Sunday, 3 May 2015

An Afternoon in Berne

Berne Cathedral in the distance






Untertörbrücke

Clock Tower (Zytglogge)

Back in February Alessio and I went for an afternoon to Berne, the main reason was to visit the Natural History Museum. It was a nice museum Alessio enjoyed seeing the animals, it did not take long to see all the exhibitions, then we wondered around parts of the city. It had been ages since we had seen the bears, so we headed in that direction. Sadly the bears were not at home (so to speak), but crossing the Nydeggbrücke which takes you to the bear pit you get wonderful views of Berne, the river Aare and rooftops.

The old historic part of Berne is an UNESCO World Heritage Site, its narrow streets, lovely fountains and buildings definitely make this city well worth visiting again and again. I would love to see the Paul Klee Centre and take Alessio to the Animal park Dählhölzli, so I will be going back again.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Mt Fuji seen on the way to Kyoto!






One of the many highlights of our trip to Japan was visiting Kyoto! To visit Kyoto we took the bullet train (Shinkansen), the train itself was quite amazing from its looks to the speed. It is not the fastest train that would be the Nozomi trains.

Our trip took just over 3 hours and on the way we passed Mt Fuji which is the highest mountain in Japan at 3,776m. It is about 100km from Tokyo and if the weather conditions are good you can see it from Tokyo. Sadly we could not, but we did pass it on our journey. I was sitting in the window seat and had been enjoying all the views, when suddenly I saw it. At first I was not sure but started taking photos anyway. Then the lady selling drinks on board passed by and we asked her to make sure.

By the way the Japanese Rail Pass is well worth buying, we got one for 7 days and although we only used it for 5 days we got our moneys worth. The trip alone to Kyoto and back to Tokyo actually more or less covers the pass!

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Cherry Blossom in Japan


At the Imperial Palace garden area


Arlene trying to catch the cherry blossom!



In Kyoto at the castle



Again at the castle

One of the many many reasons to visit Japan is to see the amazing cherry blossom season. Sadly we missed the actual season as we arrived mid April, but we were still lucky to see the odd tree here and there. The first 4 photos are in Tokyo around the Imperial Palace area, when you see a cherry tree especially since the season is finished you get excited. The wind was blowing, so all the blossoms were flying around, hence Arlene trying to catch them.

The last 4 photos are in Kyoto outside the castle in its garden, there are whole cherry blossom areas but only these few were still in blossom. It makes you think just how truly amazing it would have been to see loads and loads of cherry blossom trees in bloom. I could have easily taken much more photos of these trees, they were so beautiful to see.

So the whole trip was pretty amazing and as you can imagine there will be lots of posts about Tokyo and Kyoto! I hope you do not get bored!!

Monday, 13 April 2015

Vitra Design Museum








On Easter Monday we visited the Vitra Design Museum which is in Weil am Rhein. Once we arrived in Basel we took a tram to Claraplatz and waited for the 55 bus which would take us right to the museum.  It also was the first time to go to Weil am Rhein and wasn`t that impressed but then again we just had the bus journey to go on.

The exhibitions we saw was called Making Africa A Continent of Contemporary Design and Architecture of Independence. I have wanted to visit this museum for ages and was happy to finally get there and we were not disappointed. The main exhibition showed fashion, art, furniture, music from the continent, art videos all very interesting. The main building was designed by the architect Frank Gehry, there is also a cafe and museum shop with lots of great stuff to buy.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Easter Sunday in Schwyz

Town Hall


The Manor House

Ital Reding Estate

Small and Big Mythen Mountains


Interesting tree!


Pretty outdoor shop!

Interesting facade!

My mother posing!


Statue outside the Museum of Swiss Charters!

Easter has finished and back to our normal routines, for me it is the countdown to my big trip to Japan. During Easter the weather was so so, but on most of the days it was not raining at least. My parents and I did two trips, the first on Easter Sunday to Schwyz and Brunnen, which were both really lovely places. Then on Easter Monday to Basel which you will see at the later date!

We arrived first in Schwyz in the morning,  I parked the car next to the wonderfully attractive Town Hall. We wondered around the town enjoying the views of the two great mountains that overlook this town Grosser Mythen and the Kleiner Mythen (big and small). Sadly we could not get a cloud free view, but they looked very impressive nevertheless!

There were many interesting buildings to see and of course lots of lovely views of the surrounding environment. Some of the most interesting were the cluster of buildings that belong to the Ital Reding Estate. We also saw a huge statue dating from 1941 which was outside the museum of Swiss Charters, which was the 650th anniversary of the oath of allegiance. It was pretty impressive and very big!

We had our lunch in a lovely place just off the main square, afterwards I drove us down to Brunnen. That post will come at a later date!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Storks!







My parents arrive on Monday and since then the weather has been just horrible, they have not been able to do much. So yesterday which was Good Friday was the first nice day so out we all went, and I drove to the Greifensee.

On our walk we spotted these storks in their nests, it was really amazing to see them and one of the parents was looking after the baby.

And sadly the weather has gone back to rain, rain and guess what rain! Tomorrow hopefully will be a better day!

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Rapperswil Castle











Back in February we visited the lovely city of Rapperswil with the kids from my class. The reason for the trip was to visit the castle in this city. Normally visitors are not allowed inside the castle but we called and asked them if we could look around, as this was our topic at the Kindergarten.

It was a really cold day and everyone was quite excited to be seeing inside the castle, once we got up to the castle the kids played for about 10mins at the playground.

The lady came at 11am and we went inside, she said we could look at the rooms upstairs and down. In all honesty it was not that great, I mean the rooms were nice but nothing special. It did not take that long to look around and then we returned to the train station. With the weather so terrible and cold we could not hang about the city for very long.

Rapperswil is a lovely city and it is always nice to visit, but in nicer weather!