Welcome to my blog. Here you will find my adventures with my family and friends. Thanks so much for stopping by.

I'm so enjoying this wonderful world of blogging where I have met and made so many new friends.

Please leave a comment when you drop by so I can visit your blog and get to know you too

Saturday, May 25, 2013


On the way back to Paris today we stopped in at this lovely town called Eguisheim in Alsace.

Sooooo pretty I just had to show you right away.


Friday, May 24, 2013


Before we came on this holiday a Trip Advisor forum advised me that May was not a good time to come to Switzerland.

A lot of chair lifts and tourist activities would be closed down for yearly maintenance and it would be the rainy season.


Well, May is the time we like to come to the northern hemisphere.

1. It's Spring and that means flowers and by May the leaves are usually on the trees.
2. It's still pretty cool. We have plenty of hot where we live and yearn for cool weather and coats.
(I know you think we're mad ! )
4. We like to dodge the crowds of tourists that come in the Summer.
5. It fits in best with Tony's part time work as a lawn mowing contractor.

So while we've been here we've been a little hampered by the weather.
It's been very changeable - cloudy and raining one minute, sunny for a while then cloudy again.
Luckily we've had good access to the Internet and the weather forecasters here are very accurate so we've been able to plan when to do things and have fitted most things in.

We've been to Jungfrau and though it was completely clouded out, we had a great day and a memorable experience.

We've been to Piz Gloria where the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau poked their heads through the clouds into bright sunshine and blue skies for an hour while we marvelled at the sight before the clouds rolled back and hid them from view.

We caught a train to Zurich when it rained all day here and was mostly fine there.

And today we woke to snow right down to about 1000 m but there were breaks in the cloud and as it was our last day we visited two nearby mountains- both over 2000m - by funicular and cable car and experienced the absolute beauty of fresh snow on the tall trees as we climbed above them into the clouds where the snow was still swirling .

So Switzerland has shown us everything ( except a sunny day ) and every minute has been an adventure and an absolute overdose of beautiful scenery.
Tomorrow we move on again towards the final few days of our holiday but I've a feeling that we'll come back to Switzerland sometime in the future.... I sure hope so !


Tuesday, May 21, 2013


As long as I can remember I've wanted to visit Switzerland. I guess reading the Heidi stories and seeing all those photos of mountains and green hillsides is what did it.
And of course it's so green- when you come from a sunburnt country, green, green grass seems like a colour miracle
The biggest problem with traveling there seems to be is that everyone says Switzerland is an expensive place to visit. Here is what we've found:
1. Accommodation
We are paying CH700 a week for a beautiful two bedroom apartment on a hill overlooking
Lake Thun about ten minutes from Interlaken. It's built underneath a multimillion dollar house with the owners living upstairs but with our own private entrance. That's on a par with all the other places that we have stayed this holiday but a bit dearer than holiday cottages in England which average about 380GBP. It's very difficult to compare modern accommodation to lovely old cottages, and this time we have been visiting holiday areas where the rents are higher in France and the cleaning fees and Security deposits have been considerably higher.
Eating out in most of France is a delight that we find very affordable (the Savoyard food is much heavier and not really our taste). We've never struck food that was anything less than wonderful and shopping in supermarkets for our daily needs is always fun and, compared to Australia, very reasonable. However, we have found it hard to find a descent supermarket here in Thun, Spiez or Faulensee. The prices seem a bit like Australia (which means expensive if you come from anywhere else ) but meat seems very expensive and so does eating out. We haven't eaten out anywhere except the top of Jungfrau and that certainly was not expensive and the quality was surprisingly good for such a busy sort of place but reading menus as we walk past restaurants/cafes the prices have not encouraged us to go out for a meal as yet.
3. Holiday Activities
This is where it gets expensive in Switzerland. Traveling up mountains by trains, cable cars, cog wheel trains and funiculars is very expensive. Yesterday we spent CH 239.80 on a ticket from Thun to Jungfraujoch (CH480 was the full price. We had purchased a Half Price Pass for 240 dollars so we recouped that the first time we used it ). Add in lunch and parking and you have an expensive day. Everywhere you go on a train is expensive and the train journeys in Switzerland are what you are here for... Those mountain vistas ! So everyday can be a very expensive outing though when you've done them you can see why they are expensive.

Switzerland is all that I imagined it would be.
Well, this little section that we are visiting is anyway.

Huge mountains with snow still clinging to them. Green, green meadows with cows, their bells tinkling as they move about and cute timber houses clinging to the hillsides.

Yes, just like Heidi !!

Thursday, May 16, 2013


When I research our holidays I use Google Earth a lot. I just pan out a bit from our proposed destination to see what I can find for us to see in the area.
This is how I found the Gorges Du Fier.
I'm so glad I did.

Today dawned dull and rainy. Not cold, just damp.
Fine drizzle that you get wet in, because you walk around in it thinking it's not raining enough to use an umbrella. A bit different to Aussie rain which likes to come down in a big downpour, get it over and done with and out comes the sun.

Not enough to stop us heading ten kilometres out of Annecy to the Gorges du Fier.

The Fier river cuts its way through a large outcrop of rock making a deep narrow gorge where the water rushes through.
A cleverly engineered walkway snakes its way through the gorge for 250metres, pinned to the walls and cantilevered over the river rushing below. It's quite narrow - one person wide- often with large bits of rock jutting out at difficult heights.

It's both beautiful and awe inspiring to see what nature can do but also to see what Man can do. Constructing this walkway must have been really something and there has been a walkway of sorts through this gorge since 1869 !
I'm pleased to say that the modern day version is strong and sturdy, supported by orange steel girders and steel handrails fixed into the rock walls.

We enjoyed it immensely and once again had it almost to ourselves.

Last day in Annecy tomorrow before we move on to Switzerland and more big mountains.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Apologies and a news item

Firstly apologies for spelling mistakes etc in my posts. As my daughter will tell you I'm a notoriously bad speller at the best of times but at the moment I'm using a phone ap on Tony's iPad which doesn't allow the easy access to editing once I've posted. In my haste to post when time allows and it's my turn on the iPad, lots of mis-spelt words and important names get through...... Like Mont Blanc or L'Aiguille du Midi.

Secondly, a snippet from the Chamonix News.

"Plus de 200 personnes évacuées hier a Chamonix. En cause une panne de moteur survenue en fin de matinée sur le 1er tronçon du téléphérique de l’Aiguille du midi. La compagnie du Mont blanc a donc du procéder a l’évacuation de plus de 200 personnes du Plan de l’Aiguille par hélicoptère jusque dans la raquette d’arrivée du tremplin à Chamonix. Pas moins de 45 rotations d'hélicoptères ont été rendus nécessaires. Les réparations auront duré plusieurs heures. Tout est revenu a la normale a présent. Le téléphérique est rouvert."

» 15 Mai - Chamonix

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Sunshine was the forecast so we set off early to make the 70 minute drive to Chamonix.
Yes, today we were visiting Mt Blanc, the highest mountain in France.

All the advice on the Internet said "Go early, the weather can deteriorate later in the day ", so we arrived in Chamonix around 9:30, spotted the sign for Agueille de Midi, parked and were almost first in the queue for the first trip of the day.
About 25 people squashed into the cable car for the first stage of the journey which takes you to 2000metres.
You then transfer to another cable car and travel to the next stage at 3000 metres.( By now your ears have popped and you are beginning to feel a little light headed because of the altitude. )
But that's not all folks!
Now you get into a lift with about 8 other people and you travel the last metres through the middle of the mountain and come out on the top level at 3800+ metres!!
( I felt a bit off. Slightly dizzy and a little nauseous but it soon passed.)


We hit the jackpot! The sky was blue, blue, blue.
The snow on the mountains was dazzling.
It was COLD !

You could see huge mountains in all directions
Even the Matterhorn, a sight only few are lucky enough to chance.

We were among the first people there today. No crowds elbowing for the spot on the railings to see the view.
We took hundreds of fantastic photos.
We phoned the kids to say hello from the top of Mt Blanc !
We oohed and aahed and took another hundred photos.
I heard a couple of Aussie accents and found a fellow Brisbane-ite !!

After a while we descended to the second level for a hot chocolate -still feeling slightly woozy when faced with climbing stairs.......

And then the excitement began !

For the first time in 20 years the cable car had broken down!!

The one taking you down the last 1000 metres ! So we were all stranded on the mountain.

Naturally, no more people were able to go up the mountain. Such a shame as the weather was perfect.

We all had to be evacuated by helicopter !!!

Needless to say it was a slow process. Six people at a time jammed into a tiny helicopter then plunging the last 1000metres to the ground, then back up for the next six.

The helicopter landed on about a three metre square piece of level snow where the waiting passengers were crouched low and grimly holding onto each other. The wind buffeting you as the helicopter came in to land was incredible and strong enough to send you flying back into the wet snow without the support of your fellow travellers.
Next you crouched and ran to the copter, then came the scramble to get in.
A big step up from crunchy snow that gave way as soon as you put your weight on it. So instead of getting some purchase to make the big step you ended up at an even lower level and faced a bigger step !
But time was of the essence, helicopters cost a lot to run and there were lots of people still waiting in the line. Not very elegant, we all tumbled in the helicopter.
The lady in front of me lost her hat in the wind from the helicopter.
I planted my big wet boot on the seat as I struggled to get in, then sat on the snowy seat.
Tony was last in and they had trouble fitting his long legs in and he only had about 6 inches for his bottom ( which is luckily smaller than his shoulders !) .
A lot of pushing and he was jammed in, the door was slammed shut and we were away.
Straight up about 15 feet then plunging backwards and sideways down the mountain !
We had the ride of our lives as the pilot dodged down the mountain between cable car wires going in several different directions till he deposited us at the bottom.
Out we tumbled doing that stooped run from the helicopter you see in the movies and then he was away up the mountain for the next group !
A very apologetic representative from the company met us and then issued us with vouchers for a drink ... Hot chocolate, soft drink, beer, wine ... To calm our nerves.

Calm our nerves ?
We had the ride of our lives !

What a way to end our visit to this spectacular mountain.