaries. They are probably going to get some hammer during 2021.
It’s Sunday so it must be time for a much needed bit of alpine heaven. A dream destination. A place which is so special to our little family. Yes we haven’t been able to visit since 2015. But one day…
It’s time for Switzerland.
We always wanted to visit this beautiful land over Christmas but sadly never managed it. The weather is most certainly not very festive here. But let’s try to imagine what it feels like by going back to some of those visits where it snowed. Happy times
It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly trip to alpine heaven. A dream destination. Let’s visit beautiful Switzerland.
Switzerland is a place we haven’t been able to visit since 2015. But it is still so special to our little family. One day we will return.
The weather has been awful here in Yorkshire. Day after day of damp, misty greyness. I so need to experience colour again. To breathe in that fresh mountain air. To experience being alive again. So let’s spend a few moments drinking in the colours of Switzerland.
It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly trip down memory lane. To family holidays and dream destinations. To see staggering beauty. To experience crisp, fresh mountain air. To experience the peace. To see the mountains and lakes. To see the awe of the The Alps. It’s time to visit Switzerland.
In these odd times where travel seems such an alien concept. Where our passports are gathering dust in drawers. Suitcases are redundant. Its so vital we continue to dream. To remember what a wonderful world we actually live in. To remind ourselves that places like Switzerland do exist.
Yes it’s now been 5 years since our last trip. Our last holiday. But one day we will return.
I was conscious that this Christmas will be different for us, different for Hawklad.
No end of school term activities and parties.
No Carol singing in the city while drinking hot chocolate.
No Santa Train ride. Ok we are doing our own car version.
No Charity Santa coming through the village on a trailer pulled by a tractor.
No festive walks along the beach and finishing off at a little cafe for his festive ice cream.
No visits to friends.
No family meet-ups.
No trips to the Christmas Market.
No trip to the zoo in New Years Day.
No family Christmas meal.
No Boxing Day walk with picnic.
No festive trip to the cinema to see a blockbuster and then whatever festive film they have showing.
No carol singers coming round the houses on Christmas Eve.
Basically it will be just the two of us and pets. Sticking to the house and garden. Maybe only one trip out to do the Santa Car ride. I was feeling bad about that so I brought it up with Hawklad. I explained the differences to him
……. so it’s going to be really different this year. How do you feel about that Hawklad?
“So no family at all?”
“Absolutely no visitors?”
“No festive trips out?”
It doesn’t look like it.
“Dad, can we order in extra pizza over Christmas?”
“Well that will be just fine then…….”
I was listening to the radio this morning and the presenter was happily chatting away. He talked about how things had changed for him. This got me thinking about how much it has for me. Changed beyond recognition.
Let’s go back 20 years
- Just starting a life changing relationship
- Still playing football and cricket,
- Regular mountaineering and climbing,
- Drinking alcohol a bit too much,
- My social life often centred around the pub,
- I would get edgy if I wasn’t meeting up regularly with friends,
- Using alcohol to overcome social anxieties,
- Work was super busy with so many meetings. So many people to deal with,
- Spending little time at home (time at home was seen as a bit of a waste)
- Frequent family meetings revolving around mum,
- Concerts, football matches, the Theatre and the Cinema,
- Trying to avoid being by myself and if I was I would try to drown out the silence with my MP3 player,
- Fuelled on caffeine.
Now contrast that with this week….
- Single parenting,
- Revisiting wonderful memories,
- Emailing one or two friends,
- No work,
- Housebound with one trip beyond the gates to the Vets,
- Tea total, no caffeine,
- Lots of silence,
- No meet-ups,
- No prospect of holidays, trips out, concerts,
- Time spent talking with Hawklad,
- Only one other physical conversation (briefly with the Vet),
- Working out in the garden,
- Trying to practice mindfulness.
Life definitely has changed. It always does eventually. Some things for the worse. Some things for the better. Some things I would change back. But many things I cherish. On balance I definitely wouldn’t go back.
It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly virtual trip to beautiful Switzerland. A country that is 900 miles away from our house in England but actually feels more like where our hearts want to be. One day we will return.
Today we are going back to 2015 and our last trip to this alpine wonderland. It was the second last day of our holiday and the weather was glorious. So we went on a bit if an expedition. We went to the Zermatt. From there we caught the mountain train which took us to 10285ft (3135m) to the top of the Gonnergrat. The train is an experience as it’s Europe’s highest open-air railway.
The top is a huge rocky ridge with a luxury hotel, restaurant, shops, astronomical observatories, a beautiful stone chapel and views of The Matterhorn. It overlooks a stunning glacier and has views of 29 4000m mountains. It’s a truly epic place.
After a few hours at the top we walked down most of the way. Poignantly this would prove to be our last long family walk as a team of 3. So it’s extra special to me and our son.
I give you the Gonnergrat.