Saturday, 31 August 2013

Photo of the Week - Perfect Coffee!

I have to say I do like to go to a cafe and have a coffee, sit for ages with friends just talking and people watching. So the Sunday that Alessio left to go to Italy back in July I met up with Arlene and Jackie, first we went for some sushi and then we stopped at the Movienpick cafe right next to Mascotte in Zurich. It was a lovely hot evening and the city centre was very busy, just the right place to obverse lots of people.

Monday, 26 August 2013

A Trip to Lake Ritom

Back in mid July Alessio and I went on a day trip to Lake Ritom, in the Piora valley which is just after the Gotthard tunnel in the Ticino.

It does take around 2.5 hours to get there, first up to have to get to Airolo, from there you get a bus to Piora, then a short walk to the funicular.

When we reached the funicular we had a short wait for the next one, it did seem like it took ages to arrive, as it was a really hot day.

According to the brochure it is the steepest funicular in Europe with its maximum slope of 87.8%. Once at the top we had a 25min walk to the lake, passing lots of lovely flowers and many butterflies.

As you expect there are a number of hikes to do and I wanted to walk around the lake but at 4 hours seemed like a long time, but then Alessio started to complain of a sore tummy so that stopped that idea. We opted for a short rest and then we went to the restaurant for a coffee when suddenly Alessio decided he wanted an ice cream!

At a height of 1850m, the lake is used as a reservoir for the Swiss Railways to generate hydro-electric power for the Gotthard tunnel.

As always the train journey to the Ticino is amazing, lots of wonderful sights to see, I for one never tire of this train trip.

Friday, 23 August 2013

The Blue Aquarium, Denmark

One of the places we visited during our stay in Denmark was The Blue Aquarium, Alessio had a choice between this place and the zoo. It is really near to the airport so not that far away from Copenhagen, it is quite an impressive building with five arms and nearly all surrounded by water. It is the biggest aquarium in Northern Europe and we saw lot of amazing fish and animals.

In the huge tank there were hammerhead sharks, rays, and lots of other beautiful and colourful fish, that I had never heard off. The 6th photo is of a alligator snapping turtle which I never knew existed, this reptile has been in the news here as one was in a lake in Southern Germany and bit a young boy. Apparently people have them as pets, quite why someone would want that as a pet in hard to imagine. You certainly do not want to meet one of those while swimming around!

Afterwards we sat outside and enjoyed the view, Alessio played near the water, he liked the aquarium very much. He wanted to see a whale, sadly there were no whales. Maybe I will just have to take him somewhere whale spotting!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Photo of the Week -

In the middle of July I went to Lugano with 3 friends Hannah, Linda and Riikka. We stayed in a flat very near to Lugano. This vehicule was parked where we had parked the car and I thought it looked quite interesting. The whole weekend was really great fun and more of what we got up too, is still to come!

Not sure what to call the title of the post, any ideas!

Monday, 19 August 2013

Turning Torso in Malmo

Turning Torso is a residential building designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, it is tallest building in Scandinavia. It is 190m high, it twists 90 degrees from bottom to top and has 54 storeys, in it there are amongst other things 147 flats.

It is based on a sculpture called Twisting Torso also by Calatrava, who is a trained sculptor, architect and engineer. His main office is in Zurich, he also designed the Stadelhofen railway station here in Zurich.

While we were in Copenhagen we went by train to Malmo, towards the end of the day we went to see the building. I really wanted to see it up close as I think it is a fascinating building, I like how it twists around. The views are almost certainly amazing and no doubt living there must cost a lot of money.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

A Trip to the Brienzer Rothorn

This has been a very busy summer for me, Alessio had to be kept busy for 5 weeks. He spent nearly 2 weeks in Italy, then my sister and family came for one week and finally he went to Denmark with me.

While my sister was here I planned a day trip for everyone and we went to Lake Brienz and took the steam railway train up to the Brienzer Rothorn. Just to get to Lake Brienz was an effort in itself, took more than 2 hours,  the journey up takes one hour, though it is only 7.6km ride.

The Brienzer Rothorn is 2,350m above sea level and is on the border of 3 Kantons Berne, Lucerne and Obwalden. At the other end of Lake Brienz is Interlaken which you could just see in the distance, once at the top it was quite chilly, the boys liked seeing the snow.

The journey up was very amazing, we go through 12 tunnels and coming out of them is great as the smell from the steam is horrible. It chugs up slowly, there is always great views of the lake and the mountains. From the top you have an panoramic view of the Bernese and Central Swiss Alps, there are hikes to do, but we did not have much time. After a snack in the restaurant, we walked a little higher up to the summit and then we caught the train back down.

Back at Lake Brienz the boys got to refresh their feet in the lake and the adults had a cool beer. It was a great trip but with public transport it is really quite long and tiring to do, plus it was a really hot day.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Copenhagen Words

Alessio and I are just back from a week in Copenhagen, we had wonderful sunny weather with only one day of heavy rain.  We met my parents there and did 3 day trips, one to Malmo in Sweden which was very interesting. The other 3 days were spent in and around Copenhagen, we saw lots of wonderful sights and lots of colourful buildings.

We ate lots of good food and met lots of nice people, so if you have not been to Copenhagen it is well worth a visit. There will be more posts of the trip to come, so keep looking!