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Europe » Switzerland » South-East » Locarno August 9th 2020

Bonjour à tous, Hier au soir j'ai encore souper à l'italienne. Gnocchi, viande, dessert, il ne va pas falloir que je traine trop dans le coin si non je vais vite reprendre les kilos. Le resto de l'hôtel, ils ont du faire peut être mille couverts, un terrasse d'environ 200 places, sous une belle tonnelle. J'ai eu la chance d'être servi, par une fille, en plus petite, bien que je ne connaisse pas l'originale, Monica Bellucci. J'ai tenter je ne sais combien de fois de faire une photo, impossible tellement elle ne tenait pas en place. Avec le manque de lumière les photos était floues à chaque fois. Lorsque j'ai fermé les volets vers 23h la ville grouillait de monde. Pour aujourd'hui la visite des chantiers Riva, ça n'a pas marché. La patronne a téléphoné hier ... read more
Sarnico
un Riva
lac Iseo

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Nyon August 5th 2020

First our apologies for the long silence. We are still on track going through the various things we want to do, but are getting a bit lazy writing. So our story continues .... After the wonderful and challenging mountain project in Zermatt, getting our feet out from the heavy hiking boots was indeed a nice feeling. It was time, after all our Alpine adventures, which happened in the German and Romansh language speaking areas of Switzerland, to introduce Nui to the French Swiss part, called La Romandie.We decided to do this with our bicycles; actually a combination of riding the bicycle and taking the train. Swiss trains are equipped to accommodate passengers who want to take their bicycles ... read more
Nui likes country
Murten where the French got hammered
Some of the vineyards roads are steeper than expected

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Zermatt July 26th 2020

The absolute highlight of our "Tour the Swiss Mountains" was the visit of the internationally renowned, much famous village of Zermatt. It lies on the Southern side of the Rhone valley in the canton of Wallis. This Swiss canton (State) is home to two of the four national languages of Switzerland, German and French. Zermatt is situated in the German part, although in the village you can normally hear languages from visiting tourists from all over the world. Normally..... This Covid year however everything is different. No overseas tourists to be found, and few visitors from European countries from the Shengen zone. Nevertheless the town was fully booked, with mostly guests from Switzerland itself. Everyone from the locals wanted to profit from the fact that being in Zermatt and its mountains this year you do not ... read more
Monte Rosa Glacier
View from Gornergrat
the legendary train to 3100m

Europe » Switzerland » North-East » Brunnen July 18th 2020

Our next stop in Switzerland was the center of the country, more precisely the town of Brunnen, which lies at the Eastern end of the lake of Lucerne. Central Switzerland is known for its beautiful lakes (like lake of Lucerne, lake of Zug, etc) and its low taxes. But what many people do not know it is also the cradle of the Swiss nation. Switzerland of today has existed as a state in its present form since the adoption of the Swiss Federal Constitution in 1848. The precursors of Switzerland however was established as a protective alliance at the end of the 13th century (1291), forming a loose confederation of states which persisted for centuries. In 1291, so the legend goes, farmers communities from the three central cantons Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden swore an alliance at ... read more
Ready for bicycle adventure
Around lake Lauerz

Europe » Switzerland » North-East » Glarus July 13th 2020

The next step in the Switzerland discovery for Nui and the rediscovery for Nenad was a stay in the hamlet of Arvenbuehl located about 10 min drive up the mountain from Amden, which itself is positioned high up overlooking the Walensee. In Arvenbuehl we stayed in a chalet with innovative architectural features, very unusual for this region. No wonder it was build and is owned by a retired teacher from Seattle, USA, who runs it as a B&B. Its called 'Mountain Chalet' and has the most amazing mountain views from your bed. A cool way to wake up in the morning. Nearby is the Hotel Restaurant Arvenbuehl, who has an amazing cuisine, especially a Roeschti (a local potato dish), which will make you jodle :-) Arvenbuehl sits at the end of the mountain range called Churfuersten, ... read more
Nui loves flowers
This guy is still here
Steven from Seattle, our host in

Europe » Switzerland » North-East » Appenzell July 8th 2020

The Alpstein is a mountain range of incredible beauty. It is located on the territory of the canton St. Gallen and Appenzell, in the North East of the country. Only 50 km away from Wil, Nenad considers this almost his home turf. Raw, wild nature of the Alpstein mountain range is presenting itself to the hiker upon arrival. Although not too high in altitude compared with some other areas of the Swiss Alps, the Alpstein impresses with steep hikes and challenging ascents and descents. Its highest mountain is Saentis, with 2502m altitude. To climb it we chose to start in Wasserauen, located at 860m. This meant to climb 1650m altitude in rough terrain, crossing ravines and snow fields. Nenad did this more than 35 years ago (outch). Nui is facing this challenge with her usual smile, ... read more
one starts easy and slow
getting tougher
Raching Meglisalp

Europe » Switzerland » North-West » Lucerne July 5th 2020

Bonjour à tous, C'est gagné. Je n'était pas, contrairement à d'autres années dans l'euphorie du départ. Inconsciemment ce confinement a dû nous retirer un peu d'énergie, et nous mettre en léthargie mentale, je ne suis pas le seul a ressentir cet effet. J'ai puiser le complément de motivation qui me manquait, par le fait de '' foutre le camp" de cette France qui me semble t'il, part à volo, de toutes ces manifestations, informations permanentes qui sapent le moral de tous les bons français. Après seulement une journée dans les Alpes Suisse, j'ai le sentiment ce soir de revivre. Voilà pourquoi je dis c'est gagné. J'ai quitté Lyon ce matin, traversé le Bugey, sous une bonne pluie, j'espère que ce ne sera de mauvaise augure pour la suite du voyage comme en 2014, 72 jours de ... read more
Lac Lungeren
la route du jour
Paysage Suisse

Europe » Switzerland » South-East » Sils-Maria July 4th 2020

Val Fex, a wonderfully secluded small side valley of the Engadin, just above Sils Maria.The room in our beautifully renovated old barn pointed towards the glacier and gave us magnificent views of the Alpine landscape as we woke up and looked out from our room window. Quiet romantic and secluded, what else can we ask for. The only sound we heard was the rustle of the mountain creek and of course the cow bells from the grazing cows on the alpine pastures surrounding us. Pensiun Chesa Pool Val Fex, the name of our accommodation, turned out not only to have a magnificent location, but also a delicious cuisine, albeit being vegetarian. The four days and three nights we stayed there pulled us right out of the big city life of Bangkok and gave us a wonderful ... read more
A room with a view
Pensiun Chesa Pool Val Fex
Let's go .....

Europe » Switzerland » North-East » St. Gallen July 3rd 2020

Despite the March cancellation of our initially planned wedding, due to travel restrictions, lock-down and virus dictatorship, we have finally been able to say "yes" on July 3, 11:00 AM in Wil, Switzerland. Nui has decided to be called Butri Benko, keeping her nick name Nui of course. And I have also decided to continue to be called Benko :-). We are pleased to send you some pictures taken at the wedding. It was a small ceremony (bigger ones are not allowed yet anyway) with close friends and family. Alfred Koecher a friend Nenad knows since 1986, acted as Nenad best man, Sirinya Hauser, a university friend of Nui, was her bridesmaid. It was absolutely lovely to see the two Thai ladies being dressed in their traditional silk robes, something the Wiler community does not get ... read more
With Carmen and Thomas
Brunch with the guests
Father and daughter

Europe » Switzerland July 1st 2020

We make our way through the train station at Basel. We are still on French territory. We flash our passports one more time at the customs official and now we are in Switzerland. Basel is much larger than the way station I imagined it to be-a mix of classic Swiss architecture and modern buildings, all very clean and very quaint, but not too too precious as lakeside in Lucerne. I admire the mannered details in Switzerland, charming, bijou, but with a veneer of sophistication to elicit wows, even from hopelessly jaded New Yorkers who normally think of rivers of champagne and mountains of caviar. But I am not that narrow minded and I have benign lapses of culinary permissiveness where I can admire less than regal bratwurst and pretend my arteries aren't hardening as I eat. ... read more
Lucerne - Cathedral
Lucerne street scene
Lucerne - Mt. Pilatus cable car




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