Swiss Sunday

Switzerland is a country that means so much to this little old Yorkshire family. So many holidays there, so many memories. It’s a special place.

But things have changed. The next time we travel there, it will be different. It’s a much smaller family now. It will just be the two of us. It will be the first trip to The Alps without Hawklad’s mum. But how different will it be. We would always have the same holiday base, Spiez. The Hotel Seegarten, just a few feet from beautiful Lake Thun and it’s marina. We would arrive Saturday night and then on Sunday morning we would always take the boat across the lake to Interlaken. Hawklad loved the relaxing boat journey, he would spend his time on deck. Then a walk round Interlaken. A hot chocolate sat outside a beautiful hotel watching the brave souls landing paragliders after an exhilarating trip from the top of the local mountain. Then a bit of crazy golf, the Swiss do like that sport. A pizza them a trip to a beautiful gift shop. A shop with the most elaborate Swiss Clocks and most importantly a huge selection of Schleich Toy Animals.

The question is….

When we do go back again. Do we stick to the Sunday tradition or do we go for something completely different. Those Sunday mornings were definitely fun and memorable but life has changed. Would it feel the same for Hawklad without his mum. We have talked about it and wow do I regret that….. He’s minded to keep the tradition but add one new thing. Paraglide from that mountain. I think I need a Jumbo Jet size glider to carry my most un-aerodynamic body down to the ground in a controlled manner.

Gliders land here as we had hot chocolates in that hotel

Swiss Sunday

I love Switzerland. So many holidays, so many memories. It’s such a special place. I would move there in a heartbeat. Hopefully these Sunday homages give just a feel for why I feel that way. But it’s not just me. Hawklad feels the same way. It’s a country where he feels comfortable and safe. He finds it exciting and full of wonder. Yes Switzerland is special.

Adventures

Now you that is spectacular. The cliffs at Bempton. Another Yorkshire Gem.

This world has so much to offer.

We travelled here yesterday. A visit to one of the countries best bird viewing sites. That good that the Northern Hemispheres only Albatross chooses here for a summer vacation. No albatross yesterday but we did see many sea birds and a rare chance to see a Short Eared Owl hunt over the fields. That’s some bird.

Hawklad is pushing the boundaries but under his terms. Avoiding crowds, avoiding people. The fact that he can’t face an over crowded classroom doesn’t mean that he can’t venture out. So what next…..

He has set himself some realistic goals for this year. Twelve ‘avoiding people’ targets. I’m signed up to them, so let’s see how many we can tick off during 2022 for him.

1. Visit the New Forest

2. Visit Sherwood Forest

3. Switzerland

4. Climb Yorkshire’s two highest mountains (they are small ones….)

5. Visit the Lake District and walk up one of England’s bigger mountains

6. Visit a new wildlife park

7. Go to see an Osprey hunt

8. Go for a torchlight walk on the Moors and get to see the stars with zero light pollution

9. Go to Scotland to see a Golden Eagle fly

10. Visit Stonehenge

11. Visit a new castle

12. Go for his longest ever walk

We also have a new golden rule. When we venture out, if a car park is ever half full or busier – then no questions asked, we don’t park. We continue on, find somewhere less busy or we head home.

Hopefully 2022 will show that you can avoid people and still have adventures.

Swiss Sunday

It’s the first Sunday of 2022 so it’s time for our first virtual visit to one of the great destinations in the world. Switzerland.

I can’t believe that in a few months time it will be 7 years since our last holiday here in Alpine Heaven. That’s far too long. But actually there is more to it. My partners family has been coming here regularly for generations. A clear family bond established. But life has happened and that family is much smaller now. It’s now just down to Hawklad and I to keep up that tradition. We have to get back. That’s not just me saying that, Hawklad is committed to that as well. Maybe this year…..

So as the new year arrives, I will leave the photos up to Hawklad. He can pick the locations, the memories. Here are his favourite times and places from this magical country.

Hawklad’s favourite Switzerland.

favourite town, Speiz
A seriously cool mountain
Wants to do this one day. The quick way down a mountain
Want to build that in Lego.
Beach Soccer
First ever glacier
The chocolate
The ice lollies
The golf
The drinks
The boats
The waterfalls
The Pea Soup River.
That’s a proper train station
The Cows
Sherlock Holmes
The Alps
History
That playground next to Lake Thun

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday here in damp and cold Yorkshire. I so want to be somewhere else, somewhere special. I want to have the best of dreams and adventures in a magical land. The best dreams should involve Switzerland.

I have been fortunate to visit this wonderful country on a number of occasions but sadly never during December. I so want to experience that time there, but I want to arrive in plenty of time. Santa arrives on the 6th December. On a donkey from the local forests rather than travelling airmail with reindeer’s all the way from the North Pole. This day is called Samichlaus Abend, that’s Santa’s Night. He brings bags of treats. Presents are exchanged on the night of the 24th and onwards. But Santa also comes with a dark hooded companion. That chap is in charge of punishing naughty children by hitting them with a broom of twigs. From what I’ve heard, his role is like a lighthearted pantomime villain.

From then until Christmas Eve (Helliger Abend – Holy Night), wonderful street markets, festivals and processions take place. Christmas Day often marks the start of the winter sports season.

Yes one year I would love to experience Christmas in Switzerland. We live in hope. Another dream to be worked towards.

Swiss Sunday

What can I say. I can hear the rain beat against the house windows. I can hear the wind whip down the chimney, the gate thump against the wall. The central heating is on full and it still feels cold. England is grim when it’s like this.

Earlier Hawklad basically said ‘why on earth do we choose to live here…..’. There’s a good reason why here we talk about the weather all the time.

I need to distract myself. I need to focus on my dreams. To focus on the best things in life.

Time to make a hot drink, dig out some old photos. Walk again in Switzerland. Yes that pesky Yorkshire weather is well and truly shut out now. I’m dreaming.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday night here in the UK. The heating is full on and the weather is beating against the windows. We are lucky to be live in a lovely part of the country. Rolling hills and countryside. But no mountains. I have always been drawn to the high ground. Right from childhood when I would look longingly at mountaineering book photos in the town library. A few years later I started climbing and a life long link was cemented.

I so wish I could open the curtains in the morning and gaze upon snow covered mountains.

Imaging throwing up the curtains each day and seeing this view….

That’s what I call a hotel room with a view. A Swiss view. It’s hard to find a view from this amazing country that is not dominated by glorious mountains. One day I hope to return. I need my mountain fix. I need to be back in Switzerland. One day soon I hope. Those mountains call.

Swiss Sunday

It’s a stormy here in the UK. Sat inside listening to the weather batter our little bungalow on top of a northern hill. But my thoughts are elsewhere. To dreams of walking again in Switzerland. One of the most beautiful countries in the world. Home to many family holidays and memories. A return is more than overdue. How that happens is still a work in progress. A world gripped with a pandemic. Now just a family of 2. No more extended family get together. Ashes to be brought along and scattered. Heightened anxieties and phobias. Aspergers. A long trip, with many variables to be managed now as a single parent.

But it can still happen. The frenzy of an airport might be beyond Hawklad. Train is an option, less frenzied but still hemmed in. Driving, it’s a long way for one driver. Maybe 13 hours. But I can do that plus it offers Hawklad a controlled space to travel in. Yes car is favourite at present

Google Maps Makes 13 hours seem very doable…..

Yes we can do this. Sometimes dreams don’t come easily. But look at these memories. Definitely worth the effort.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it’s must be time for our weekly trip down memory Lane. To family holidays to alpine heaven. Holidays to Wonderful Switzerland. Switzerland has been a part of Hawklad’s mums family for well over 70 years. I just needed just one visit to realise why you would want to keep coming back here, time and time again. It is a truly magical place. So as time has moved on and now those family trips are solely in the hands of Hawklad and his Muppet Dad….let’s hope the next trip is only just round the corner.

It is a family tradition.

A beautiful tradition.