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A sea of Narcissus in Les Pléiades, Switzerland

Everybody loves a field full of wildflowers. Imagine a field full of wild white Narcissus, thousands of them spread all over on green hills with mountains behind as decor. You think that I am dreaming. If I am dreaming please don’t wake me up!

 

Ever since I have discover the Narcissus hikes around Montreaux, Blonay and Vevey area by the lake Leman I was waiting with patience for the wild Narcissus season to begin. They are in fully bloom between mid-may and last until mid-june. The Narcissus flowering is dependent on height and sunshine as well as the weather conditions. Click here where you can get all the information of all the six Narcissus hikes and you can enter your planned date to be informed if the Narcissus are in bloom or not for that particular hike you want to do.

A few weeks ago as the Narcissus were in fully bloom at the Les Avants I was so excited to take our first hike on mountain slopes covered with white flowers. All I can say is that I was heartbroken as it was not as dense and beautiful as I have imagined. I didn’t want to give up on laying on a bed of thousands of Narcissus so when the Narcissis forecast for Les Pléiades (and the weather ) looked good we decided to head there.

And I am so happy for our decision as the place was so beautiful! So dense and so much more white flowers on places all along the hike.

It’s not a stroller friendly hike but it is very short, 4km with not much to climb. You can take the train either from Vevey or Blonay to Les Pléiades. We parked our car at the parking Motalles in Lally and then walk up 20 min to the Les Pléiades. It’s a loop hike so you will end up at the parking lot.

Parking aux Mortalles, Lally.

Walk direction Les Pléiade.

Take right where the couple are standing and then about 10 meters on the right again. 



You can pick the flowers but only a handfull without the leaf and the root.


 

So what do you think, has you seen anything as beautiful and unique in Switzerland ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our misfortunes on our travels

We all have heard stories about peoples problem they have during their travels. Most of the stories are about getting sick, rain on the vacation, car accident or lost item. I wish I could say that none of these things never has ever happen to us but unfortunally we have our own misfortune stories to share.


Getting sick

Yes, getting sick is not uncommun and I don’t know anyone who hasn’t got sick during a long travel.

Apart that David is vomitting almost in every country we have visited the worse time for him was in Nepal and India! David caught the famous the tourista that lasted for over two month, from Nepal all the way to India!

The story that has to be told is the story when David got badly sick on the ghat in Varanasi. The same day we ought to catch our train from Varanasi to Mumbai David suddently felt nausy while walking with our backpack by the river Ganges, hurrying to take the train. David said that he has to lay down and so he did. He was complaining of stomach cramps and he was in agony of pain. “Here it comes again” I thought. And it did, right in a plastic bag. I managed to ask a tourist helping us carrying Davids bag to the nearest hotel. We were spending another week in Varanasi. Lucky we had time to lose.

I was not really puking. I was making fun of David. Luckly we were staying at a friends house in Katmandu.

And I myself who rarely get sick neither at home or on a trip got a very high fever and very sore throat for over a week in Vietnam in 2011 and in Nepal in 2014. I thought I was going to die!

Accident

Being in an accident is something we all try to avoid no matter where we, at home or out travelling.

Scooter accident in India

We were crusing around feeling the wind on the hair when a dog came out of nowhere chasing after us. David lost the control and I was thrown off and glide about 10 meters away. Luckly I wore jeans that day which I normally do when we are on scooter.

A car crash

We were on a tourist bus going to Huatulco in Mexico when we suddently heard a crash and the window opposite side of me shattered into pieces. Apparently a truck crash onto the bus and drove away. The lady who sat beside that window got injured of the glas splitters. Lucky that I have chosen to sit the otherside!

Overcrowded boat

TWe were on a small remoted island in Indonesia and the resort offerd all the guest a free boat transfer to another island to catch tbe ferry going to the mainland. Ofcourse in Asia a transportation is never full enough. We were about 30 people plus heavy bags for a boat for maximum 10 people. Luckly we were not far out when the boat started to swing high up from side to side without any control. Luckly that the boat got so heavy we got stuck on the corals so the boat stopped swinging. We sat there till they send us a second boat.


Lost items

Camera

David was responsable for our Canon. For ten days David had it hanging on his neck when we trekked to Annapurna basecamp. The day after we got back to the civilisation still very exhaustes we realise that the Canon is gone. Where can it be? Luckly we used two camera so all the photos are not lost.

Our photos!

Our backpacks

We were once again on a remoted island in Indonesia. The same morning we were leaving there were two boat coming. One was going to the mainland and the second one going to another island. We put our bags down among the others while eating our breakfast and the first boat left. But then when it was our turn to leave an hour later our bags were gone! I knew straight away that the other boat took ours by misstake. So we had to charter a longtail boat to catch the other boat going direction mainland. 2 hours later we even arrived almost as the same time. Our bags where back in our possesion but now with the same longtail boat we have to go all the way back plus another 2 hours to the island we had in mind. And lucky we made it just in time before it started to rain!

5hours on a longtail boat one better find something to do.

Moneybelt

David was wearing a moneybelt when we flew from Indonesia to Australia. In that belt we had a lot of cash and our passport. When we got of the plane and out to the terminal hall someone was poking our back. Is this yours that person ask us. Yes, it is our moneybelt!!! Thank you! THANK YOU! David didn’t even notice that he had dropped it! Lucky that there are honest people!

 

Getting lost

David got lost in Bangkok once when my family and I were praying in a small temple near the china town. David wanted to take a walk. Don’t go far and don’t be to long, I told him. He came back almost 2 hours later in a taxi. I got lost, he said. Luckly that the taxi driver understod Davids explaination about the temple. And we were all sooo worried as he didn’t have any money or phone on him.

 

Car problem

Once…or rather twice our hired campervan let us down. Lucky that there is Couchsurfing so we were happy to be sleeping on a real bed.


Anoter rented car in Australia and this time a 4WD. We thought yeay atlast a 4WD so we could drive out of “the beaten track”. But ofcourse we got stuck in the sand. We were quite nervous not knowing if anyone would pass by because after all we were middle of nowhere. Lucky that an hour after THE RANGERS passed by...oh how I love them.

Thinking about these incidents we were quite lucky at the end. It could have been worse, a lot worse! There were many many time we thought we are not going to get back home safe and sound. But we did!

 

And you guys, do you have any stories to share?

 

Hiking at The Zion Narrows, one of our favorite hike!

To be honest the hike at the Narrows isn’t our favorite hike at the Zion national park, the Angels landing is but I can assure you that the Narrows is aswell very awesome!

The day before our hike we went to the visitor center to make sure that there was not a Flash Flood Warning. People have died in the narrows beacause of a flash flood caused by a storms kilometers far away! It might not be raining where you are but it might somewhere else.

Once we got the green light, this is optional, we rented each a pair of canyoneering shoes (18$/pair) to help preventing an ankle injury and Neoprene socks (7$/pair) to keep our feet warm. Inspite of the price I was very happy to be walking in the shoes as there was no way you could see what was on the bottom of the river. I remember a few times my feet got stuck between rocks and I was so grateful to have my funny looking shoes on.

Our “walking on the moon” shoes.

Map here: Zion Guru

We started our 16km (ten miles) round trip hike at the Temple of Sinawalast stop of the free Zion canyon shuttleand turned back when we reached the Big falls, the campsite. We were there in late september (2014) and it was crowded but the further you get into the narrows less people it will be because most of them will turn around by the Wall street

As you can see at the map above there are several hikes and you can even go further and for some of them you will need a permit.


It was harder than I expected walking upstream some parts knee to waist hight water, on loose rocks and slippery boulders. Sometime there are potholes but ofcourse you don’t see them until you plunge into one. At some stretch it was a challenge to choose the “right” way to pass. One tips is to look of the people who are walking infront of you…some will fall into a pothole or slip..well then you will know where not to walk.  Another tips is to use a stick! I am still laughing thinking of this guy who put his stuff on his head and walked straight forward and then suddently we saw only his head.


This hike was pure fun and not just an ordinary walk on the mountain that we are so familiar with. And ofcourse the big reason why this slot canyon walk is very popular is the beauty of this place! Everyone should try to hike as far as you can even if it’s not very far because behind every corner you will have a wow-moment!  Just remember that none of my photography makes the Narrows any justice! 

When to go:

The Narrows is normally closed between mid March-late May depending of the level of the water and runoff. The best season to go is between summer and autumn, june-november. If you dare you can do it during winter season, but if you doing it you problably already know about the freezing water.

More great information about hiking the Narrows click Here and Here
So what are you waiting for? Go do this hike!

I have fear of travelling

Travelling for long term is something many people would love to do and those who don’t manage to get out there seems to have the same fears. They have fear of stepping out of their comfort zone and they have fear for the unknown. But the biggest fear has to be the fear of having economy problems, not finding somewhere to live and not finding a job when getting back home.

Althought I can understand why some are having these fear, I myself never had any! I could exchange my soul for unlimited time to travel anywhere in the world!

In early 2015 when we got home from our RTW trip I was already few months pregnant. Even though we were expecting a baby I knew in my heart that in a few years we will be packing our backpack and leave again.

And now almost three years later we are actually leaving soon! Without revealing to much we have set a departure date! It’s very exciting and both David and I are very happy. The decision to leave came naturally without any questions asked. But slowly, for the first time, I am starting to have fears and doubts of leaving.

The reason why I want to do this trip so bad is the same reason why I am afraid of doing it. The reason is my daughter Mirabelle! 

This time this trip is dedicated to her. It’s for her we are leaving. We are offering ourself and our time to be with her everyday, showing her nature, wildlife and amazing places. Teach her and just love her endlessly! But I am starting to have doubts! I am asking and telling myself: 

 

Are we being selfish? Perhaps this is more what we want and not what she needs??”

” Is it really fair to take her away from her home because children need stability!”

 “We are putting her in danger by always travelling around!”

She will be so bored sitting long hours on planes, car and buses!”

“What if she will have problems adapting when she starts school when we get home?”

“She need to socialise with other kids than her parents!!”

The doubt always comes at the bedtime. But each time the sun comes up I am always having answers for my doubts.

“All she need are her parents! She will be with us all the time and that is what makes her happy!”

“An accident can happen everywhere even in Switzerland. Just by crossing the street! And we will not take any risk by jumping on a half fonctional bus riding for 8 hours!”

 

Waiting for the “chicken bus” to leave.

” During our trip we will find other travel families for a playdate, going to the local playgrounds and arranging our days suitable for her. And the world is her playground! What is better than that?”

“She might have difficulties adapting in a class later but perhaps she will be like a fish in the water! We are willing to take the risk!”

As parents we don’t always know what is best for our children but we always do what we think is the best! Time can only tell if we are making the best choise but deep in my heart I know we are….

….are we really?

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?