Switzerland is famous for many things, Lindt chocolate, cow bells and St Bernard dogs with barrels around their necks. But it would be silly not to talk about the many mountains that I have visited. I love the mountains in Switzerland as you can do so much on them, walking, going up and down the cable cars, skiing in winter and sledding amongst other activities. Having visited Central Switzerland for the summer and the winter I have had the chance to experience both sides. Here are some of my favourite mountains around Central Switzerland.

Stoos

Stoos view with a cross

My favourite mountain, it is not as popular as some of the others around Central Switzerland But I love Stoos. Stoos is a mountain resort. You take a small cable car up from Morschach and then you can walk around and visit the shops and cafes. Stoos I found is more of a winter mountain with lots of ski groups skiing and tobogganing in the winter months. The summer months is more for hiking, regardless which part of the year you go there are stunning views at the top. Lots of investment has been put in Stoos since I was last there in 2014.

Stoos vernacular railway

One investment to note, is a new funicular railway with all the cabins that stay level therefore you can stand the entire way, this funicular railway is the steepest in the world and looks really odd as well.

Titlis

Titlis Mountain

This is the largest mountain that I visited in Switzerland. Based in Engelberg. There is so much to do at Titlis, there is an adventure park, a glacier park (where you could walk through a glacier, which as a Geography graduate I was mega excited about) and areas to go skiing, tobogganing and tubing (you could go tubing in the summer as well, but it wasn’t as good obviously with the lack of snow!) as well as numerous suspending platforms where you can take pictures. This mountain was high enough that there was snow in parts.

People looking from a platform in Titlis

You will find in Switzerland each mountain has a ‘unique’ feature to try and distinguish themselves from each other. Titlis’ unique feature is its rotating cable car called the TITLIS Rotair. As Titlis is a popular mountain, it gets really busy, so the platforms are quite full of tourists most of the time.

Pilatus

View of Pilatus

Pilatus is a mountain located just outside the city of Lucern. The logo of Pilatus is the red dragon due to legend saying that in 1421 a dragon flew into Pilatus and crashed into the mountain. A farmer had seen the dragon crash and had fainted due to the shock. When the farmer came round, he found a lump of clotted blood and the dragon stone which was legally declared as having healing powers in 1509.

Bunting hung up in Pilatus

You have to admit that is a pretty cool story! Pilatus isn’t a skiing mountain but like Titlis there is an adventure park, cable cars as well as the usual cafes.

Stanzerhorn

View from Stanserhorn

Stanzerhorn is famous for two things the world’s first open air cable car (costing CHF 28.1 million with the capacity of holding 60 people) and the rotating cafe. The rotating cafe is quite clever because it is quite a simple idea. Essentially as you walk in the cafe there is a platform and it is the platform itself that rotates. The open air cable car is also 90% swiss made, which I like.

Stanserhorn Heidi hut

There is also a funicular railway that is 125 years old that operates at the bottom of the mountain upwards for 45 minutes which takes you to the cable car for the rest of the route up.

Rigi

Lamp post in the Rigi

Rigi is a lovely small mountain situated in Central Switzerland. It is well known for having a cog wheel railway but like all the other mountains there are also numerous cable cars going to different places. It is a great mountain if you want to go for a short walk and spend either the morning or afternoon and not a whole day!

Wooden cross on the Rigi

Have you been to Switzerland? What is your favourite mountain?

Five mountains to visit in Switzerland Pinterest image

Image of the countryside near Tywyn with the words 72 hours in Tywyn in a circle

A few weeks ago when it was blistering hot myself and my partner decided to book a short weekend away in Tywyn, North Wales with our dog in tow!

Image of the Tywyn Coast

Tywyn is a coastal town and we spent a lot of time at the beach whether that was laying down reading, walking the dog or running along the shore. The Tywyn Leisure Park which is about ten minutes walk away from the beach front is brilliant. The leisure park offers loads of outdoor games such as tennis, bowls and my favourite game, crazy golf! Crazy Golf cost us £2.50 each and it is great way to kill an hour. It was open until eight as well so there was plenty of time. On the Sunday there was a boot sale along the seafront, I managed to bag myself a couple of board games!

Image of beach front houses in Aberdovey

If you fancy another beach, Aberdovey is another coastal town about nine minute drive away from Tywyn. I didn’t get much time to spend in this coastal town as it was difficult to park and quite expensive (in Tywyn the car parking near the beach front was free and you could always get a parking space even in the middle of the day). There are plenty of restaurants and cafes if you wanted to stop by for something to eat.

Countryside of Tywyn

I love the countryside, and I stayed in a lovely little cottage located just a ten minute drive away. Most fields have public walkways which we used to  I didn’t get to do much walking as it was during the heatwave but we did visit Dolgoch Falls. Dolgoch Falls are about a fifteen minute drive away, the falls are easy to get too and had plenty of parking (you do have to pay and display) the falls are beautiful to look at and there was even a small cave that you can wander down.

Image of the Dolgoch Waterfall in North Wales

So that was my 72 hours in Tywyn Wales. Have you been, if so what was your favourite part?

Image of Keswick town centre

I had to admit when my partner told me we were going on holiday to the Lake District, I was a bit dubious. However, the Lake District is one of the most beautiful places I have been too. Here is my mini guide on what to do and where to eat in the place that has been awarded World Heritage Site status.

Lake Windermere

Image of Lake Windermere

The largest lake created by glaciers and the reason why everyone visits the Lake District. The cruise across Lake Windermere is a must as the scenery is so beautiful. We stopped on Belle Isle, a lovely little island where you can walk, cycle and even have a BBQ and partake in water sports. There are some people that do live on the island and there are even little holiday homes you can stay in. Myself and my partner walked around the island and it wasn’t difficult at all and there was clearly marked paths.

Keswick

Image of Keswick town centre

Keswick is a small town which myself and my partner stopped in for a bit of shopping. The middle of the market town is charming with a lot of original buildings which fits in with the surrounding area and lots of little one off shops if you are looking for an original gift.

Galleny Force Waterfall

Image of a waterfall

Located near Keswick, Galleny Force was a lovely quiet place to have a walk and picnic in relative peace. Parking is quite difficult as the nearest village is Stonethwaite which has quite limited parking.

Ambleside

Image of a runner, running in Ambleside

Where we stayed and it was absolutely beautiful. There was so much to do in Ambleside lots of walks, a thriving place to do a little shopping (I loved the independent bookstore!) and of course home to Bridge House a little house that stands over Stock Beck.

The Sourdough Pizza Company

Image of a pizza from the Sourdough Pizza Company

We stayed just down the road from this delightful little gem. The pizza crusts are all handmade for home delivery. I had the Row Row Row your Goat pizza which consisted of goats cheese, mozzarella, caramelised red onions and spinach.

Walnut Fish Bar

Another night, another takeaway. Wulnut Fish Bar served the best fish and chips, well deserved after summiting Scafell Pike.

Aira Force

Part of the National Trust, Aira Force is 65ft high with water crashing over. It is a lovely little walk which lasts about an hour if that,so there is no need to take the day out. There are benches where people have pressed their coins in.

Image of Aria Force

Coins pressed in on a bench at Aria Force

Scafell Pike

Image of Scafell Pike

I had to admit walking Scafell Pike was challenging, the views were beautiful. I have to admit you have to be exercising fairly regularly to not find this hard work. I have written a previous blog post about this, which goes into more depth. However the feeling of achieving the summit was amazing, two scary parts was when it completely clouded over at the top and I couldn’t see very far in front of me. The second part was when I slipped over and banged my elbow so hard that I nearly passed out.

This is what I got up to on my trip to the Lake District, is there any places in the Lake District that you like?

 

 

View of the mountains of Snowdon

After feeling pretty high from completing Scafell Pike I decided to do the same for Snowdon. I had got it in my head that I want to climb all three of the highest peaks in the UK (these are in case you don’t know Scafell Pike, Ben Nevis and Snowdon). Luckily for me Snowdon is not that far away for me to travel. As soon as we got parked away we went!

What was the route like

There are a few routes up Snowdon, we walked on the Llanberis route which is one of the easiest and the most touristy route. As soon as you start the road is very steep, I felt that it was one of the steepest parts! It snakes around and you soon just follow the path up. The path is extremely rocky I enjoyed seeing the views (walking shoes are a must). Halfway there is a cafe and toilet (50p to use the toilet incase you were wondering). At this part it is relatively flat, there are a couple of bridges that you walk under. It starts to get steeper and at the top the summit it is very thin (it feels like walking on a knife edge) and everyone is crammed at the top taking photos.

The geeky Geographer in me (I studied Geography at degree level) was walking up and noticing all of the glacial features (the summit is a pyramidal peak and there are lots of corries) Funnily enough there is a restaurant there and a train station at the top, so if you are not interested in walking, can’t walk it or want to walk one way and get the train back down the other. There is that option (which if you think about it, is quite bizarre to have a train on top of a mountain).

View of Snowdon consisting of mountains, sun and clouds

What was the weather like

The weather was really good, it was lovely and warm, no rain at all. I wore joggers and a t-shirt with a rain jacket packed in the bag just incase. As we got close to the summit the weather turned so nasty, it had clouded over it was cold so I popped my jacket on.

View of fields and sky in Snowdon.

How fit do I need to be?

To be honest you don’t need to be the fittest to climb Snowdon – the hardest bit I thought was the steep road at the very start. As long as you give yourself some time, wear proper footwear and carry water then you will be fine. It is worth taking a map and a compass incase you get lost. and Make sure you tell someone where you are going as well.

What to pack for a trip to Costa Rica

If you are thinking about travelling to Costa Rica, you are going to be wondering about what to pack. The weather in Costa Rica changes more often then you think and it isn’t all bikinis see what to pack below.

Clothing

  • Flip flops
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Bikinis
  • Swimming Costume
  • Shorts
  • T-shirts
  • Waterproof Jacket
  • Trainers
  • Walking Boots
  • Jeans
  • Leggings
  • Light trousers

Toiletries and Medication

  • Bug spray
  • Sun cream
  • Paracetamol
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Shower Gel
  • Deododrant
  • Shave Gel

Other Items

  • Sunglasses
  • Plastic bags
  • Mobile phone
  • Notebook
  • Microfibre towel
  • Chargers
  • Money
  • Water Bottle
  • Bag Pack
  • Camera

In terms of money the two main currencies used is American Dollars and the Costa Rican currency colones, I found that you don’t really need to travel with any colones at all. In terms of footwear you are better off wearing shoes that are quite sturdy such as trainers as the paths and roads are not well maintained (or even exist) at all. You need to bring bug spray as well in Costa Rica the mosquitos get everywhere.

Bahia del Sol Hotel Guanacaste Costa Rica view of the beach and a blue and brown outdoor chair set

Sun cream is another must even if the weather is overcast the sun is strong enough that you will get burnt. I went in January and the weather changed all of the time, particularly in Monteverde. When I was in Monteverde it would chuck it down, be cloudy and boiling hot in less than a hour. I was so glad I brought my raincoat with me, it was a lifesaver as a cheap plastic throwaway poncho does not do the job.

Are you going to Costa Rica soon? If so you may want to read my post on what I got up and where I went.

 

 

 

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