Engelberg Faschnacht – Carnival of Engelberg

Engelberg, Switzerland: This is the time of Faschnacht, carnivals in Switzerland, and it seems to me that the whole country is celebrating before the Lent begins. While the biggest and most famous carnival in Switzerland is maybe the one in Basel, many local villages have their own celebrations with fabulous costumes and lively music, definitively worth of seeing.   

We visited this weekend Engelberg, the biggest mountain resort of Central Switzerland, and on Saturday the whole village of Engelberg was celebrating their local Faschnacht.  The highlight of the day was the Faschnacht parade on Saturday evening. The people with wonderful costumes and the most amazing “vehicles” greeted the curious audience gathered on both side of the streets to see the best outfits and themes of the year.  Here are some pictures of the celebrations…

Theme Saluna with live music

Celebrating the Faschnacht

Indian climbing…

…serving tea

Maybe the longest vehicle I have ever seen…

…with a special cabin in the middle…

…and mobile bath in the end.

And someone was even able to sleep…


Travel year 2011: My top 10 destinations

St. Moritz - skiing in the Swiss Alps

Happy New Year 2012!! For me the year 2011 was a great year of travel. I visited over 20 different destinations, discovered new places and returned to many of my favourite ones. This post is a collection of my top 10 travel destinations in 2011.

1. Travelling around Yunnan province and Tibetan plateau in China
Ringha, China

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2. First time in Hong Kong
Hong Kong by night
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3. A day trip to Macau

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4. My friends’ wedding in Athens, and first time in Acropolis
Acropolis, Athens

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5. Discovering the Austrian Alps in Lech and St. Anton
Austrian Alps St. Anton, Austria

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6. Wellness holiday in Kamalaya, Koh Samui (despite of eight rainy days)
Kamalay resort, Koh Samui, Thailand

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7. Culinary trip to Paris
L'Ami Louis, Paris

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8. Mini holiday in Palma de Mallorca
Palma de Mallorca - Weekend destination

9. Hiking in the Swiss Alps in autumn: Murgtal
Murgsee - walks in Switzerland

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10. Mysterious Grand Hotel Orologio and why it was closed?
Grand hotel Orologio, Abano Terme, Italy

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Where to travel in 2012?
I also started collecting some travel ideas for 2012. There are so many interesting places I would like to visit, but I think these are quite on the top of my list:

Discovering the Swiss Alps: Davos Jakobshorn – ski season opened

Davos Jakobshorn snowboard paradise

Finally, 23rd of December was my first ski day for this season. The snow arrived late this year in the Swiss Alps and many of the ski resorts only opened their winter season close to the Christmas holidays. Our ski season started from Davos Jakobshorn, as this part was already open, while my favourite area Parsenn / Gotschna was still closed on a day before Christmas Eve.

The first ski day was sunny in the Alps – blue sky, white powders and almost no people. What could be a better way to start Christmas holidays? No stress, just white snow and lots of sunshine…

Davos Jakobshorn skiing in the Swiss Alps

Skiing in Davos Jakobshorn

Davos Jakobshorn ski resort in Switzerland

Davos Jakobshorn Skiing in the Alps

See also my previous post: White powder in Davos-Klosters mountains and a list of my favourite ski resorts.

Autumn hiking in Niederurnen

Hikes in Switzerland - Niederurner Tali

The best mountain view over Walensee

Little Gondola on to the bergstationNiederurnen, Switzerland: Today was a beautiful Sunday, sun was shining from the blue sky and the weather was perfect for hiking; not too warm and not too cold. We decided to explore the Walensee area a bit more and climbed up from 980m to Hirzli berg which is 1’640m above sea level. The climbing was maybe a bit exhausting and took some good 1,5 hours, but the view from the top was worth it. This is probably the best view over the Walensee you could imagine – and you don’t really have to share this experience with many other tourists.

Autumn colours in the Swiss Alps

The view from the top is amazing – you can see the autumn colours around Walensee. And as you can see, we climbed to reach the snow…

The best hiking view over Walensee

Swiss alps in autumn costume

Swiss hiking in Niederurnen in autumn

The autumn colours were at their bests under the alpine sun.

Swiss walks - discovering Niederurnen

After about three hours hiking, we were finally back to the valley. There was a bit of snow on the shadow side of the mountains, and it looked very pretty.

The best of Swiss Alps – Hiking in Sattel

Hiking in Sattel, Switzerland

Crossing the Europe’s longest suspension bridge

Switzerland offers a countless number of trekking routes across the country, and I try to explore something new every year. Few weeks ago I was hiking in Sattel, which is located in Kanton Schwyz about 30 minutes drive from Zurich.

Hiking view from 1'600m in Sattel

I am always amazed by the beauty of Switzerland. Wherever I go, the landscape is always stunning – and Sattel was no exception. With great choice of well-marked walks through unspoiled nature, Sattel-Hochstuckli region is a destination for the whole family.

Skywalk in Sattel - the longest suspension bridge in Europe

The revolving Gondola “Stuckli Rondo” takes you up to the hill, where you can start your day by discovering 374 meters of “skywalk”, the longest foot suspension bridge in Europe hanging at a height of 58 meters above the valley below. The view is stunning already from the bridge, and climbing up the hills will reward you with plenty of breathtaking panorama spots to take your best hiking photos.

Hiking Swiss Alps - Sattel

Sattel hike in Switzerland


Swiss cows in the Alps

The hills are also a home to cute Swiss cows, which, I am sure, are the most happiest in the world. They look like they have no stress at all…

Sattel Toboggan run - Swiss walking holidays

 600 meters long toboggan run is a great way to finish your day!

Discovering the Swiss Alps: Murgsee

Murgsee hiking travel 

An alpine hike with stunning lake views and waterfalls

Murgsee round trip: I think I found today one of the most beautiful day hike destinations you can discover while exploring the Swiss Alps. Murgrsee round tour takes you through the protected Swiss pine forest reserve to the three Murg lakes located in a quiet mountain valley, and then further along a stunning mountain path back to the starting point.

The round route is about 14km and it takes about 4-5 hours. During the first three hours you need to climb up from 1’100m to 1’985m, but the rest of the route is relatively easy. It is a good hiking challenge with beautiful nature and plenty of waterfalls…

Here are my best hiking photos:

The first waterfall

Murgsee walk in Switzerland
Alpine hiking with the best views

Murgrese - trekking the Alps
Me trying to climb up the hill

Murgsee walk - alpine lake
Small alpine lake on our way back

Murgsee hike - waterfalls hiking
One more waterfall next to the hiking route

Murgsee - walks in Switzerland
Swiss Alps in autumn costume

Murgsee waterfall
One more waterfall…

How to get to there?
Drive the motorway Zurich-Chur and take the Murg exit in Walensee. Then follow the signs to Murgtal. It is a very tiny road, so don’t get confused. You can leave your car to a small parking space in Merlen, where the round walk starts. Remember to take a parking ticket in the gate entrance – the parking is CHF 10,- for one day.

Related links:
See also my other favourie hikes in Switzerland

Where to go in October?

Autumn Colours in the Swiss Alps in October

Swiss Alps, Konstanz and Bahrain…

Where to travel in October? Autumn is arriving in Europe and the nature is shining in the most beautiful autumn colours, so this is definitively a good time to explore mountain resorts in the Swiss Alps. It is also a good time to visit Middle East, while the weather is getting cooler…

Experience the autumn colours: hiking in the Swiss Alps
October is the best time of the year to experience the autumn colours in the Swiss Alps. Yellow, Orange, Gold, Green and in all shades – the most beautiful palette the nature can offer…

Kalusenpass - Hiking in Autumn in Switzerland
Klausenpass in autumn costume

Flumserberg Lake Seealpen - Hiking in Switzerland
Flumserberg – Hiking around Lake Seealpen

Hoch-Ybrig autumn hiking in Switzerland
Hoch-Ybrig with autumn colours

Hoch Ybrig - hiking in autumn
View from the top in Hoch Ybrig – so beautiful!

Hoch Ybrig signs
Where to walk?

Autumn Colours in Hoch Ybrig
I love these colours…

This is the list of my favourite hikes in the Switzerland.

Shopping in Konstanz by Lake Constance
The small idyllic town of Konstanz, just next to the Swiss border is a great place to make a day visit from Zurich and benefit some great shopping. You can also visit some of the idyllic little cafes having a break with most delicious cakes, bakeries and homemade ice creams.

A day trip from Zuricj to Konstanz

Sunshine in Bahrain
And if the autumn is getting too cold in Europe, Middle East offers enjoyable warm weather. Discover the exotic Bahrain in the style of 1001 nights… We stayed in the beautiful Banyan Tree Al Areen resort in Bahrain.

Bahrain sky line
This is Bahrain… The first view from the plane.

In villa Pool Banyan Tree Al Areen
Banyan Tree Al Areen

Restaurant Saffron Banyan Tree Al Areen
Restaurant Saffron in Banyan Tree Bahrain

Saffron Banyan Tree Al Areen
Banyan Tree Al Areen