Hardergrat, the most dangerous hike?

David and I are hike lovers…what else when we live in a mountainous Switzerland right? 

There are so many hikes all around Switzerland for all kind of people and taste. I love hikes with mountain lakes while David loves high alpine hikes with views of mountain tops and surrounding. And we both love adventure! So last year we were very excited when we heard about this 27km long Hardergrat trail that suppose to be one of the most dangerous hike in the world…and the most beautiful! 

I wish we knew about this hike before we had Mirabelle. Either we wait for her to get older and give her to someone for a day or we take her along with us now. We decided to try the hike with her. We knew we couldn’t never do the hike all the way but we wanted to try as far as we could.

Most of the people hike up before dawn from Interlaken to Harder Kulm to be able to finish the trail in time to catch the last steam train from Rothorn down to Brienz. More about this trail click here and here. We decided to do the the opposite way. Take the steam train from Brienz to Rothorn. Just note that you can ride the steam train for free on your birthday!! For more information click here.

Photo credit: Here

Photo credit: Here

Photo credit: Here

The weather was not the best. It was cloudy and we didn’t had a good sight of the lake and of the mountains. When we arrived at the Rothorn station we walked around before we walked towards the trail to Harder kulm. There are many other hikes with starting point from Rothorn station. 

Our trail started quickly to be narrow and seeing Mirabelle made me scared for her life so I keep repeating to David that he has to be careful. This kind of trail is not unusual for us but having Mirabelle with us changes everything!

Don’t worry the trail went down behind the ridge…and not on the top as we might think!

Here is where the real stuff start to happen. It’s here you will start to really walk on the ridge! I told David that we better do this without Mirabelle to really enjoy it. He agreed so we just had our picnic and  then we walked down to Planalp where the steam train will take us down to Brienz.

So this is our first attempt of the Hardergrat trail. Next time we might not do all the way either but hopefully some part of the trail. 
Would you guys like to try it? 

The Ogoz island by foot

Each time we have been driving on the highway E27 by the lake Gruyère I have seen a tiny island with an old castle and a small chapel. It’s called Ile d’Ogoz. Someone have told me that you can reach the island by boat. Even though Ile d’ogoz seems cosy I just feel that it is not worth taking a boat to get there. If you are intressted click here for more information.

The island surrounded by water. Photo credit: Here

Yesterday we drove pass the lake and I noticed that the water level of the lake was very low, which I have never thought of before. I then suddently saw people WALKING ON THE LAKE?!? But no, the people were actually walking on a stripe of land to the island! I understood quickly that it’s only possible because of the low level of the water. Once at home I made some research and I found out that this happens every winter and spring. 

As it looked beautiful and we only live 40km away we went there this morning. 

I wouldn’t say it was extraordinary but if you are passing by the neighborhood (like going to the Gruyère castle and the Cailler factory) during this time of year I think it’s a nice little stopover. When we got there around 10am we were almost the only one but people keep coming and it is not at all a hidden gem as I thought.

The island itself is very small. There are a chapel and an old castle. From the castle you have a nice view of the surrounding. There are benches and BBQ spots but I am not sure if there is a WC. 

The walk is not difficult nor far but I wouldn’t recommend using a stroller as you can see the path is full of rocks. 

The parking and the starting point is   at the adress Pont-en-ogoz 3, at the Le Bry village. From the parking you will see a clear path to the island.

Perhaps the island would be more impressiv when surrounded by water and getting there by boat? I am however very pleased to have walked to the island!

But by kayaking might be fun though!!

My 10 favorite waterfalls

I am inlove with anything that has to do with water! So it comes naturally that I love waterfalls ! 

I have seen many many waterfalls in my life. Especially when I live in a country as Switzerland where a valley is called Valley of the 72 waterfalls! 

I will ofcourse not going to bring out all my favorit falls but only 10 of them. The list is not only based on the beauty of the falls but aswell of the great memories I have from that place!


1. Semuc Champey, Guatemala


2014

Semuc Champey is not an easy place to get to but worth every minute of the bumpy ride in a crowded bus.

This cascade is first on my list because I love waterfalls that create many levels of swimming holes or pools. The turquoise pools are surrounded by lush green vegetation and make a beautiful contrast. It’s peaceful and most of the time you are having this place all for yourself.
 

2. Jim jim falls, Australia

 

2014

In spite of lack of the water from the waterfall I still think Jim Jim falls earns a second place on my list. Just imagine this place when there is water pourring down! As long as there is not a crocodile swimming down the falls! Don’t forget we are talking about Australia! 

3.  Wallamans falls, Australia

2014

Australians tallest waterfall with a plunge of almost 300 meters. Do I need to say more?

 

4. Sendang tui, Indonesia

2014

A beautiful waterfall on the Lombok island. What you can’t see from the picture is there are garbages floating everywhere! We paid an entrance for the park but all around the park was plastic bottles and bags. It was sad to see.

5. Agua azul, Mexico

2014

Agua azul means blue water in spanish. Instead of shimmering blue we got grey and murky water because of the heavy rain the days before. However, the many levels of falls were still beautiful!

6. Kuangsi, Laos

2011

Unfortunally when we were backpacking in 2011 I was not into photography so I don’t have much (any) photo from this fall. It was truly beautiful with the blue milky water descending down in many levels. It was just to crowded that time we were there.
 

7. Gumlom waterfalls creek, Australia

2014

You guys know I heart an infinity pool but what is even better is a natural infinity pool with an amazing view. A bit dry by the time we got there but we were enjoying the little water it was left. 

8. Saluopa, Indonesia

2014

I remember people and plastic…everywhere! But this falls is special because the fall was almost white like it was whipped cream smeared on the rocks. 

9. Shiraito no taki, Japan

Small small stream of water falling down. Since it is in Japan just imagine if they have plant cherry trees around and during the spring..wow!

10. Mürrenbach falls, Switzerland

2016

What is so special with this one in Lauterbrunnen is how excited we were when we could walk all the way up to the fall! And aswell how beautiful and tall it actually is! I appreciate Mürrenbach more than the famous Staubbach fall on the same valley not far away.

And do you guys have any favorite waterfalls?

 

 

 

Cherry blossom trail in Frick

I so so love having a picnic under a blooming tree. Especially under a huge Magnolia, cherry or apple tree. That’s one of my favorite thing to do in spring! (No, spring cleaning is not one of them!)

When we lived in Lausanne we had our favorite places to have a picnic under blooming trees. But now after a year living in Bern we still have no clue where to view cherry blossom. I asked around and someone suggested me to take a walk on the “Chriesiwäg” in Frick in the Canton of Aargau. It is about 40km from Basel, 50km from Zurich and 110km from Bern. Normally we wouldn’t drive over an hour just to see some cherry trees but something made us go there last friday and we don’t regret the decision! 

We parked our car infront of the Frick railway station. It was 0.75 chf an hour, not expensiv. From the ticket office at railway station we got a map of the 5km round hike.

The wow-moment start almost as soon as we arrive to the starting point of the hike around 1km from the railway station. It’s easy to find the way as all you need to do is follow the family cherry sign!

The road is in good condition no problem for using a stroller but as we had our daughter in a carrier we were free to explore, walk around the field as we wish and took our time. I suggest you to use one because to fully enjoying this place is to go off the beaten track!

It was heavenly to walk among and between the trees feeling the spring in the air. And the whole field was smelling so sweet of flowers! I might exaggerate but I think the spring got into me !😊

We were there on a friday between 11am to 4pm and there were not much people around.

Along the 5km there are information panels on the trail about the cherry varieties, the bees and the landscape ect. But unfortunally only in german. There is a picnic, BBQ and WC area.

Tips! Incase you like better the fruit itself than the flower then come later on the summer to eat some cherries directly from trees marked in blue...for free!! 

I can already imagine us sitting under a cherry tree reaching up for a cherry one after another…mmmm my kind of happiness !

For more information: Here

Do you guys have any favorite blooming tree you want to share?

I am dreaming of a Swedish summer

While many people are dreaming of a long stretch of white sand, the sea crystal clear and eating rice with spicy curry. I am dreaming of pine forest, lakes and eating potatoes with pickled herring. 

I am dreaming of Sweden! Or more correctly I am dreaming of Swedish summer!

I have not been back to Sweden since summer 2006. That is over 10 years ago. Every summer I keep telling David that this summer we are packing for a Swedish summer. But ofcourse somewhere else has always seems more exiting so Swedish summer has always becoming “next summer”!

So no, this summer we are not going but next summer WE ARE GOING! 

I miss Swedish summer so much!

Stockholm

I miss Stockholm where I used to live. I even miss HallundaAlby and Tumba where I grew up. I can’t wait to bike around Botkyrka kommun and swim and grill korv med bröd by Albysjön listning to The Latin Kings showing my Swiss husband and daughter my secret places and where I use to play as kid. Perhaps go and fish some gädda in Ekerö. I even want to show them ICAKonsum and Pressbyrån. And Skärholmens centrum where I use to shop as a teenager.

I want to stroll hand in hand with my family in Stockholm where my girlfriends and I use to make noises at every Vattenfestival. Or walking by Patricia in Slussen where I use to get drunk. Being childish at Gröna Lund. I miss the Spökhuset!

I want to jump onto a boat and get lost in Stockholms skärgård and eat rökta räkor, våfflor and Piggelin. And eat a tunnbrödsrulle at Sibylla but perhaps not at the Stockholms skärgård.

Stockholms skärgård

Tunnbröd! Mmmmm

I want to make a road trip from Malmö to Kiruna. I want to swim naked in one of the thousands lakes and make smultron på strå for my daughter to eat and a maskros krans for her to wear. And pick kantareller for dinner.

Smultron!

I want to sleep in a peaceful sommarstuga by a lake and dance around the midsommarstången while learning my daughter to sing “Sommartider” by Gyllne tiderIf we have time we could take a Silja Line or Viking line to Soumilandet

And eat Semlor!!

Ohh how I miss Swedish summer! 


Traveling as young VS Traveling as old

Ok, I’m not old but I’m older! 

There are thirteen years between my first real taste of the world and my latest one. My first big step into the world was made in 2001 when I was 20 and I was interrailing alone for a month in Europe. And my latest adventure in the world was for fifteen month in 2013-2015 and I was then 33-35.

When I was 20 years old I thought I knew so much about life but now at 36 I’m just laughing thinking about myself as 20! And when I am 50 I problably will be laughing harder when thinking of me back as 36!

So traveling as 20 and traveling as 36 is totally different for me beacause I have mentally and physically changed during those sixteen years. If I’m now going to redo the same trip as in 2001 the trip would totally be different! 

So at what stage in life is the best time to travel for me? Everyone is ofcourse different so this post is based on me and how I was before VS how I am now.


1. Money

Happy to have a nice room once awhile. Here in Jodhpur, India 2014

Money is important if you want to travel and when I was younger I didn’t have a lot. I had a job in a kindergarten but saving up money was harder at 20 because at that time it was hard saying no to my friends when they wanted to do something that included spending money. As older I am just saying firmly but kindly NO!

So I am having more money to travel as older and therefore I can do more cool stuff and permit myself to eat better than instant noodles in hostel kitchen. And sleep in a better room than in a dormtoir.

Young: 0  VS Old: 1


2. Physically lazy

34 years old and love physically challenges. Photo: Mount Rinjani, Indonesia 2014

Honestly, at 20 I was adventurous by heart but I was physically lazy! I was choosing to do activities that was not physically hard but often I was wishing to do them. Now when I am older I am in better shape and not afraid of physical challenges. For exemple I went trekking for ten days in himalaya. At 20 years old I would never do that but instead rather lay down by the beach reading a book. That is fine to, but for three weeks? I missed a lot of great adventures traveling at 20!

So for me traveling as older I am having greater experiences than I had before!

Young: 0 VS Old: 2


3. Mentally ready

Solo traveler at 20. Photo: Venize, Italy 2001

When you travel in the world for the first time it is important to be mentally ready because it can be a big and lonely out there! Oh my! I was shy and insecure about myself and very socially ackward…but inspite of that I had the courage to take the huge step to traveling on my own! But I missed out a lot of fun as I was shy and rather spend the evening reading a book rather than to hang out with other backpackers from the same hostel. If I was as I am now I wouldn’t miss a single opportunity to hangout with people. For me people are those who makes my day memorable and not only the place.

Very shy but I made some friends! I remeber them more than I remember the site. Photo: Athen, Greece 2001

Young: 0 VS Old: 3


4. The cultural interest

Visiting a stupa. Photo: Buddhanath temple, Nepal 2013

As younger I didn’t go to Rome to see the Colosseum. I was traveling for the sake of traveling! I just went somewhere just to get away. I didn’t care if there was a Van Gogh museum just around the corner. I was just happy to be walking on the street of Amsterdam. Now at 36 I still love just to stroll around without any goal but as older I also need, not necessary always a museum but it could be for an exemple a garden or a building, to make my day complete.

But at the end as I was younger I was happy even though I didn’t go to Van Gogh museum or entered the Colosseum because I was happy just being there. So why not?

Young: 0 VS Old: 3


5. Planing

At 20 I was traveling without any guide books. Zero plans! I don’t remember how I managed to get around places to places.  I often got suprised as I never knew what to expect of the place. I remember when I traveled for the first time with David. We went to Sardegna and he wanted to rent guide books and I told him “No, let’s rent a car and be spontaneous!”. We had a nice week but I agreed with David when we were in the middle of nowhere that if we had a guide book we could know if there are anything intressting nearby. Or a good recommended restaurant.

I used maps! Photo: Venize, Italy 2009

Now at 36 I just love to make some research before traveling and decide my destination according to my research. Perhaps because it is easier now than before to find information thanks to IT and Iphones instead of always go to the library and rent guide books.

However, I prefer to make research beforehand to make sure I don’t miss anything awesome!

Young: 0 VS Old: 4


6. Taking a photo

Photography goes hand in hand with travel. I loved to take photos and I still love it! The difference is that I was taking the photo for me. One click and I was happy. Now I am clicking thousands and just to impress others. It is very sad and very time consuming! So as young I enjoyed the moment more as I spend less time worrying about taking the perfect picture.

Photo: Angor Wat, Cambodia 2011

Young: 1 VS Old: 4

As you can see at the final score traveling as an older me is better than younger me. I have more money, more courage, I am fitter and I plan better my trips.

How about you guys? Did you had more fun traveling when you were younger?



When I have to defend my way of living as a travelholic

Many people love to travel but perhaps not as much as I do. And many people don’t even like to travel but most of them respect the way I want to live my life while other few can have a negativ opinion about it.

When I come across these people I sometime get comments I don’t appreciate. This doesn’t happen very often but when it does I kind of having a second thought about travelling. Are they right? Why not spending money on a house? Why not thinking to build a career instead of running around the world every two years! Think about your daughter, shouldn’t she go to ordinary school? 

Just for a few second I actually think that they are right. But that last just for a few second!

Thanksfully!

Here are some of the comments and questions I once got. And the answers I gave back.

1. Are you travelling so much to escape your boring life?

Photo: Mount Bromo, Indonesia 2014

….it sound very cheezy but that is the simple truth and very spot on.

2. Why do you think about travelling so much? Enjoy what you have here!

What makes you belive that I am not enjoying this beautiful country Switzerland where the mountains are so high, the lakes are so many, the rivers are so long and the chocolat is so good?

Photo: Niederhorn, Switzerland 2016

3. You must be rich to be able to travel so much.

Just stop shopping, eating out, drinking beers, go to cinema every weekend...for about six month. See then how richer you suddently got!

4. Isn’t time to settle down and buy a house?

I would love to buy a house! But I don’t have enough money to buy a house. But I do have enough money to travel! I wish though that I could afford both!

Photo: Annapurna, Nepal 2013

 5. Is it worth the money?

Swim with a whaleshark, find a seahorse, hug a koala , walk on the Salar de Uyuni, climb the highest mountain…for me yes!

Is your new sofa worth the money?   

I love to buy experience not things!



How about you travelholic out there. Do you have comments and questions that you hate to get? 


A small family of three trying to create a life full of travel and adventure. We love the mountains, the forest, the sea and everything in between! @familyearthtrek

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