Jungfraujoch

On the last day of my Africa / Europe trip I visited the beautiful mountain saddle called Jungfraujoch situated in the Bernese Alps. Jungfraujoch connects the two peaks of Jungfrau and Monch and is situated at an elevation of 11371 feet (3466 metres) above sea level.

I started my day off by being picked up by Gray Line Tours at Zurich Central Train Station at 8:30am. The tour coach drove to the beautiful city of Interlaken via a quick stop in Lucerne to pick up people, which is also a very notable place to visit in Switzerland. In Interlaken we stopped for a quick coffee and bathroom break before continuing onto Lauterbrunnen, where we boarded a cog-wheel train to take us to Kleine Scheidegg. The train ride up from Lauterbrunnen was amazing as you could see the nearly 300 metre tall Staubbach Waterfall that towers over the entire town. This town seems like it is something out of a fairytale.

2018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 022018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 032018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 052018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 062018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 072018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 082018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 092018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 162018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 202018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 21

Once we reached Kleine Scheidegg we switched cog-trains to go to Jungfraujoch. Once we arrived in Jungfraujoch  we toured the “Top of Europe” building which includes several panoramic restaurants, tunnels, the Sphinx (one of the highest astronomical observatories in the world), and a viewing platform. The tour lasted approximately 2.5 hours at the top and was one of the most magnificent things I’ve ever seen. I have to admit when I first arrive in Jungfraujoch I was feeling some mild hypoxia effects having come from Zurich only a few hours before and gaining nearly 11000 feet of elevation gain.

2018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 302018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 322018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 332018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 382018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 442018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 452018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 462018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 472018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 532018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 572018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 602018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 622018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 632018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 642018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 652018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 662018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 682018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 702018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 732018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 752018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 792018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 832018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 912018-09-04 Jungfraujoch 94

We returned on a cog-train at about 3:30pm to Kleine Scheidegg and then took a different cog-train to Grindelwald, another beautiful town situated in the Bernese Alps with a beautiful crystal-clear river running through the middle of it. In Grindelwald we boarded our tour coach to take us back to Zurich, via Lucerne to drop off some people.

This day, albeit an expensive one ($350 CDN), was completely worth it and a very magnificent experience. I highly recommend going to see Jungfraujoch.

Stay tuned for my next adventure which will be quite soon!

Zurich

The next stop on my three weeks of travel was the beautiful city of Zurich, Switzerland. I spent two days here, with one of the days being a side trip to Jungfraujoch, but more on that later.

Accommodation was at the ibis Airport Hotel. The cost was reasonable at $70 CDN, although the rooms were rather simple, but the beds were comfortable.

Zurich is Switzerland’s largest city at 408000 people. Switzerland has a population of 8.2 million people. Before we take a look at Zurich let’s look at a bit of history of Switzerland and how Zurich came to be.

Switzerland’s history is rather young. Switzerland was inhabited by the Gauls Raetians and was under Roman rule in the 1st century BC. The Gallo-Roman culture was combined with German influence during 235-284 AD time period. The Swiss Confederation was founded in 1291 as a defensive alliance among three cantons (similar to states or provinces). Other localities joined the original three cantons over the years. The Swiss Confederation became independent of the Holy Roman Empire in 1499. The constitution of 1848 replaced the confederations with a centralized federal government. This constitution was modified again in 1874. Switzerland’s sovereignty and neutrality have long been honoured by the major European powers and the country was not involved in either of the two world wars. Switzerland did not become a European Union member until 2002, but maintains its own currency.

Zurich has an extensive tram network that would make many other cities jealous. The trams run every 6 minutes and are very punctual. This keeps traffic extremely light in the city as most people take public transport. Other cities that I have visited that have had great success with trams are Amsterdam, and Melbourne. Two cities that I’ve visited that used to a great tram network before the 1950’s rush to build automotive highways were Auckland, New Zealand and my home town Calgary, Canada. The mayor of Auckland even ordered the removal of some of the tram lines in the middle of the night! It’s a shame because these two cities are absolutely plugged with traffic.

Zurich is an extremely wealthy city, and Switzerland is also an extremely wealthy country with a large population working white collar jobs such as Google (3000 people in Zurich alone), fine quality jewelery and watches, chocolate, and banking and finance.

Zurich straddles both sides of the Limmat river and has many bridges that offer fantastic views, and a beautiful viewpoint from Lindenhof Park. Another wonderful spot for photographs is Grossmunster church, a Romanesque-style Protestant church, which was built between 1100 and 1220 AD.

2018-09-03 Zurich 0022018-09-03 Zurich 0032018-09-03 Zurich 0042018-09-03 Zurich 0062018-09-03 Zurich 0082018-09-03 Zurich 0152018-09-03 Zurich 0162018-09-03 Zurich 0202018-09-03 Zurich 0232018-09-03 Zurich 0252018-09-03 Zurich 0262018-09-03 Zurich 0272018-09-03 Zurich 0282018-09-03 Zurich 0302018-09-03 Zurich 0312018-09-03 Zurich 0352018-09-03 Zurich 0442018-09-03 Zurich 0572018-09-03 Zurich 0592018-09-03 Zurich 0612018-09-03 Zurich 0622018-09-03 Zurich 0642018-09-03 Zurich 0672018-09-03 Zurich 0692018-09-03 Zurich 0792018-09-03 Zurich 0822018-09-03 Zurich 0832018-09-03 Zurich 0862018-09-03 Zurich 0872018-09-03 Zurich 103

Check back shortly for the final installment of my trip; a trip to Jungfraujoch, a notable saddle in the Bernese Alps, connection the two peaks of Junfrau and Monch.

Sulphur Mountain Hike

Last weekend I went on a wonderful hike up Sulphur Mountain in Banff National Park with my friend Hadrian Robinson. It’s a moderate hike with 744 metres of elevation gain and 11km round-trip. The weather was perfect and we couldn’t have had a better day. Check out Hadrian’s wonderful photography on his Instagram account @hadrianrobinsonphotography. Here’s some of my photos from our hike!

2018-06-17 Sulphur Mountain Hike 022018-06-17 Sulphur Mountain Hike 032018-06-17 Sulphur Mountain Hike 042018-06-17 Sulphur Mountain Hike 062018-06-17 Sulphur Mountain Hike 072018-06-17 Sulphur Mountain Hike 082018-06-17 Sulphur Mountain Hike 132018-06-17 Sulphur Mountain Hike 182018-06-17 Sulphur Mountain Hike 192018-06-17 Sulphur Mountain Hike 212018-06-17 Sulphur Mountain Hike 222018-06-17 Sulphur Mountain Hike 232018-06-17 Sulphur Mountain Hike 242018-06-17 Sulphur Mountain Hike 252018-06-17 Sulphur Mountain Hike 26

2018-03-18 – Montserrat & Barcelona

Today I woke up at 7:00am with the help of my alarm clock. Since it was the weekend the only breakfast place that was open near me was McDonald’s so I walked there and had an Egg McMuffin for breakfast before catching the metro and regional train to Montserrat. I arrived in Montserrat at around 10:00am.
Montserrat, whose name means ‘serrated mountain’, is ideally located to play an important role in the cultural and spiritual life of Catalonia. The Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey was built on Montserrat in 880AD. Having survived two fires, and the Spanish Civil War, the basilica still stands strong, and is currently undergoing restoration as i write this.
When in Montserrat I visited the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey as well as taking the funicular up to the top of the mountain to overlook the entire Montserrat complex, as well as complete a small hike.
2018-03-18 Barcelona 0992018-03-18 Barcelona 1002018-03-18 Barcelona 1042018-03-18 Barcelona 1072018-03-18 Barcelona 1092018-03-18 Barcelona 1122018-03-18 Barcelona 1202018-03-18 Barcelona 1212018-03-18 Barcelona 1222018-03-18 Barcelona 1232018-03-18 Barcelona 1262018-03-18 Barcelona 1272018-03-18 Barcelona 1282018-03-18 Barcelona 1292018-03-18 Barcelona 1302018-03-18 Barcelona 1312018-03-18 Barcelona 132
I returned to Barcelona at approximately 3:00pm, and scoped out some food since I was hungry. I noticed a Japanese restaurant called Takumi Ramen Restausant while walking yesterday so I decided to visit there for lunch. I had a spicy chicken ramen dish with vegetables, and it was delicious!
IMG_6719
After finishing a late lunch I took a number 24 bus to Park Güell. The park was another one of Gaüdi’s masterpieces. It’s a total shame that it never got finished.
Eusebi Güell and Antoni Gaudí conceived this park and housing complex in 1900. They imagined an organized grouping of high-quality homes, decked out with all the latest technological advancements to ensure maximum comfort, finished off with an artistic touch.
The park was built between 1900 and 1914 and was officially opened as a public park in 1926 after Gaüdi died and the project was deemed as a failure due to lack of transportation and amenities to the main city, as well as lack of oversight and funds.
2018-03-18 Barcelona 1392018-03-18 Barcelona 1402018-03-18 Barcelona 1412018-03-18 Barcelona 1422018-03-18 Barcelona 1432018-03-18 Barcelona 1442018-03-18 Barcelona 1452018-03-18 Barcelona 1462018-03-18 Barcelona 1472018-03-18 Barcelona 1482018-03-18 Barcelona 1572018-03-18 Barcelona 1592018-03-18 Barcelona 168
After visiting the park I decided to walk around town to discover more architecture including Gaüdi pieces of work such as Casa Calvet before stopping to have a chicken and brie baguette for dinner.
2018-03-18 Barcelona 1352018-03-18 Barcelona 1762018-03-18 Barcelona 1772018-03-18 Barcelona 1782018-03-18 Barcelona 1822018-03-18 Barcelona 1872018-03-18 Barcelona 1882018-03-18 Barcelona 190
After dinner I went back to my hotel at around 8:00pm and prepared for bed as I was fairly tired. Tomorrow is my last day of my trip and includes a trip to Sagrada Familia before hopping on a flight back to Paris.

 

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

August 31st 2016 – New Zealand Day 11

Today I woke up at 7:00am, and prepared an egg skillet for breakfast. I then went and explored Wellington.

First was the infamous Wellington sign, a quirky take on Hollywood.
IMGL7012
I then drove up Mount Victoria and had a beautiful view of the entire city, and watched planes take off from the airport for an hour or so. Wellington International Airport is pretty unique because it has over 5 million passengers a year, but is only services by a single short runway less than 7000 feet long. This combined with its very primitive terminal for its passenger volume limits its ability to really complete internationally. Overseas destinations are limited to the east coast of Australia and the South Pacific. Interestingly Singapore Airlines now flies to Wellington from Singapore with a Boeing 777-200 via Canberra because it can’t fly there directly due to the high takeoff weight associated with loading on that much fuel; therefore must load on a shorter amount of fuel to make the hop over to Canberra.
IMGL7020IMGL7033IMGL7038
After visiting Mount Victoria I walked around the central business district and visited the old government building, the second largest wooden structure in the world, behind Todai-ji in Japan. It was built to house New Zealand’s civil service, and now houses the law school of Victoria University of Wellington. The beautiful is bold and beautiful, as well as well-maintained. The building became the first building in the world to have a smoke-free policy over concerns about the threat of fire, due to the fact the building is entirely constructed of wood.
IMGL7052IMGL7075
Close-by the next stop was the beehive government building.
IMGL7067
After that I was walking towards the Wellington Cable Car when I smelled and saw delicious cookies being baked at Mrs Higgins Cookies, so I stopped and had a white macadamia nut cookie. I should have bought two!
The ride up on the Wellington Cable Car was great, and the price was right, only $7.50 return. I entered the free museum at the top and learned a lot about the cable cars history. The original cable car system opened in 1902 and ran until 1978 when it was replaced by the current system. The old system was built to imperial standards and had double track the entire way up. The new system was built to metric standards, was fully automated, and only has double track in the middle. There were and still are five stations equally space so that when the cable cars are stopped at one station, there will be a cable car at another station. It’s aim was to increase safety and passenger throughput. The original tram had over a million passengers per year in 1912, with its peak nearly two million passengers in one year, but I forget the year. The cable car averages about a million passengers per year now. I was actually lucky I was able to ride on the cable cars because the cable cars had been out of service for nearly three months until August 18th 2016 for upgrades.
IMGL7081IMGL7089IMGL7128IMGL7134
After taking the cable car back down to the central business district I decided to search out some food for lunch. I didn’t have anything in mind so I just walked along until a restaurant’s smell caught my attention; Fishermans Plate Seafood. It was an odd combination of meal choices, fish and chips, and Vietnamese. I had some sate beef soup, and it was the best I’ve ever had in my life. It’s a good thing because it was rated one of the best ten restaurants in Wellington this year.
After enjoying my delicious lunch I walked around for a few more hours enjoying the beautiful architecture, and making sure to visit the infamous Cuba street, before heading back to my camper.
IMGL7049IMGL7048IMGL7043IMGL7079IMGL7143IMGL7158IMGL7163IMGL7165
The next stop was Trucks and Trailers Ltd., located in Lower Hull, a subdivision of Wellington. I picked up two replacement parts for my camper for $26 to repair the damage from my accident a few days before. This way I don’t have to go through insurance.
I then browsed through my GPS for spots to visit around Waikanae, where I wanted to be for the night, because tomorrow I’m going to visit a car museum there I found a scenic outlook, up one of the most terrifying roads I’ve been on in my life. A sheer drop to your death on one side, and a steep vertical cliff on the other to scrap up the camper really good if you’re not careful. I annoyed a few people by driving slow and steady, but I made it. The scenic point was called Paekakariki Hill Lookout.
IMGL7167
After viewing at the lookout I input into the GPS Waikanae Beach to stay for the night. When I arrived I sat on the beach and enjoyed a sandwich while watching the sun set.
IMGL7172
When I went back to my camper a German couple with two children parked next to me. We ended up talking for about an hour and a half. During the middle of us talking a young cat came up to my camper and jumped inside. It ended up hanging out with my for most of the evening and then left on its own terms towards midnight.
IMGL7190
If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.