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.
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.
This is a photograph that I always keep coming back to. Especially today. It’s a photo that can take me in two different directions. Sadness or Happiness. Currently it’s in the direction of happiness.
A meal and a drink outside while gazing upon one the worlds most epic mountains, The Eiger. Then a walk from Kleine Scheidegg down to Lauterbrunnen. Snow on the tops but wonderfully warm. Walking down listening to our son talk about Dr Who and monsters. A two hour walk was just not long enough for him, he only scratched the surface of his Time Lord memory banks. Listing to my partner laugh at our sons numerous monster jokes.
Yes a beautiful day. All flooding back thanks to a treasured old photograph.
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.
It’s time for another bit of virtual sightseeing. Last year I started my very own world tour. Let’s see how far I can get powered only by
- My falling to bits exercise bike
- My falling to bits running shoes
When I started the tour I was restricted to Yorkshire now that has become the garden. So let’s see where we left off last time. At the start of June we had reached Moldova. Now the journey continues. We still had many kilometres unused and we have now added another 1800km. So where have we got to….
Well with quite a few km’s still in the bank we have arrived at Volgograd. Formerly known as Stalingrad. This Russian city was founded in 1589. In certain important days the city can be officially called Hero City Stalingrad. In 1942 the city was the setting for one of the darkest, bloodiest and most horrific battles in the history of warfare. Approximately 2 million soldiers were killed, injured or captured in the 6 month battle. 40000 civilians were killed and the city was destroyed.
The city now has a population of just over a million. So what does it look like now.
******All city photos are from Tripadvisor******
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.
It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly virtual visit to beautiful Switzerland. It’s such a stunning country and means so much to our little family. Yes it been a few years since our list trip but the memories are still strong.
It’s a country where you always seem to be near a stunning mountain or a peaceful lake.
Those mountains are just so impressive. Towering over the largely unspoilt landscapes.
The mountains, lakes and villages just seem to work beautifully together.
So yes a place where memories are made. Like this fallen tree. Will always be that tree where a Dad trying to show off found out just how cold that water really was. I thought me being so streamlined would have not produced such an enormous splash.
A country with so many memories available. You don’t need to fish so hard to catch one.
Remembering the unique alpine sounds. None more so than the frequent ringing of church bells. In this land the bells are not drowned out by noise pollution. It’s such a beautiful sound echoing through the valleys.
So until next week, take care and remember it’s still a wonderful world.
Ok I know I go on about Switzerland. How I think it’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been to. But I need to set the record straight. In my eyes we are so lucky to live in a world with so many wonderful places. Every country, every region will have at least one place. One special place. I’ve been so lucky to actually visit many of those places in Yorkshire, England, Scotland, Wales, France, Spain, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Congo, South Africa and yes Switzerland.
Yes today Yorkshire is separate from England – must be time for the next King Richard III to take us out of the place which has became the play thing for the Madness of King Boris.
If I can’t physically visit places then I can see the beauty through virtual trips.
Yes we live in a world which can still be beautiful. It can still be a wonderful life. Surely it’s time for us to not to always focus on all the ugliness which fills the news these days. Time to focus on the beauty. Time to delete the #itsanuglyworld and get behind something like #itsabeautifulplanet. Time for us to promote those special places. To give others a glimpse of what is truly out there.
So I will give you my first offering. I give you Northumberland.
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.
It is my civic duty to continue your enlightenment in the dark arts of being from Yorkshire. Think of it as a Public Service Broadcast. Think Bear Grylls and Born Survivor. One day you might end in deepest, darkest Barnsley – these help guides may just end of saving your life.
So here goes. Pay attention and digest the following Yorkshire list.
- Don’t ever get into a discussion with someone from Yorkshire about how tough your childhood was. A true Yorkie will be compelled to outdo you. If you don’t believe me look up the Monty Python and the Four Yorkshiremen Sketch.
- Queens English is not recognised in Yorkshire. You need to speak Yorkshire. It’s the only dialect which not one single voice recognition system has been able to crack.
- To say Yorkshire you need to say YARKSHAR…
- To say Hello you need to say OW DO or EY UP
- To say Goodbye you need to say SE’THE
- To say Very you say REET
- To say ‘Can I Please Borrow’ you say CADGE
- To say Nothing you say NOWT
- To say You it’s THA
- To say Yes it’s AYE
- To say ‘I would like that one’ then you say BAGSY
- Be careful with the word CHAMPION. In most part of the worlds it’s a fine shoe and sports clothing brand. In Yorkshire Champion means Excellent
- Similarly in the rest of the world OK means I’m OK. In Yorkshire to say I’m OK you need to say ‘I’m fair t’ middling’
- Someone approaching you and asking for a CROGGY is either a term of affection or they are asking for a lift on your bike.
- If someone shouts ‘tha Chuffing ……’. That could mean you are being physically sworn at or it could be a warning that you are smoking and you need to jump into the nearest river.
- You need to remember that the first Heavier than Air Manned Flight took place in Yorkshire over 150 years ago. I hear you ask WHY. The answer was that in the same year it became the law that Yorkshire Ferrets had to be kept in trouser pockets. Wouldn’t you be desperate to leave the county….
- When you speak to someone from Yorkshire then you need to brace yourself. It’s only a matter of time before Yorkshire being the centre of the known universe is brought up. Quickly followed by the following line ‘which over place can claim to have a Captain of the Starship Enterprise, the first ever female Dr Who, the head of the X-Men and a member of the Fellowship of the Ring.
- Never try to argue with someone from Yorkshire as this will either result in the Yorkshire Terriers being set upon you or you will have to endure the following words – ‘you do know that Wuthering Heights was set here.’
- If you are offered a Yorkshire Pudding then you need to be on your toes. This could either mean it’s being served as a starter, main course or sweet – or probably ALL three. In inclement weather you might also be offered one as a protective hat.
- If you spend more than 5 minutes in the presence of someone from Yorkshire then the subject of CRICKET will enter the conversation. Specifically Cricket and Rhubarb. Just nod and smile and let the following local expression rattle around your brain. ‘Me ol mum could ave hit tha’ ball with a stick o’ rhubarb’. Also don’t be shocked if you then here ‘tha’s got more edges than a cracked bedpan’ – *** please note I cleaned that one up considerably***
- You will hear many references to needing a Yorkshire passport. Currently this is not the case but in certain parts of the county the wearing of string vests and knotted hankies is a requirement.
- The word ‘Scraps’. Here in Yorkshire it can mean two things. It can mean what happens when people get physical as they fight over the last frozen chicken left n the shop freezer. But it can also mean food heaven. Ask for a ‘bag a scraps’ in a Yorkshire Fish and Chip Shop and you will get a portion of the deep fried batter leftovers which are at the bottom of the fryer. But be careful with how you say ‘scraps’ to the Chipman and don’t ever make eye contact. This might end up with the chipman attacking you with a frying pan.