But What Do I Know? My Favorite Posts Of 2012

I listed the top viewed posts of 2012, but thought I would post a list of my favorite posts of 2012 too.

  1. Duomo’s Rooftop, A Sculpture Garden In The Sky – I just like the pictures.
  2. Dubai’s River, It’s Other Waterfront – I liked how different Dubai was from Geneva and loved its mix of cultures.  While you can see cool skyscrapers lots of places, there aren’t many where you can see the old wood dhows and the people from all over the world who trade on Dubai’s waterfront.
  3. Millennium Trilogy Walking Tour Of Stieg Larsson’s Stockholm – Part Two – I loved The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (Men Who Hate Women in Swedish).  When we went to Stockholm, I toured the sites mentioned in the books.  Most of them were in the super-cool Sodermalm neighborhood.
  4. Mohawks Welcome But Not Required At The Groezrock Festival– We love live music and a European Music Festival is something to experience.  This one had a great lineup and was well worth the resulting fatigue (better described as exhaustion).
  5. The Toblerone Line, One Sweet Barrier– We looked all over Switzerland for this puppy.  Once we found it, we couldn’t stop seeing it places (Reichenbach Falls, near Thun, etc.).
  6. Why I Love Running– One of my favorite things.
  7. Weingut Otto Laubsenstein – Fantastic people + fantastic wine = unforgettable time.
  8. It Wasn’t Premeditated, Our Hike Up Rochers-de-Naye – A reader suggestion and one of the best views in Switzerland.  If you’re not up for hours of hiking straight uphill, you can always take the train there.
  9. The Shock Of Your Life – Culture Shock – I tried to keep it real.
  10. Les Contamines – Although we’ve done a lot of skiing, this was one of our favorite days because we spent it with wonderful fr
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Why Hiking In Switzerland Is Wunderbar

 

We have been traveling a lot lately, but we spent most of the summer in Switzerland.  Switzerland is wonderful in the summer.  We love it, in part, because it is a hiking mecca.  Here are some reasons why hiking in Switzerland is wunderbar.

  • cable cars
  • there is plenty of opportunity to hike above the tree line, affording breathtaking views

  • the trails are incredibly well-marked and well-maintained
  • the trails are everywhere, they criss-cross the country, including the cities
  • its cities are compact so you are out of the city into the mountains quickly
  • the views are varied
  • at the end of almost every hike, there is a crystal clear blue lake to dip your feet in

  • I have yet  to find a mountain in Switzerland where my cell phone doesn’t work
  • even at altitude, you pass many cafes where you grab a bite

  • the fountains for cows mean that you can refill your water bottle all over the place

 

Bongwe – The Coolest Farm In The World

We were invited to Bongwe (which means baboon), the farm of Animal Lover and The Hostess With The Mostess.  From the balconies, we could hear but not see the baboons.
Animal Lover and The Hostess With The Mostess could not have been better hosts.
They did everything they could to acquaint us with the local culture.  Animal Lover even brought out the Vuvuzela.
They drove us around their land to see animals (with babies since it was early summer), taught us about South Africa, had a braai (barbecue), took us on a great little hike, took us to the top of a mountain to watch the sunset, to an amazing place for a lovely brunch and on a local shopping trip.
 
The even thought to show us local sights that wouldn’t appear in guidebooks, but they knew we would find interesting.  Above, you can see impala carcases dragged into a tree by a leopard.  The leopard didn’t have time to eat it before a wildfire swept through.
From zebra, to meerkats to a mama warthog with her babies, to wildebeests and giraffes, we appreciated their efforts to show us the amazing wildlife.
They have giraffes roaming their property!  We fell in love with the giraffes.  They were so curious that they actually came to check us out.
We learned that elephants remember when one of their companions is killed by a  landmine.  Their memory results in avoiding the area.  This changed migration patterns in some areas of Africa!
Impalas are also known as wildlife’s McDonald’s because of the frequency and ease with which they are eaten.  Plus, they have arches (shaped like the golden arches of the McDonald’s M) on their keisters.
They are truly wonderful people.  Our time with them was the highlight our trip and we can’t thank them enough.

Gruyeres

We went to Gruyeres. It is adorable. They have a castle and the Geiger Museum there.  The star attraction is the Gruyere cheese and the cheesemaking.  We were most excited about heading to the beautiful mountains that surround the town. After a tour around the adorable town, we hiked the “Sentier des Frommageries”, the Cheesemaker’s Path (which starts in town and heads up into the mountains).
We needed sustenance for the hike so we bought wonderful sugary waffles in the town to take with us.
The hike was steep, but stunningly beautiful.  We saw cows grazing at the high altitude.  The Swiss believe that cows that spend the Summer grazing at high altitudes produce a special quality milk.*
  
When we reached the top, we were rewarded with meringues in fresh cream. Yum.  
 
 
*We bought the alpine milk to put it our coffee and it was delicious. It is so good that it will make your leg shake. It definitely deserves its own special post.