Swiss Sunday

Surely it’s time to have a wander down memory lane to family holidays to magical Switzerland.

Ask Hawklad to name his favourite playground and without hesitation he goes for the ‘one by the Swiss Lake’. It sits on the banks of Lake Thun, between Spiez and Faulensee. So many trips there. So much Hawklad happy playtime there.

Looking at the latest web photos, it’s changed so much since we we’re last there in 2015, lots of money spent on it. Now it’s called Spielplatz Piratenbucht and it still looks wonderful. Aptly given the name it’s a great place to watch boats as well.

Guess where we will be visiting when we do get back to this special country. More memories to be made, just like this photo below. The man stretching in blue had just been subjected to 10 minutes of Hawklad telling him all about Doctor Who. Poor man didn’t speak a word of English. He just stood there smiling and nodding. Trying to explain to this man what Little Hawklad had been telling him really did stretch my German. Try explaining a Dalek to someone who has no idea who this person Dr Who in a language your not entirely fluent in….

Swiss Sunday

Back to 2015 and our last family of 3 trip to Alpine Heaven, just before the world changed. A perfect deep blue sky week – almost. One slate grey day, so we heeded across the lake towards the closest mountain for a mini adventure. The Niederhorn is a relatively small mountain (6440ft) which seemed to be just below the cloud line.

A relatively small mountain here but way higher than anything the UK has got to offer. Memories are flooding back now. Chatting with Hawklad about how this mountain must kinda get overlooked sometimes in The Alps. Yet if the mountain packed it’s bags and moved to the UK it would be treasured, held in awe. Hawklad laughing at the thought of the Niederhorn needing to buy a waterproof coat for the weather in its new home.

Coats were definitely needed on this day. So was the hot chocolate and warming soup in the mountain top restaurant. But you know what, it was a fantastic adventure, Switzerland always is….

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

As a kid, I felt trapped in a northern costal town. A town surrounded by sea and industry. Back in those days, travel was a rarity in this hard working environment. Money was tight, dreams confined. Like many from that windy, smokey town, we felt cut off from the world. The only world we had was what we could see and touch, which wasn’t much.

But one snotty nosed kid with big Joe 90 glasses (look that one up 🤣🤣🤣) would walk into town every Saturday morning. Armed with money from Dad to buy cod off the returning fishing boats. He would spend some time waiting for the boats to land on the beaches in the Amusements. Watching other kids play the latest versions of Space Invaders or PAC-MAN. But before that he would be found in the Town’s library, sat by the indoor goldfish pond (yep the library had one). Looking at pictures in mountaineering books, of exotic places, of exhilarating adventures. A life completely different to that found in this isolated, grey place. One place really captivated him. A magical looking place called Switzerland. One mountain hooked him. It looked ominous, it looked foreboding. Reading tales of heroism and tragedy on its sheer ice filled walls. He dreamt of being there, standing next to The Eiger.

Never in his wildest dreams did that kid ever imagine that decades later that seaside town would be history. He would have visited on many occasions that magical Swiss landscape, it was even better than he ever imagined AND his son would stand under the mighty Eiger.

You just never know what paths will open up when the time is right.

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.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it’s time to dream. Dream about family holidays to Alpine Heaven, to beautiful Switzerland. It’s been a while now but maybe that time will come again.

I was listening to the radio when the Presenter talked about how difficult it was to find new holiday ideas because travel blogs were getting longer and longer. More detailed. The choice was getting tougher.

So an idea popped into my head. SEVEN word only travel blogs. Just 7 words to describe a country, a city or a tourist attraction. So we tried it on Switzerland. Hawklad went for

Happy childhood memories, beauty, warm, mountains, love.

And Muppet Dad went for

Alps, Lakes, Relaxation, Mountain Air, Walking Heaven

Another SEVEN words come to mind.

The best place I have ever visited

And another SEVEN words

I want to go back to SWITZERLAND.

Swiss Sunday

Last week I was asked when was the last time I was in Switzerland. Instantly I responded.

August 2015.

The follow up question was much tougher. Back then did I realise it was going to be my last trip, certainly for many years.

Not officially. Some vague discussions briefly mentioned about another family trip in a years time. Maybe that next time we could take Hawklad’s Granny for one last visit, her husband’s ashes are scattered here. But this time it felt different to me, it felt like times were changing. Some things can’t be avoided for too long. So I walked those Swiss paths and kinda realised things might be very different if another trip happened.

Hawklad’s mum clearly had things on her mind as well. Without any warning, on one walk she pointed to a spot and with a matter of fact tone, quietly whispered. “You can scatter some of my ashes here one day”.

A day later on a Swiss train to Grindelwald she mentioned another place in Switzerland where she wanted Ashes scattered. Same location as her Dad.

You sometimes never join the dots up…

Now the next trip will be very different. But one day when Hawklad is ready, we will venture back. A very different family now.