Blogs from South-West, Switzerland, Europe

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Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Brienz May 27th 2015

We had another lovely breakfast at the hotel and set off to catch our standard 0919 train. We looked around at all the shops and were at out meeting place for the tour in plenty of time. The main tour starts in Zurich and picked us up (and 4 others) in Interlaken. We were in a small minibus caravanning with a large tour bus through the countryside to Grindelwald, a small village. We changed to a train there. Our tour guide, Evylyn (“Just follow my blue sign!”) gave out train tickets willy-nilly to the big group. We were polite and waited our turn until last and she was one ticket short. Guess who didn’t get a ticket? Amy got the pleasure of telling every ticket collector to “Go talk to Evylyn!” Some were crankier about it ... read more
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Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Brienz May 26th 2015

It rained steadily through the night and into the morning but it looked like there could be some breaks in the weather in the town of Meiringen. This is where Riechenbach Falls and the Sherlock Holmes Museum is located. We took our normal train and got there early. We had to walk through the town a mile or so to get to the Reichenbach funicular station. At the top, you can see part of the falls and the fictional spot where Sherlock Holmes fell in the gorge to his death fighting Professor Moriarty. Arthur Conan Doyle visited here in 1893 and was inspired to make this be the fatal spot when he decided to retire Sherlock permanently in “The Final Problem” There was such a hue and cry that he had to bring him back in ... read more
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Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Brienz May 25th 2015

The weather was looking terrible and rainy for Tuesday’s epic trip to Jungfraujoch. We decided to call the 24/7 Viator helpline to see what they could do. They were awesome and contacted the Swiss tour company to swap to Wednesday which was projected to be sunny and nice (we’ve heard that before!). We’re been running from this rain for 2 weeks and were amazed that they have been so accommodating. We even got the same young woman who helped us change our trip to this week and she remembered us. High marks for Viator if anyone is looking for short excursions while they are traveling. We also had good experiences with them in New Zealand. Since today was the better weather day for our independent excursions, we decided to hike to the Hinterburgseeli, a little hidden ... read more
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Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Zermatt May 22nd 2015

We arrived at the Crown Jewel of our adventures in Switzerland. Zermatt is everything you've ever believed Switzerland is. Alpine architecture, gondolas, cobblestone streets, flower boxes in every window, and of course stunning mountain tops! Zermatt lies at the foot of the Matterhorn and is a very popular destination for summer tourists and winter skiers alike. In 2012 Barb and I visited here and were excited to come back with Larry & Lisa in tow. The weather, through most of our Swiss trip, was essentially crappy, and our biggest fear was the clouds would obscure all the breathtaking mountain views. True to our expectations, upon our arrival we were met with clouds and rain :( We spent the first day wandering around the town and taking in as much of the local lore as we could, ... read more
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Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Interlaken May 21st 2015

Climbing over part of the Swiss Alps aboard the train from Luzern to Interlaken we encountered snow! Not a huge surprise given where we were traveling and the rainy weather that was following us. It was definitely nice to be in a comfy first class coach aboard the train! Interlaken is located between 2 beautiful lakes and again, was a stop we did on the bus tour 3 years ago. It's most famous for the high mountain cliffs that surround the city. When were were here before (on a sunny, warm day) we ate lunch next to a nice open grassy park in the center of the city. Several para-sails landed in the field and it was fantastic watching them slowly float down from the cliffs above. This trip, that obviously didn't happen as most of ... read more
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Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Geneva May 1st 2015

I went to Geneva because while searching for internships a few months ago, I got an offer (after i had already confirmed in Ghana) at the International Coordinating Committee for National Human Rights institutions, who is situation in the UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Place of Nations in Geneva. They allowed me to extend the internship offer till next year, and so I just went there to meet the staff. So right after I arrived, I went to visit Dad’s friend, John Fried (the Ambassador for Canada to the World Trade Organization) at the Canadian Permanent Mission to Geneva. John gave me some advice on Ghana, and then I asked where I could take a shower to clean up for the meeting. He advised there were showers at the airport, ... read more
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Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Geneva January 13th 2015

When my friend and his wife came to visit me in France I took them around several places, and also to Switzerland which borders France. From where I lived it was easy to travel to Geneva a beautiful city in Switzerland. It's not often that one has to act the role of tour guide, but that's what happened to me when my friend and his wife from the United States came to visit me when I was living in France. It was a pleasant encounter as I had lost contact with him for over 40 years. I didn't even recognize him when I went to pick them up at the railway station in Bourg en Bresse (the French city where I lived at that time). They were coming in from Paris. and when the train stopped ... read more
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Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Geneva December 31st 2014

well, better late than never! 2 groovers got lost in the really bad snow storm in Geneva. What a journey! We were on the 7am bus from Annecy France to go across the Alps to Geneva. Although its only 35 mins away, the journey on bus should have taken 1hr 20 mins max. So 2.5 hours later we arrive. The journey was interesting to say the least. Firstly, it was the first of winter snow, and a snow storm we had. Speed was limited to about 40klms, you couldn't possibly do more. Visibility....limited!...We were buffeted from left to right, the journey was not one I'd like to repeat. At one point, we were coming around a bend from one road to another, and a truck had pulled over, due to lack of vision. We should have ... read more
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Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Lauterbrunnen December 7th 2014

We had planned an all day trip to the Lauterbrunnen Valley and since the weather looked reasonably okay we set off early for the 3 hour trip. We wanted to show Irvy and Marc the valley as it's a great place to take any visitors for a day trip to a stunningly beautiful valley. We arrived to a dusting of snow on the trees above the valley with the clouds coming and going giving us glimpses of the high alps of the Eiger/Monch/Jungfrau and the Schilthorn above the valley. It seemed that if we were going to walk at all today it was going to up the valley floor rather than up higher at Murren level. We had a picnic lunch below the Lauterbrunnen Falls which we very whispy which was unusual. Usually they flow freely. ... read more
Hot chocolate in the Murren Station Tavern
A snow coated tree
Snow covered streets in Murren

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Grindelwald December 3rd 2014

Since it was a 3 hour journey on the train from Frick to Grindelwald we were up early for an 7.40 train. But, all for nothing. The first train was slow and we missed the first connection. We waited for another half an hour to get one to Bern where we waited another half an hour for the connection through to Grindelwald which included a sprint along the Interlaken station because that was late as well. How UNSWISS is that!? That was the speed work done for the day. We duly arrived one hour later than planned in Grindelwald. Amazingly we saw the sun for the first time although it was a cold 1 degree. Also, Grindelwald was shut! A bomb must have gone off and everyone had evacuated. What a huge contrast to what we ... read more
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A rather sombre Grindelwald from Terrasenweg




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