It’s Sunday so it’s time for a bit of Switzerland.
Time travelling back a few years. The Hotel Owner takes a look at our shorts, T-shirt and sunglasses.
“I do hope you have brought something warmer with you. It’s going to be warm this morning but we have a cold snap coming through this afternoon. If not let me know and I can get you some jumpers”
I know it’s a generalisation but I always found the Swiss to be staggeringly polite. My partner knew this country so well. Even though this was deep into May she knew it was worth bringing a few items of wool. So with warmer gear in my rucksack we set off. Within a couple of hours it was most appreciated.
Another thing about Switzerland. The weather forecasts. In the UK our gerbils give more accurate forecasts than the weather services. Switzerland is different. Like its trains the forecasts are usually precision perfect. Each day would start with watching the weather guide on the TV. No weather presenter here. Stunning live web videos from the countries best locations with the hourly forecast underneath. I could watch that all day. So on this Sunday the forecast had snow from 2pm. At 1pm the clouds rolled in and suddenly the temperatures dropped sharply. Just after 2pm the snow started.
We watched the snow line descend rapidly down the mountains.
A few snow ball fights later and we found ourselves in the hotel enjoying copious amounts of pizza and apfelsaftschorle. The Hotel Owner confidently predicting that tomorrow would be a sun cream day.
The next morning we opened the hotel window and were rewarded with this view. Yesterday’s cold snap was so worth it.
It’s Sunday so it’s time for a bit of beautiful Switzerland.
This times it’s a delightful alpine meadow walk in Wimmis.
Wimmis is a small municipality in the canton of Bern. A short walk from our hotel in Spiez finds us out into the meadows and heading towards Wimmis.
Alpine meadows make for some of the most relaxing walking country on the planet.
On one side you get glimpses of Lake Thun. Looking the other way brings on glorious views of The Alps.
For most of the walk we had the privilege of being accompanied by stunning birds of prey. Son was in awe. His encyclopaedic knowledge in full flow.
After a couple of hours it was classed as most definitely a two ice lolly walk.
It’s Sunday so it must be time for a bit of calming Switzerland.
Last couple of weeks have found us replaying some wonderful memories from a family trip to the pyramid mountain. The Niesen.
I had a couple of lovely emails saying how much they had enjoyed the views and asked if I had any more photos from that trip. Thank you and here goes with round 3 then.
As with a number of Swiss mountains you can enjoy a hot drink, fine food and maybe something a little stronger at the top. The Niesen has a wonderful sun lounge that offers stunning views of The Alps.
And someone enjoyed himself.
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.
It’s time for another slice of that wonderful country – Switzerland.
One mountain in particular towers over Spiez. Where our hotel base was. Beautiful Niesen. Son calls it the pyramid mountain.
It’s the northern edge of a spectacular mountain ridge and is 7749ft high (2362m). A short train journey takes you to the base of the mountain. As son was still quite young we were restricted on walking distances. Plus it was often a few steps of walking then more time to dream.
So we got off the train at Frutigen and walked along the lovely Kander River. Eventually arriving at the Mulenen and the Niesenbahn.
An old Funicular will carry you to the top. In places it is scarily steep. For the mad ones amongst us – once a year – you can enter the mountains stair run. A stairway follows the route of the Funicular to the top. Comprising of 11674 steps. It is the Worlds Longest Stairway. Really unfortunately the day we went up was one of the stairways closed days – that’s a shame….
As the Funicular moves above the tree line the views open out.
Next week we will continue the story on the summit. It is truly one of the great views. As good as I’ve had the privilege of seeing.
It’s Sunday so it must be a Swiss Sunday. It’s my little tribute to that beautiful country.
I had a completely different set of photos lined up. Proper high alpine ones. But this week I’ve had one image in my head. It’s featured in a few late night dreams. No mountain landscape here. Just one house balcony. The house is in Spiez. It’s on a lovely little street behind the towns Schloss (castle). At least once on every trip we would have to walk past the house. On the house balcony there are a couple of human size fantasy models. Son loves them.
Drag yourself away from fantasy Middle Earth and you quickly get views like these.
Then it’s a view across the Lake.
Spiez is such a beautiful town. Sandwiched between the mountains and Lake Thun.
It’s Sunday so it’s time for a bit of beautiful Switzerland.
Our family Aspergers holidays often heavily featured reassuring repetition. Sunday mornings would see a trip across Lake Thun to Interlaken. A walk round the beautiful town. Maybe even a game of crazy golf. Switzerland loves its crazy golf. Then the first hot chocolate of the trip while sat outside watching the Paragliders fly off the local mountain top.. Finally a trip to a wonderful Swiss gift shop. Clocks, Calendars and Schleich toy animals.
Only once did we vary the Sunday routine with a trip to Lenk. A stunning village set in a wide valley with picture postcard views of The Alps. Walking heaven and beautiful waterfalls.
How did we negotiate the change in routine. The promise of the finest ice cream on the planet with the added clause that on Monday he could buy three Schleich Toys.
Was it too soon to start him on wine….
Lenk is such a peaceful place to visit especially on a Sunday morning. Your not shopping, your not watching paragliding, your probably not playing crazy golf. Your chilling out, going for a walk, skiing in the winter, going to church, or sitting having drinks and tasty ice cream. What else do you need on Sunday.
One of the hardest things to adjust to over the last three years has been that my world has severely contracted. It’s rare for me to travel more than a few miles. Certainly had no holidays in that time. I end up feeling very cut off and a million miles from anywhere.
Then you get days (like most of us) which are bleak. Sad. Depressing. When my dear mum got those days she would listen to sad music. She said it cheered her up. Although I love sad songs they just don’t cheer me up. Looking at old photos helps a lot. But these often leave me with a feeling – I wish I was there now.
So I started something a little different. My own little armchair world tour. I have a list of carefully selected webcams which I can run through in 10 minutes. Many of the webcams are places I’ve been. Some are wonderful views. Some might just be a street corner which has a poignant memory. Then a few webcams are from places I so want to visit one day.
I really look forward to my daily armchair tour. It’s exciting seeing what the places are looking like currently. What’s the weather like? Is it busy? Has anything changed? As I enjoy it so much I tend to save it up. Keep it just in case I need cheering up or calming down later.
So to give you a feel I’m going to leave you with a few of the webcams. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Cape Town Webcam
We left last Sunday having just arrived at the top of a little mountain which is special to me. The FIRST.
The First is a smallish mountain overlooking the beautiful Swiss Town of Grindelwald.
It is 7100 feet high and it takes about 25 minutes on the mini cable car to the top. You can just sit on the grass and drink in the the views.
At the top you can have fine Swiss food and drink
Or enjoy high level walks.
Or the brave can fly at breakneck speed.
Or you can do a number of platform walks across the cliff face or into space. Only for those with a great head for heights (or in this case drops).
The First is just a fun mountain. Every time you visit here you can do something different. So many memories available to be made. Just goes to show that you don’t need to be the biggest to be one of the best.
It’s Sunday. We are still clinging to our mad old planet. So it’s time to breathe and visit a place seemingly immune to the growing madness. A place of peace and beauty. It’s Switzerland.
I’ve been so fortunate to visit this wonderful country on a number of occasions. So many stunning locations. But I have a soft spot for one mountain. It’s called The First.
It’s not that big. It’s classed as a minor summit of the Schwarzhorn. But it would be massive if it was in the UK. It’s all relative.
The trip starts with a beautiful train journey to Grindelwald.
The First is special to me. It was the first Swiss Mountain I went up. It’s the one I’ve been on top the most. It’s the one I stood on top in a T-shirt and shorts in the middle of a massive snow drift. In fact it was the first adventure I ever had in this great country. On a Sunday 17 years ago.
So forgive me. Lots of photos.
Once in Grindelwald you take a small cable car to the top. The views are epic.
And they just keep on coming.
The higher you get The Alps slowly reveal themselves.
How can a country be this beautiful.
Eventually you arrive at the top of The First.
Next week the adventure will continue.