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.

Santorini

I just spent a few days on the beautiful Greek island of Santorini. Santorini’s history dates back to roughly 5000 BC.

Accommodation was at Villa Danezis. This luxury villa was rather affordable at $70 CDN per night and is managed by the owners who live on site. The villa has ten beautiful appointed rooms with nice art work, a sizeable outdoor pool, a beautiful patio area, and morning coffee with delicious home made muffins.

2018-09-01 Santorini 542018-09-01 Santorini 562018-09-01 Santorini 57

During my stay I rented a car as it was a lot easier than trying to take the local transit, despite it being a more expensive choice. When I was on the island I did the famous Fira to Oia hike in reverse, which took about 3 hours to complete and is rated moderate. The hike takes you through both the ancient districts, and along the mountainous terrain between the two districts, with many beautiful old churches painted in blue and white. All of the “towns” on the islands are now just referred to as districts of Thera (Thira), since 2011 when the government decided to do so.

I explored Oia and Fira in detail, visited the old Akrotiri Lighthouse on the south side, and the ancient towns of Akrotiri and Ancient Thera.

2018-09-01 Santorini 042018-09-01 Santorini 052018-09-01 Santorini 062018-09-01 Santorini 072018-09-01 Santorini 092018-09-01 Santorini 102018-09-01 Santorini 112018-09-01 Santorini 122018-09-01 Santorini 132018-09-01 Santorini 182018-09-01 Santorini 232018-09-01 Santorini 262018-09-01 Santorini 292018-09-01 Santorini 322018-09-01 Santorini 332018-09-01 Santorini 632018-09-01 Santorini 662018-09-01 Santorini 672018-09-01 Santorini 692018-09-01 Santorini 712018-09-01 Santorini 722018-09-01 Santorini 732018-09-01 Santorini 742018-09-01 Santorini 752018-09-01 Santorini 762018-09-02 Santorini 162018-09-02 Santorini 172018-09-02 Santorini 182018-09-02 Santorini 192018-09-02 Santorini 222018-09-02 Santorini 232018-09-02 Santorini 26

The ancient town of Akrotiri date’s back to as early as 5000 BC, when it was a small fishing and farming village. By about 3000 BC the community had developed and expanded significantly. Akrotiri continued to prosper over the years with the introduction of paves streets, an extensive drainage system, and high quality pottery and craftsmanship. This all came to an end in 1627 when the volcanic eruption of Thera buried the entire community in volcanic ash. The community wasn’t found again until 1867 when some locals found some old artifacts in a quarry. Extensive modern excavations of the site occurred in 1967 by Professor Spyridon Marinatos. Excavations are still ongoing to this day.

2018-09-01 Santorini 342018-09-01 Santorini 362018-09-01 Santorini 372018-09-01 Santorini 382018-09-01 Santorini 412018-09-01 Santorini 422018-09-01 Santorini 442018-09-01 Santorini 462018-09-01 Santorini 472018-09-01 Santorini 502018-09-01 Santorini 512018-09-01 Santorini 52

The ancient town of Ancient Thera date’s back to 9th century BC until 726 AD when it was buried after a small eruption of the volcano of Santorini covered it in pumice stone. The ancient city was re-discovered in 1895 by Friedrich Hiller von Gaertringen and excavations started to occur between 1961 and 1982, and 1990 and 1994.

2018-09-02 Santorini 092018-09-02 Santorini 102018-09-02 Santorini 112018-09-02 Santorini 122018-09-02 Santorini 132018-09-02 Santorini 142018-09-02 Santorini 15

I also ate some of the most amazing food I’ve had in my life. The meat and vegetables are so fresh and the Greek meals are delicious; whether it was traditional Greek coffee, Greek salad, fresh sea food, or vegetarian dishes. Yes you read that correctly, vegetarian dishes! Santorini has vegetarian only restaurants and they serve incredible food; my personal favorite being Tranquilo where I had Greek salad and goat cheese filled hot peppers.

IMG_9747

Another fantastic restaurant that you must visit is To Briki. I had traditional Greek coffee served with old wine grapes soaked in honey, deep fried Greek cheese, and amazing smoked salmon and avocado bruschetta.

Check back shortly for my next blog post where I explore the beautiful city of Zurich!

Natasha & Tracey’s Engagement

It’s only two weeks away before Natasha & Tracey get married. I met Natasha at the climbing gym that we climb at over five years ago. When she introduced me to Tracey I immediately know they were perfect for one another. They’re both sarcastic, don’t take things too seriously, and have a lot of love to give. When Natasha asked me to be her wedding photographer I said “YES!” I’m looking forward to July 14th when Natasha & Tracey both say “I DO”. Here’s a few photographs from their engagement shoot that I did in Fall 2017 at Nose Hill Park.

2017-10-01 Natasha & Tracey Engagement 1572017-10-01 Natasha & Tracey Engagement 1582017-10-01 Natasha & Tracey Engagement 159

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

Snow Shoeing

I had the opportunity to go snow shoeing last weekend with my father. I hadn’t ever gone snow shoeing before, but the conditions that weekend were perfect. The snow was ~60cm deep on average, the sun was shining, it was a long weekend, there was almost nobody on the trails, and I got to spend the day with my dad.

My dad and I get to travel every year, and we used to go hiking quite a bit, but with my busy schedule we have not really been able to go hiking or explore our own country much in the last few years. This was such a fantastic day. We’re both going to be travelling for the next few weeks but perhaps when we’re both back in the country again we shall go again.

2018-02-19 Snow Shoeing 012018-02-19 Snow Shoeing 082018-02-19 Snow Shoeing 102018-02-19 Snow Shoeing 112018-02-19 Snow Shoeing 132018-02-19 Snow Shoeing 142018-02-19 Snow Shoeing 15

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