Sunday, 29 July 2012

Bernina Express

This was back in the middle of June when I went with Aimee on the spectacular Bernina Express train journey from Tirano in Italy to Chur, Switzerland.

Once we left Tirano we came to the Brusio circular viaduct which is a 360- degree curve which allows the train to change heights in a very short space of time! Then we pass Lake Poschiavo which looked  lovely indeed, then passed the actual town itself and then we started to climb! The 4th photo is the view of Poschiavo and the lake, each time the train changed direction there was another photo opportunity.

Then we reach the station of Alp Grüm surrounded by the Palü Glacier and Lake Palü, sadly photos of the lake were blurred.

On to the highest part of the journey at Ospizio Bernina which lies at 2,253m. Then we come to Lago Bianco and Lei Nair the names refer to the colours of the lake water!

We then pass Pontresina and had a 15min stop, then came the Stazerwald moorland, which may have the waterfall you see in a photo.

We pass some very interesting looking town or villages which make you want to go back and visit them! Filisur and Thusis were such places but who knows if I will go back! Then we ride on the Landwasser Viaduct which is 136m long and the arches are 100m high.

We then came to castle land called Domleschg, which apparently has many castles in such a small area. Yet again the photos did not come out so good, taking through moving windows is not so easy!

Finally we reached Chur after 4.5 hours I think, it has been recognised by UNESCO World Heritage site. It was a great train journey and we were really lucky with the hot, sunny weather that we got such brilliant views of everything!

So if you fancy seeing some Swiss scenery this is certainly a great way to do it, I also reserved tickets from my Gemeinde so it only cost 40ch for the bus and train. Then the train back to Zurich was also in that ticket so great value for money. The trip can also be taken starting at Chur and finishing in Tirano, then you take the bus to Lugano.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

June Books, Films and Concerts

So it is that time again to see what I got up too in June with regards to books, films and concerts.

We start with films and I saw only 3, the best had to be this film 2 Days in New York. I was absolutely hilarious, all the actors were great but both Julie Delpy and Chris Rock were brilliant. It was also great to see New York, the film kind of reminded me a little of a Woody Allen film.

Then I saw Dark Shadows which was also good with Johnny Depp in the main role, directed by Tim Burton.

Finally I saw Snow White and The Huntsman from all the films this was ok, nothing special.

I read 5 books, one for the vintage reading challenge called Green for Danger by Christianna Brand.

Then I re-read the classic The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald, since there is a new movie version coming out in December, I thought I would read it again. To be honest it was like reading it for the first time as I could not remember any of the story.

Cold in the Earth by Aline Templeton a crime novel with DI Marjory Flemming, set in Scotland in Galloway, an area I have not been too. This book was ok but I would read more of the series and I like books set in Scotland too.

The Company of Shadows by Ruth Newman a thriller which I really enjoyed set in Miami and Sicily, kept me going and I did not take long to read.

Finally I read Juliet Naked by Nick Hornby, this is the first book of his that I have read and I really enjoyed it. I was quite funny and will no doubt be made into a film, in fact while reading I was trying to think who would play the aging rocker!

Last by not least I went to see the band Death Car for Cutie, yes a strange name but a great concert this American band is quite new to me. I love their latest album Codes and Keys, so if you have not heard it go and listen to it!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Photo of the Week - Food Art

Hope you are not feeling hungry!! This is taken in the Merrion Hotel in Dublin, we went there for a delicious afternoon tea, as part of our hen weekend for Hannah. This was the second course and the three desserts were based on paintings hanging in the hotel. I cannot tell you what ones, but maybe from the photo you can recognize then from the little card at the back. The hotel is beautiful all the rooms that I saw looked amazing, a bit out of my money range though!

Monday, 16 July 2012

Lugano to Tirano by bus

In the middle of June I went for a long weekend with Aimee to Lugano,where we stayed overnight, then by bus to Tirano in Italy on the Sunday. This is a very scenic route which takes you along the northern shores of Lake Lugano past towns such as Gandria and Porlezza. The onto Lake Como where the first two photos are taken, not sure which of the lovely villages it was, as they were all beautiful. Just a trip to those villages would have to be another excuse for a trip! We stopped in Sorico for 15mins and then on to Tirano which is practically at the border with Switzerland. It had many lovely places to see but with only one hour until our train left and feeling rather hungry we did not see that much. The whole journey takes 3 hours and the driver explains some of the places on the way. Then we found our train, our seats and awaited a fab journey through some wonderful places in Switzerland, post to come later!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

O is for Orange

I nearly forgot about this letter for some reason anyway the letter O is for the colour orange. The first two photos are taken in my home, then the next four are from Holland. The last one is from the Keukenhof gardens with my mother and Miffy a famous rabbit from Holland from the artist Dick Bruna! We had thought about visiting the museum in Utrecht but Alessio was feeling sick then so we had to cut short our trip that day!
Summer holidays are here and I am off to England for a wedding this weekend, photos to follow!!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Statues at Design Museum Zurich

The Swiss Design Museum (Museum für Gestaltung) situated very near to the Main station usually has lots of good exhibitions ranging from design, architecture, and art. I recently went to see two exhibitions there, the first was on 100 years of Swiss Design. I enjoyed that very much, it showed all the famous Swiss designs that we know and some we do not. The second one was on the Freitag bags and how the company started up, also I enjoyed that as I have my own Freitag bag.

Outside there is a fountain with four statues of men sitting, not sure what it is supposed to mean. It is a nice place to sit and contemplate life and next to it there is some stuff for kids to play. Lately I have been passing by on my way with Alessio to a park that is near here that we both like very much.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Dublin Sights

Parliment Building
Trinity Uni
Molly Malone
Oscar Wilde
Potato Famine Statue

Back in May I went to Dublin for a long weekend with a bunch of ladies it was a hen weekend. Now Hannah`s wedding is on Saturday in the UK, it has come so quickly.

We arrived on Thursday late evening, once checked into our rooms we headed to the bar next door for a few drinks.

Friday we visited the Guinness Storehouse which I have already posted about, we also went on those hop on and off buses. It was a good way to see Dublin, although taking photos was not so easy. With some spare time I decided to buy some books as they only cost 5 euros and some other bits and pieces. Friday evening we went to a restaurant and then to listen to some Irish music in a pub nearby.

Saturday all the group had arrived and we all went for afternoon tea in the Merrion Hotel, it was very posh and the food was wonderful. Then we all split up again, myself and two other ladies Riikka and Jo we did some sightseeing. We walked around the square with the Georgain houses and then we saw the statue of Oscar Wilde. We then went to St Stephens Green and walked around the park, then we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the evening.

In the evening we all had dinner in a bar and later on headed downstairs to the nightclub. Sunday was a quiet day as some were recovering from hangovers and we all headed home. 

It was a lovely weekend, we all had lots of fun and laughter!!