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.
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.
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
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.
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.