Swiss Sunday

Is it really 7 years since we were last in Switzerland. SEVEN YEARS. That’s a crazy and seriously sobering thought.

Is our much smaller family any closer to returning? Well we have various plans to get there but ultimately it all depends on how Hawklad is doing and feeling. It’s just about keeping the light burning brightly and being patient.

Patience is the word.

Before I started visiting this wonderful country, I desperately wanted to see two massive Swiss Treasures. The mighty mountains, The Eiger and The Matterhorn. The Eiger was an immediate success. On my first trip, I could see the mountain as the train carried us away from the airport and towards Spiez. Then the next day, a trip in Spring snow to Grindelwald, the clouds parted to reveal its awesomeness. Every holiday seemed to bring more and more epic Eiger encounters.

Then we come to The Matterhorn, the PESKY mountain. The clouds never seemed to part, the mountain never made an appearance. For years it was like that. Summer, Autumn, Spring, Late Winter, always the same result. Arrive at Zermatt and the thickest of clouds had rolled in. But with patience, eventually the clouds did part. That first time as I pushed baby Hawklad in his pushchair, trying to stop him bawling out Zermatt high street. It was seriously cloudy, one last not so hopeful look and unbelievably the clouds parted for a few brief seconds. It was so worth the wait. I so wish I could find that photo I managed to take in those brief moments . But the spell was broken and from then on, no more mountain in hiding.

So yes, let’s hope for a return to this magical land. Just got to be PATIENT.

Swiss Sunday

A time just before parenthood and I was sat in Departure Lounge at Zurich Airport, waiting for a plane back to England. Opposite was a young couple clearly waiting for the same plane. As we chatted they excitedly described their first venture into this wonderful land called Switzerland. I remember them saying that they had found a wonderland. They told a story about being caught out in heavy rain while walking and a local farmer brought them into his house for a warm drink. When the rain didn’t pass he drove them to the nearest train station.

Here’s the irony. Probably during the very same rainstorm, we were walking through beautiful Gstaad and guess what, yes the heavens truly opened. Proper RAIN. We tried to take shelter in the nearest doorway. Quickly the door opened and we were beckoned inside. In Swiss German we were told to ‘come inside before we got soaked’. We were treated to Italian coffee and cake as the storm passed over. Our hosts being truly kind and nice. I remember joking that if this had been England, the door would have been quickly bolted shut with us still outside. The smiling response said it all..

“Probably, but this is Switzerland and it’s just different here…”

It so is…..

And to be fair to Gstaad, every other time we have been there the weather has been perfect. Plus they do a mighty fine watermelon….

HAPPY NEW YEAR. WE CAN DO THIS. ❤️

Swiss Sunday

May 2014. Yorkshire had gone the winter without any snow. Hawklad had almost forgotten what the white stuff was like. May was leaving it late, but finally a family holiday to Switzerland saved the day.

Hawklad got his winter playground.

Happy memories.

Switzerland is a special place, it generates happy memories.

Swiss Sunday

It’s time for a trip down Swiss Memory Lane.

Back in 2011, a family holiday to stunning Switzerland, this time Hawklad’s Granny was with us. Joining us on this family adventure for a panoramic mountain train journey to Lucerne. Granny had been coming to this wonderful country since the 1950s. This journey proved to be her last visit, it was one she really enjoyed.

Lucerne is a small city famed for its historic architecture built on the banks of a beautiful lake to a backdrop of snow covered mountains.

The star attraction being The Kapellbrucke (Chapel Bridge), a 205m covered wooden footbridge featuring beautiful wall art. It was built in 1333 and is Europe’s oldest covered bridge.

As ever Hawklad brought some of his friends for the trip. By all accounts they enjoyed the adventure as well.

Swiss Sunday

A late afternoon walk around Spiez and to the banks of beautiful Lake Thun. Warm but still with snow on the mountains. A perfect time to visit Switzerland. Looking at the date stamps on the photos, is it really 11 years.

As the sun started to set behind the mountains the lighting became truly magical. A perfect time to breathe.

After the evening walk, time to properly concentrate on getting as much tomato ketchup on Fries as is humanly possible.

Swiss Sunday.

That’s a proper view from the hotel bedroom window…

So many beautiful deep blue sky family days in Switzerland. But every so often the weather closes in. For me that just makes this special place look even more special. I’m definitely dreaming about family trips here again, just need to wait for the right time.

That’s what you call a proper lake steamer

Swiss Sunday

A bit of a family Swiss holiday tradition. Sundays would be a boat trip around Lake Thun, from Spiez to Interlaken. A time to relax and breathe.

Spiez is such a beautiful town.

You surely must be really brave to cut those lawns…..

That’s an epic road to travel as well.

On this trip the boat echoed to the beautiful sound traditional Swiss singing.

It’s all really thirsty work for Hawklad and his buddies.

And finally back to Spiez, that’s a proper Sunday.

Swiss Sunday

Looking out on a Yorkshire evening scene and the clouds are rolling in. Yes it’s been sunny at times with blue skies but it’s just not a Swiss sky. It’s something Hawklad talks about, just how BLUE a blue sky is in Alpine heaven.

It’s a breathtaking colour with seemingly so little air pollution to cloud the view. Now I’m thinking about the clean fresh air, I know it sounds strange to say this but breathing in The Alps is just seems better, healthier.

And even when the weather closes in, Switzerland is just perfect. I so hope it’s not too long before we get the chance to experience these special gifts again real soon.

Swiss Sunday

Must be time for another Sunday walk down memory lane. A virtual trip to alpine heaven. SWITZERLAND. This one takes us back to 2012, where did those years go.

A family adventure started with a certain young child wanting to try this cool looking drink, available at the train station. I can’t think why he wasn’t allowed it….

The spectacular Aare Gorge is a just under 2km long with a narrow, raised walkway along one side of the vertical cliffs. It lies just a short distance from the infamous Reichenback Falls where Sherlock Holmes fell into the abyss with Moriaty. At times the Gorge narrows to just a few feet wide. All this accompanied by the sound of a deafening river, crashing through the the narrow rock gap below. Definitely not a place for claustrophobics, but definitely an absolute thrill ride. At night it must be a truly terrifying place. Tiny Hawklad absolutely loved it, he was convinced that monsters and sea creatures must live here, sadly he didn’t managed to capture any on his little toy camera. But it’s still a location he talks about today. Maybe soon he can go back again. Let’s hope so.