Walking in the breathtaking views of Switzerland: A walkers ultimate weekend!

Our Trip

My parents and I were travelling from Newcastle to Geneva on the 27th November and meeting friends, who kindly provided accommodation for us in Interlaken Ost. We were embarking on a walking trip surrounded by the beautiful scenery.

Picture of the apartment.jpg
The apartment where we stayed in Interlaken Ost

 Day One:

Our holiday began early with a 4.45 wake up, in preparation for a 7am flight. The flight was 1 hour 55 minutes but seemed a lot longer. We dug into our Boots meal deals and adored the views from the plane.

We  were supposed to land at 10.05 (9.05 uk time time), however the plane could not land on the runway, due to high wind. It therefore took longer to get to security and we were all panicking that we would miss out train at 11.05.

Thankfully we did not miss our train and were on the platform early. While we were waiting, I decided to go to the loo and was disappointed to find that women had to pay and men didn’t.

Once I had got over that, the train arrived and it was a lot taller than those in the UK. It was also on time! We sat on the train and I felt surprisingly at home, it was like I was in the UK… the buildings and the climate were similar.

We finally arrived at Bern, to change on to our next train to Interlaken Ost. We were met at the other end by our lovely hosts, who took us to their modern apartment. It was cosy with a cute kitchen, open plan dining area and under floor heating!

We relaxed in the apartment and had a nice cup of tea. After we had recovered from the journey, we went out into Interlaken and looked around, before going to a chocolate workshop at Shuch.  We were shown how to make some of their chocolates and had the opportunity to test all their chocolate (continuously). By the time we left the tour, we felt sick and queasy, and this was after making and eating our own chocolate lollipop.

making-moulds-of-their-mountain-chocolates
Moulding of the chocolate
chocolates-switzerland
Their variety of chocolates
chocolate-lollipop-switzerland
My chocolate lollipop that I decorated

We were also given an eight swiss frank voucher too, so we could choose six individual chocolates to enjoy at home. We took these back to the apartment and started to help prepare dinner – Spaghetti Bolognese and salad. We ate together and discussed news and memories over glasses of wine. It was a lovely evening to end a day of travelling.

Day two:

We woke up the next morning, after a good night sleep. Today was the day where we walked from Kl. Scheidigg to Wengen. We were all booted up, and wore our  warm gear and salopettes. It was not that cold on the route, but it was better to be too warm than too hot.

map-of-mountains-switzerland
Map of the mountains
picture-in-walking-gear-switzerland
Myself in my walking gear

We made our way up on the bus and arrived at the Kl. Scheidigg, where we started our walk.  We were so excited to walk.

The weather was cool and the fresh air was nice, especially as were used to city air and noise. The view was also amazing as we were isolated and surrounded by natural beauty.

It was also the first walk that I had been on since my Duke of Edinburgh in 2009 so I was pretty impressed that I did it, and actually enjoyed it.

cloudy-mountain-switzerlandsigns-on-mountainmountains-in-switzerland-5mountains-in-switzerland-4mountains-in-switzerland-3mountains-in-switzerland-2mountains-in-switzerland-1

We had a lot of fun on the way to Wengen… I found my inner love for nature and did tree hugging. I also found a really cute christmas tree, which would have been so nice to decorate and take home. That wasn’t possible, so I took a selfie with it instead!

switzerland-mini-tree-selfie
Tree Selfie
mini-christmas-tree-switzerland
Our mini Christmas tree

We did have a few setbacks, such as lost possessions, so we split into two groups. While the men went hunting for our possessions, the ladies continued to Wengen. We went shopping and grabbed coffee and hot chocolate, while watching the locals.

fayre-in-wengen-switzerland
The Christmas Fayre at Wengen

We were reunited a few hours later, and treated ourselves to some beer, wine and nachos, before we made our way back to the apartment for dinner. We decided to stop at the coop before hand to buy some cheese fondue for dinner.

When we got back to the apartment, we cut up peppers, bread, cucumbers and courgettes to dip into the melted cheese! Dinner was divine and it tasted like heaven.

To end the heavenly evening, we watched “The Holiday” and revelled in the feel good and partly unrealistic storyline. At the end of the film, we went to bed and felt proud of what we had achieved.

Day three:

We woke up the next morning and tucked into breakfast. We started to pack our stuff up before our train to Geneva Airport at 10.35.

We felt sad that we were leaving and appreciated all the efforts of our hosts for creating such a lovely weekend.

myself-with-the-hosts-and-family
From left to right: Caroline (host), Myself, Kate and Graham (host)
myself-with-the-hosts
From left to right: Myself, Caroline and Graham (hosts)

We made our way to the station and sat on the train, wondering about the next we would be in such a beautiful place. We arrived at the airport and the train got us there on time.

That’s the thing with Switzerland – the trains run like their Swiss watches – always on time!

We  got our plane at 13.10. The flight went really quickly and before, we knew it, we were back in the UK and back to reality.

Recommendations

I loved the trip and would recommend anyone who wants to get away from busy life, just to go out and walk in such as scenic place. It was beautiful and the pictures do no justice!

 

 

Advertisements

Narrow Boating to Cambridge

Our narrow boat trip to Cambridge

Friday

We set off early on Friday morning in the car to Ely to collect the boat. It was a long drive, but eventually we arrived. We parked in the car park to see damaged narrow boats – we got worried that we would have an old boat. We were shown to a nice looking blue boat named “Muscadet”, our home for the next three days. We were quite relieved. It was what we expected – but more narrow.

The space was small but big enough for us. The captain started the boat and took us out onto the canal after instructions from the guy. We went slow but it gave us a chance to get used to the steering. I took over the boat for a bit and it took a while to get used to it. I steered into a few rowers and nearly bumped into the banks.

We made our way to The Five Miles from Anywhere pub and hydrated our thirst! We stopped on a slipway and for half an hour, blocking locals from launching the boat into the water. We got a bit of stick from the locals so decided to move on quickly.

13442356_10207053154188063_7041053421751704451_n
Parking over the slipway at the Five Miles from Anywhere Pub
13450059_10207046927952411_6773643311155156999_n
A good old pint to keep us going!

We continued full steam ahead and stopped at the Bridge Hotel with our friends and family and had a classic pub lunch. This is where we stayed over night.

13418896_10153720394318549_2056033842027192736_n
Parking over the slipway at the Five Miles from Anywhere Pub



Saturday
The sun was shining into my eyes and I woke up to find that it was 6 in the morning. At this point I had a bad sleep and decided to go for a walk with the captain. After a full breakfast and tea we were all ready to go! We set off in good time and I took more charge of the boat  – making our way down the canal and trying to avoid boats and rowers! We met friends at a Loch and my parents bricked it. I had caused a tidal wave when lifting the gate on the loch. Oops. We made our way to Cambridge and arrived at 11.30. We hydrated ourselves in Fen Delton at the Plough Inn with a nice beer. This was essential as “what’s a holiday without regular pub stops”! We continued the journey to be reunited with more friends and indulged in another pub lunch. The beef and ale pie was simply irresistible.We then went into town for a walk and a bit of shopping. Who could forget shopping on a holiday. We returned to the boat to get ready for our evening meal at Magdalene College. I would recommend a hotel room for this as we seem to appreciate a big shower and space far too much. I realised the when we were fighting for the mirror and shower. We eventually left for the meal with the boat facing downstream. We had a set, delicious three course meal and made sure that we all had a few nice drinks in the pub.

Sunday (Morning)After a meal in Magdalene college Cambridge, we returned to the boat facing upstream and went to bed; only to realise the a few of our dinner guests had rotated the boat 180 degrees at 2am when we were all asleep. Despite this, they did us a favour and turned the boat around for us. We took friends on a tour the later that morning and  made sure that we stopped at the nearest pub! We dropped them back off outside their hotel after our pint and finally made our way back to Eily, concluding our journey. We moored by the Five Miles from Anywhere pub, had a lovely meal and were grateful that our boat was safe and would not be moved in the night!

13492957_10154241806724253_1456528160_n.jpg
Chicken and Bacon Caesar Salad at the Five Miles from Anywhere pub



Monday

It was an early start this morning as we all had to pack up our stuff. We travelled for 45 mins up the canal and arrived in Ely
in time for the handover. It was now time to hand the boat over. It was sad as we all had enjoyed the trip more than we expected and were now converted narrow boaters.

Based on the trip and our my experience, I have devised pros and cons of narrow boating:

Pros:

  • It is relaxing.
  • You can see swans and birds – be one with nature.
  • You can rev the engine to your hearts content (up to 4 or 7 mph).
  • You feel part of the canal community and can wave/bond with other canal users.
  • The canal gets you away from the digital world and busy cities .
  • The boat has a kitchen and good sized living room and sleeping areas.
  • You can make multiple pub stops to keep you hydrated up and down the canal.
13479733_10154241808519253_1774063530_n
Parking over the slipway at the Five Miles from Anywhere Pub



Cons:

  • It can be a bit rocky, especially when people are getting on and off.
  • The beds are very small and you may fall out on a few occasions.
  • It could get boring at times as there is little technology.
  • If you have muscle or strength you may be required to moor the boat, help with locks and assist with ropes and boat turning. Watch out!
13511418_10154241808579253_420010192_n
Trying to pass the time by drawing the landscape!



Recommendations

Despite this, I would recommend narrow boating to anyone. It was peaceful and gave me time to yourself. You can steer the boat fast or idly and feel part of a community and nature. There are enough facilities on the boat to stock up with beers and food, to make your weekend fun!