Thursday, August 31, 2006

At the top of the world

This morning David and I went to the top of the mountain. It is the most beautiful day. There was a lot of snow 2 nights ago, and it is just awe inspiring. We went up in the gondolas, then the cable car(with coachloads of tourists from Taiwan and Japan) and then the Rotair, the world's first revolving cable car. At the top, the Ice flier chair lift was not running because of ice on the cables, which David found hilarious.

Me on top of the world

Looking down from the climb through the snow ot the highest point

David looking at me with evil intent!

The view over the valley

We had hot chocolate and something to eat, walked through the glacier grotto, which is amazing when you think you are in the middle of a glacier, and then came down as far as Trubsee, and stopped to walk round the lake a bit.

We left the gondolas at Gerschnialp, and walked down home through another forest I had not explored before. There was the most death defying mountain bike trail there too..... I cannot believe people are mad enough to try it! This could be one of my new favourite walks.
So there you are.............. a perfect day in the mountains.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


  1. Warm houses
  2. Dreams
  3. Sisters
  4. Lazy days
  5. Time

Yesterday it rained again, and we stayed round the house. I made a fire and that was excellent. I curled up on the couch with a book and relaxed. Today was cloudy at first, and I drove Marge and Anita to Ikea in Bern. It was nice to wander about looking at things here, and compiling a wish list for "one day"! Marge has tomorrow off too, so we are taking Mum to Emmen again. And hopefully the weather will improve for the rest of the week.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Under the table

Today it rained, so we didn't do much. The Amrheins came for the afternoon, and Anhina and I spent the last part of a super time under the table. Yes. Under the table. She informed me in German that I would not get under the table because I was too big. Well, of course I had to prove I could fit, (It was a matter of pride!) and so we sat there chatting amid many giggles. She is 4. She wanted to play with my hair, so I took it down, and she draped it over her head to pretend she had long hair. More shrieks of laughter. I even managed to get up again without needing a crane.

Naxos had a good day too. He ate June's lunch she was preparing for Henry. He is very partial to ham it seems. Then he tripped Mum up and only David saved her from doing a nose dive down the stairs.
So.......nothing much really!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Brunni walk

Today David and I took Mum up Brunni in the cable car, and had coffee with her on the terrace, and watched the roedelbahning for a while in the sun. And the cows dancing (yes they were dancing, galloping, head-butting each other too, bells clanging. I wonder if they get headaches from the noise......) And the llamas. There are llamas on Brunni. Do not ask. Clearly very Swiss llamas. Then we waved her off on the cable car down, and we walked down through the forest. Another forest. This is the first one I ever walked through here, or climbed, and I absolutely love it. You know when you are in a place that you feel you are meant to be? That is how I feel in this forest.

The view from the terrace.

On the path to Flüemat

David heading down to the forest

The valley

In the forest. Just the best place.

Friday, August 25, 2006

A couple more photos

My mountains. Or some of them. beautiful.


It is another stunning day, and I walked up past Furenalp to where the kids landed when they did their paragliding. Lots of people are out walking today. I can sit and gaze at the mountains for ages, and I never get tired of them.

Then I walked to the waterfall, and I was the only one there, which was great. I sat on a rock and watched the water, and wished I had a video camera to capture the movement and sound. There is something about the sound of nature that is so peaceful. On lovely days, that is, not during storms and hail and wind, I hasten to add.

Then I walked through the forest and crossed the river, and here you are..... you can see what I mean for yourselves. I hope you are all booking holidays here as I speak. Winter is stunning too, but in a very different way.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Trotti bikes

  1. Trotti bikes
  2. Laughter in the rain
  3. Meeting a challenge
  4. Beautiful silence
  5. Awe inspiring scenery

Trübsee hike

Today was supposed to be rainy all day, but when I woke up it was great weather, and so I leapt out of bed at the hotel, and raced home to wake David, and we took the gondolas up to Trübsee for another alpine adventure. I had never walked down from Trübsee before, though we have been around the lake, so it was another tick on the list of walks I wanted to do.

The sun was out sporadically after about an hour....... the walk took over 2 hours, and part was easy and part a bit more of a challenge. But then, our walks always seem to become challenging along the way!
The water was so blue and clear, and I did not go and feel it, but I am certain it would have been freezing. It is good to be able to spend some time with David, and we have some great chats while we are walking.

Here is a Swiss cow who is clearly used to posing. Most obliging. Just a little was along the path, there was a bath. As in one from the bathroom, sitting there, full of water! Fibreglass is perfect for a cattle trough, I suppose, if not all that aesthetically pleasing! It did make us laugh.

Here you can see down to the valley below Engelberg. For those of you who have been here, Grafenort is in the far distance. We took the path clearly marked to Engelberg, and it sort of arrived in a building site for a road for a while. Hmmm. We walked on and found the path again, heading steeply down the mountain, and it started raining as well. I was keeping a good eye on the clouds and the speed they move in the mountains, so we didn't stop for as rest on the way. When we got to the main road at the bottom, the trail we had walked down was marked closed for construction. There were no signs at the top, but it had red tape across and no-one was supposed to be on it. Oh well..... that is the sort of thing we usually find outselves doing! Oops. We survived. I am sure there must have been an easier track somewhere. We like a challenge though. Not intentionally, might I add.

At Untertrübsee, we hired trotti bikes, and zoomed down in the rain, past Gerschnialp to Engelberg, where we met Mum for lunch at Linie 8. Trotti bikes are like kids' scooters, but they come in adult sizes, and you wear a ridiculous little helmet, and can go very very fast downhill. They do have brakes. That is good as there are S bends all down the mountain, and then you get young kids flying past yelling "Achtung!!!" as they pass you. Quite demoralising, when you think you are going at the speed of light anyway. At least we didn't get so wet going fast.

I stayed on to help Marge for the afternoon, pricing things, and doing some quality control. And practicing my german some more. Now she is sawing and sanding, and I have got some coffee so I am going to be a slug for the rest of the evening. I will be back.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Another photo

  1. Swiss sales (REAL ones!)
  2. Vögele
  3. Inspiration
  4. Imagination
  5. A son who says he doesn't want to be spoiled

You can see the walls round the Old Town in this photo taken from the roof terrace at Manor (a department store) the top between the trees.


Today we went down the mountain to Luzern. The weather has been and sunny, and I thought you would like to see this boulder. It fell down the mountain in the floods last year, and is massive, and is held in its place by the puniest of trees. The road snakes around in an S bend and I think if it rolled on, it could take out the middle and bottom of the S. But that tree is very small. Quite bizarre. Maybe they could cement it in place. I am assuming that it has been looked at by engineers, but I tend to speed up round the bend....just in case!

David and I went to the Lion, and to the Glacier Park in Luzern. The Park was absolutely fascinating, and the retreat of the glaciers in Europe is a major problem at the moment. Luzern was once a glacier, and I do know the one on Titlis is melting faster than ever. We climbed up to the top of a wooden tower to see the view over the city too. Just great.

The old bridge in Luzern was burnt down a few years ago, but you cannot tell that it has been rebuilt. The flowers this year are lovely.

And the old painted buildings in the city are amazing. We sat and had coffee and talked about how, with Switzerland neutral, the country has never known the devastation of bombs and the destructionthat war brings. So we are lucky enough to be able to walk through an untouched city, with little lanes going off at odd angles. The centre is pedestrianised, and so there is no roar of traffic, and the cobbled streets are full of history. I have not walked the walls of the old town yet, and I must do that sometime.

You can see what a lovely place it is. I have lots more photos, but that would be boring!

On the way back, we stopped at Länderpark to get some bits and pieces, and then came home and Marge made the curtains for the baby. I got more wood this time, and also small nails and paint. Sigh. so much to do and I have just realised that it is Sunday week that we drive back to England. The time has suddenly speeded up far too fast.

Having a brother-in-law who is a master chef is very useful. He cooked rösti and bratwurst for supper, and it was superb.

So there you have today's report. Sun, fun, coffee, shopping and education too. Maybe David should become a glaciologist. Hmmmmm......

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

More sawing and more walking

  1. Sleep
  2. Marge's pattern books
  3. Walks with my son
  4. Letters all posted
  5. Peter's safe return

    I am obsessive. If I start doing something, I can't stop. I have been in the garage sawing for the past few days. Marge has so many patterns and books and ideas are blooming, and as I said, I can't stop. The more I do, the quicker I get, and more adept too. Note the pile of sawdust. I have not put the photos of what I am doing on the blog, because some are for presents. You may be lucky enough to get one! But i have been having fun.

And with Peter in Austria, I have been walking the dogs. Naxos adores his Dad, so was deeply depressed when he realised he was not coming home on Sunday. Mum and I took them out yesterday, and we went to Linie 8, with Naxos dragging me sideways because he wanted to see Marge. Mum stopped there for coffee, and I ran (and I mean ran) around the lake with them, before collecting Mum on the way back. Then Nax slipped his collar so I had to catch him. And last night he ate the lasagne dish, which was cardboard, so was even more pathetic. Life is not dull around here at all.

Today David and I walked to Eienwaldli again with them, and they were fine. Except that I forgot to take their treats, so they refused to come out of the river for ages.

The weather is ok at the moment. No rain, but not much sun. You don't notice these things when you are in the garage sawing! But in Austria, it has been very wet, and Peter arrived home 2 days early this evening. The trike is very low, and passing lorries nearly drowned the poor man. He now needs a special helmet, and wet weather gear. The leather is no protection from the wet and cold. He did mention wrapping himself in cling wrap. But he says it was absolutely beautiful. We need sunny days......I refuse to consider this could be autumn yet.

So there you are, so you can stop sending messages complaining that I have not blogged since Saturday! In between there have been chats with Anita over breakfast, lolling about on the couch in the evenings, visits to the shops for food, and at last I am starting to sleep. Well, after Friday night at the hotel, when the tour group on the floor above were still playing what seemed to be football at 12.30am, and I had to go and tell the duty manager I was about to become very unreasonable, sleep is something to be thankful for!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Garden (note the beautifully mown grass)

  1. So many messages from friends who are thinking of me
  2. Invitations
  3. The view from any window here
  4. Being able to help
  5. Long chat on my mobile (Nick, you may be paying my phone bill!)

Women work too

Well, women have been working here too. Marge suggested Mum dig out the grass from around the stones next to the house walls. (Swiss drainage idea) and so she got out this morning and dug 90% out. She looks like a crone now. And it is seriously hard work. I tidied the house, did the edges of the lawn, and then tried to get the lawnmower out, but the trike was in the way. So I tidied the paving, and then waited for Peter to come and move it. Then I mowed the lawns. Lawns. And the wretched thing seems to be the size of Wembley. If I ever win the lotto, I will buy a ride on thingy for my sister, who generally does it all. No-one took a photo of me zooming about the lawn. Sigh. Next time. And there will be a next time. It grows overnight.

It is a glorious day again today, and I will go for a walk in a sec. Then go and see if Marge needs any help at Linie 8. And go and get some food for the weekend. Then sink into a stupour in the sun. I will be back.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Men at work (or boys with their toys)

Today Peter and David polished the trike before Peter's trip to Austria this weekend. It shines. Gleams. It is dazzling. My son is on a steep learning curve. Polish indeed.

I took the opportunity to use the scroll saw in the garage while the trike was outside and I sawed and sawed, and broke a blade, and sawed. Then I sat outside sanding. I am covered in dust, have blisters, but have a pile of things waiting to be painted. Good. While the trike is away, I will play. In the garage. With the saws.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

More sun and more walks

  1. Mountain walks
  2. Long chats with friends
  3. Paprika chips
  4. Afternoon naps
  5. Washing machines

Hello.......... I am back. Yesterday we went to Stans shopping with Marge, and then she and I had to go down the mountain again in the afternoon to look for stuff for the baby, so 2 trips out of the village in a day. We didn't get much else done, apart from a coffee at the Boden at lunch to swap cars. No real adventures to report.

I walked over to Linie 8 this morning and stayed to help price things as they arrived.

This is what I see from my chair in the sun on the balcony at Marge's house.
This afternoon I took the dogs for a walk in the forests on Brunni.
I keep saying how beautiful it is. And i wish you could actually stand where I stand and turn in a circle and see what I mean when I say it is 360 degree perfection. I really love it so much.

This is the End of the World. (Really.... that is what it is called.)

I don't think it gets more Swiss than this......

And David wanted a photo of this. Who would think of painting a cement mixer to look like a cow????? I think all cement mixers should take on characters at once. At least it makes you smile to look at them!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

So HOW MANY of you

can say you sat in a snow plough? Huh? huh? I had to get some stranger to take a photo of me. He thought I was deranged, as the only people climbing all over them were kids. And moi. Of course. I always did want a little digger of my own.

And they even put flowers on some. The big blue one was the best.

And then there was the cow. Meet a swiss cow. It was too busy eating to pose properly.

I did tell you life was exciting in the Alps!