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Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Grindelwald July 16th 2017

Today is our last day in Grindelwald and after consultation we decided that going to Spiez was a good option since there is a lovely castle and harbour to visit. We had a perfect day weatherwise. There was no wind and it was warm and sunny. We remember the Spiez Schloss as a place we took the boys tonwhen they were young and it being a particularly nice castle. It isn't huge and isn't grand but is well preserved and in a great setting. We had often visited the gardens and surrounding vineyards in the past but not always bothered with a visit inside. On arrival we picnicked in the gardens outside the castle which are currently planted in lovely bright flowers. Our visit to the castle followed and didn't cost us anything as it was ... read more
Family at the Speiz Castle
Castle surrounds taken from the top of the tower
Sir Deken Toole' upon his trusty stead

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Grindelwald July 15th 2017

It's was good day for a hike so we decided on our most favourite trail in this area which is from Schwarzwaldalp down to Meirengen. We got the subsidised bus up to Grosse Scheidegg which is a steep and winding ride with the claxon horn warning on bends and hidden parts of the road to oncoming traffic and bikes. The view from the Scheidegg is wonderful looking back down to Grindelwald in the distance. It sits right under the Wetterhorn mountain with sheer convoluted rock faces straight up like the Eiger. This countryside really is magnificent with soaring peaks and rock faces all around. Since we had the kids with us we got the bus down to Schwarzwaldalp where it flattens out and then is a few kilometres down to our destination. Our walk started across ... read more
Lunch below Rosenlaui
Walking the trail from Schwarzwaldalp
Reichenbach Falls

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Grindelwald July 14th 2017

I had hoped to have combined today's blog with yesterdays but we saw so much that it warranted a separate blog. The day started with rain showers in the mountains and a forecast for possible showers out of them so the Open Air Museum seemed to be a good choice where we could be outside or inside. Down in the town today was the early start for the Eiger Ultra Trail. This is an amazing race. The Ultra race is 101km and goes up to First, down to Bort, up to and over the pass to the Faulhorn, down to Burglauenen, up to Mannlichen, over to the Eiger Glacier, to Pfinstegg and down to Grindelwald. Wow, this is seriously hard. There are other races but this is the most challenging. The village centre has been transformed ... read more
Sawmilling
Family at Ballenberg Open Air Museum

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Trient July 14th 2017

In Trient and happy to be so. Another good day's walk, as we settle into routine. Breakfast, walk up, walk up, walk up, walk along, walk down, walk up, walk up, walk along, walk down, walk down, oops forgot somewhere in there there has to be an icypole or two, arrive, shower and feed. But now we are seeing familiar faces although some are huffing and puffing as much as us so the greeting is usually a nod or a wave rather than a long conversation. Unusual accomodation today. Very 'Fawlty Towers'. Some bits were quite good (evening meal soup was really good) but others were at the best unusual (huge room but nothing but a bed, single chair and a wardrobe with no hangers in it. The room was as white as Mt. Blanc with ... read more
Happy Hoskin, on the way to Champex du Lac.
Just as happy.
Swiss cows and Swiss views.

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Grindelwald July 13th 2017

After Brendan and Tracey's long trip to Milan yesterday we figured on keeping to something shorter and easier and the Lauterbrunnen Valley Circuit is always worthwhile as it can all be done on the Swiss Pass for transport. A walk up the valley is always lovely but this time we took the bus to Stechelburg well up towards the head of the valley. At the Seilbahn Station we got the cable car straight up the cliff to Murren where we had a slow wander through the car-less town looking across the valley towards the high alps and Wengen. This is a great area for hiking as it's well away from main routes. It is also the link station to the Schilthorn cable way. We had a picnic lunch in the middle of town (Swissies lose out ... read more

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Grindelwald July 12th 2017

Brendan and Tracey went off to Milan by train for the day so we were on kiddy duty. Our first option was to take them to the Bird Park where there are owls and eagles and injured birds but we couldn't get the buses to work for us without walking for ages. We chose instead to go to the Glacier Gorge after some playtime on the ropes in town. Many years ago we had visited this site but now the glacier is well back from the valley entrance. We were able to walk about a kilometre up the gorge mostly through a carved out rock path in the mountain and alongside the gorge. Where this wasn't suitable, a metal path had been cantilevered out over the river. It was a cold 10 degrees in the gorge. ... read more
The blue netting Spider Web across the canyon
Walking the Web

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Grindelwald July 11th 2017

So much for the forecast for rain. Since it seems the weather is okay for the rest of the week we could factor in a hill top walk. We got the First gondola which leaves the village and arrives at the top at 2200m. From there we all walked to the Bacalpsee which is a small alpine lake against the end of the valley. Even though we've been there several times before we cannot help but be impressed by the panoramic view of the mountains and of the town far below. We were lucky enough to spot a marmot moving through the grass as these are shy creatures that keep well away from humans. First has a few other attractions added over recent years with an aerial walkway hooked onto the side of the cliffs, a ... read more
Picnic lunch at Bacalpsee
Linds on the aerial walkway

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Versoix July 9th 2017

We met to day with a wonderful lady, Claire Lise. She is a friend of our Canadian friends, Hans and Debbie Frick. They suggested we get in touch with Claire Lise and spend some time together. Coincidentally her home was only about 5 - 6 Km's away from our place. As the heat wave was still continuing we decided not to travel too far. We met and wandered through our local Ferney-Voltaire Saturday market which was fantastic. Beautiful breads, vegetables, cheeses, meat, eggs, clothing, chickens with their heads still attached­čś«. Terrific stuff, but with only a day or so to go, we didn't purchase much but just took in the wonderful sights and aromas of the market. ******** PLEASE NOTE YOU CAN VIEW THE PREVIOUS BLOG DAYS BY SELECTING PREVIOUS LINK , JUST BELOW THE THE ... read more
The Famous Monsieur Voltaire
Fountain in Ferney Voltaire
Le Pain. Beautiful Bread

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Grindelwald July 9th 2017

Since the weather was looking a little dicey we decided that visiting somewhere indoors was in order just in case. The forecast is okay out of the mountains in the morning but raining with possible thunderstorms in the affternoon. The rain took the sting out of the heat so it is much more comfortable to move about in. We took the train to Thun and walked into the city. It being Sunday, of course everything is shut apart from transport and eating places. The first sight we saw was men surfing waves on the river by the old bridge and flood control gates. This is a bit weird to see in a city away from any beach. The covered bridges in Thun are shorter versions of those in Lucern and just as pretty with flowers decked ... read more
Thun Rathaus Platz with Thun Castle above
I told her to behave!

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Grindelwald July 8th 2017

We found we could live stream the All Blacks and Lions game on the very small computer. We set it up on the floor and all sat on the bed in the cheap seats to watch the match. It was another 32 degree day so it was a fairly warm game for us. The game was a little nail biting with both teams neck and neck and unfortunately all the Lions points coming from penalty goals. The final result was a draw with one game each and a drawn last one. The ABs were certainly given a hard competition especially since there were so many Lions supporters in NZ. The great internet shows that you don't have to be home to keep up with things. I listen to Radio NZ or NewstalkZB at night and get ... read more
Family picture at Mannlichen
Our home for 11 days




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