04 October 2007

Switzerland 2007

Having got all the photos sorted out now on the PC I can do a half respectable write up of our trip to Switzerland this year, and what a trip it was! We started out by catching the mid morning ferry to Dunkirque which left us the rest of the afternoon to drive for an overnight stop at the Ibis in Metz and then on to Grindenwald (near Interlaken) for our first camp site, which happened to be at the foot of the Eiger, which is a rather impressive sight when you crawl out of the tent first thing in the morning. I had a very slight problem tho' in opening the 'essential supplies' bought in Dunkirque the day previously, so I had to 'adapt and overcome'.
We stayed for a couple of nights at that site and then moved on to Lucerne and found a rather attractive site on the shore of the lake which was conveniently about a mile from the old city, an easy ride on the bikes. Lucerne is a lovely place, lots to see and plenty of fabulous chocolate shops to explore, however being of sound disposition I left Alyson solely in charge of that activity. By chance one of the attractions that we visited was the Transport Museum which was a stones throw from our site, I spent about four captivating hours in there and I think it's probably the best museum I've ever been in...even the kids had scooters to run around on! We also had a trip to Mount Pilatus which entailed a trip on the steepest cog railway in the world. The little trains negotiate a slope of 1:48 which is truly eye watering...fantastic view of the Alps from the top though. To round off our stay in Lucerne we visited an artillery fortress tunnelled into the mountain side at Vitznow, which was built completely in 14 months in 1939, a fairly outstanding piece of engineering. Switzerland has thousands of such fortresses and this one was decomissioned only in 1998!
Then onto Zermatt for another hike up to the Hornlihut which is about two thirds the way up the Matterhorn, a stimulating and enjoyable day out with marvellous weather and subsequent views of the peak. (The hut can just be seen as a 'pimple' centre of pic on top of the ridge) There is a new museum just opened in Zermatt on the story of the Matterhorn. On the original ascent, four of the team lost their lives just as they were starting down...the museum has a glass case containing the rope that snapped, thought provoking indeed.
Then onto Lukerbad, a small alpine resort with really hot thermal pools which quite made up for the most awful night we had. That particular day we had a bad storm with high winds and the temperature dropped to well below zero at night. Our sleeping arrangements weren't up to the extreme of temperature but we managed to survive by sleeping in just about all our clothes. I think the cooked breakfast the following morning was probably the best meal of the holiday....rosti and baked beans with lots of tea! The blobs on the Landrover bonnet are in fact solid blocks of ice, not water.
We rounded off the trip with a few days camping at Vidy, at Lausanne on the north shore of Lake Geneva, another excellent site. Lots of cycling along the lake accompanied by a day out 'wine tasting' at a couple of local villages....it's a wonder we got back to camp reasonably sober. After that it was the long drive back home via Metz again. A fantastic holiday in all with absolutely wonderful weather, even in the mountains (apart from that night)
One final thing though. We went on an alpine coach that went high up into the mountains and the blast of the triple air horns, once heard is never forgotten.....anyone know how I can fit a set on my pushbike?

1 comment:

G said...

Hello there!!! I google'd woodbloke, and look what I found?! Good to hear news about the cabinet making, and to see some pictures of you and mum. Will keep posted to your's and mums blogs.


ps, choc never made it up here. Fat boys at the postal service must've had good with it whilst they were sitting around on strike.