Category Archives: Europe

Augstmatthorn, a part of the Hardergrat trail.

Not very long ago I wrote a post about an amazing hike at the Hardergrat. We gave it a try but realised quickly that it was not possible with our toddler sitting in a backpack on her dad’s back. You will understand why if you click Here.

But then I found out that we could do a small part of the Hardergrat trail and walk down from Augstmatthorn. After studying the map and reading blogs we decided that this could be done.

The very next morning we took the first funicular at 8.10am up to Harder kulm from Harder railway Valley station, at Interlaken Ost. It takes about 10 minutes up!

There is a restaurant and a fun balcony with a great view of the surrounding.
The trail starts by the restaurant. Just follow the yellow road sign to Augstmatthorn.

I will divide this hike in 4 parts.

1. Harder kulm to the feet of Suggiture

2. The climb to Suggiture

3. Suggiture to Augstmatthorn

4. Austmatthorn and way back

 

1. Harder kulm to the feet of Suggiture.

This part of the trail is mostly in the forest. The “boring” part as you will be walking up about 400m elevation with no view. It took us around 80 minutes to reach to “the feet” of Suggiture.

At the “feet” of Suggiture was a good picnic spot for us as there were spaces for Mirabelle to run around and shade to sit under.

Eating Miang Kham, a thai speciality!




2. The climb to Suggiture

When you get out of the forest you will se the Suggiture and you will feel very scared just by looking at it. Don’t worry, it looks scarier than it really is!

The trail is steep and very rocky, but very short. It took us about 30 min to take us all up to Suggiture. Now enjoy the view and have a break!

 

3. Suggiture to Augstmatthorn

This part is what I was looking forward to the most; walking on the ridge of the mountain!

But I have to tell you that I got quite disappointed as the ridge between Suggiture and Augstmatthorn is not as narrow as I thought and the distance between those summit is very short. So we have been walking more in the forest than on the top of the mountain.

That said, it was still beautiful! And if you can and want you can walk all the way to Rothorn where the trail suppose to be very “thin”.

 

4. Augstmatthorn and way back

From here on you either walk back the same way you came or you can walk down to Habkern and take the bus to Interlaken. We decided to take the steep path down to Habkern.

We stop by for a drink and cake. And a play pause for Mirabelle.

But once we came down to a restaurant Jägerstübli at Lombach on the base of the mountain we realised it was better to hitchhike. And I am glad we did it because not only it was another 1 1/2 hours to Habkern and Mirabelle started to be impatience. Beside that, the couple drove us all the way to Interlaken!

 

Another option of how to get to Augstmatthorn

Knowing about this restaurant now afterwards it could have been easier to park the car here and walk up to Augstmatthorn. There are two ways up. The same way we walk down. Not recommended as it’s boring! I suggest to take the path up to the “feet” of Suggiture and from there up to Suggiture and then Augstmatthorn.

We parked our car at indoor parking by the Interlaken Ost railway station. As it was on a sunday it cost only 1chf/hour instead of 3chf. And from there we walked about 5 min to the funicular station.

The funicular timetable.
I am still dreaming of doing the Hardergrat trail all the way to Rothorn. One day!

Engstligen falls, the coolest waterfalls in Switzerland?

People who lives in Switzerland or has been to Switzerland knows that this country has atleast thousand of waterfalls. It’s hard to tell which of them is the most special as each waterfalls has it’s own charm.

 

But today, we hiked to the coolest waterfall in Switzerland! Engstligen falls in Adelboden, the second highest waterfalls in Switzerland. 600 meter high with two gorgeous drops.

We found this waterfalls so cool because of the easy access to the waterfalls. From the car park and the cable car station, there is an easy ten minutes walk to the base of the waterfalls. From there you either hike or take the cable car up to Engstligenalp and walk down. Or you could just stay down here…but you would miss the best parts.

As the cable car station was still close for the season we hike up and down. It took around 90min up and 1hour down with about 600 meter elevation each way.

There were still snow on some part of the path. Don’t panic, there is always a way!

We were already very impressed when we saw the lower falls and didn’t expected anything more. But as we walked up to Engstligenalp we came to what seems to be the upper falls, that we didn’t know existed. All three of us were like:

WOW, WOW, woow!

We could have stay there all day…but with a toddler with ants in the pants it’s impossible even with this view!

To get to this point you will need to walk. Walking down about 20 min from Engstligenalp or walking up from the base of  waterfalls about 90 min. Dont miss it as I belive this is the best part!! 


Another cool thing about Engstligen falls is the amount of water pourring down! Please remember that the water flow depends of the season your visit. We were there late spring, at the end of mai when the snow melts.

Another VERY cool thing about this particular waterfalls is that you can get very close to the falls. I hate seeing a waterfalls faraway where you can’t feel the waterdrops, the wind and hear the thunder of the falls.

And again more cool thing about this place are the different levels of the falls you get to see. The streams from Engstligenalp to the upper falls and then splash down to the lower falls and last into the Engstligen river.

An extra cool thing is that beside the awesome watefalls itself you have a beautiful view of the valley.

AND Engstligenalp is very extraordinary aswell! This is where all the water comes from.

Momstotzurich has great information of this place in her post. Please click Here.

Just a few weeks ago I wrote a post about My ten favorite waterfalls. I should add Engstligen falls on that list!

What do you guys say, is this the coolest waterfalls in Switzerland?

I am dreaming of a Swedish summer

While many people are dreaming of a long stretch of white sand, the sea crystal clear and eating rice with spicy curry. I am dreaming of pine forest, lakes and eating potatoes with pickled herring. 

I am dreaming of Sweden! Or more correctly I am dreaming of Swedish summer!

I have not been back to Sweden since summer 2006. That is over 10 years ago. Every summer I keep telling David that this summer we are packing for a Swedish summer. But ofcourse somewhere else has always seems more exiting so Swedish summer has always becoming “next summer”!

So no, this summer we are not going but next summer WE ARE GOING! 

I miss Swedish summer so much!

Stockholm

I miss Stockholm where I used to live. I even miss HallundaAlby and Tumba where I grew up. I can’t wait to bike around Botkyrka kommun and swim and grill korv med bröd by Albysjön listning to The Latin Kings showing my Swiss husband and daughter my secret places and where I use to play as kid. Perhaps go and fish some gädda in Ekerö. I even want to show them ICAKonsum and Pressbyrån. And Skärholmens centrum where I use to shop as a teenager.

I want to stroll hand in hand with my family in Stockholm where my girlfriends and I use to make noises at every Vattenfestival. Or walking by Patricia in Slussen where I use to get drunk. Being childish at Gröna Lund. I miss the Spökhuset!

I want to jump onto a boat and get lost in Stockholms skärgård and eat rökta räkor, våfflor and Piggelin. And eat a tunnbrödsrulle at Sibylla but perhaps not at the Stockholms skärgård.

Stockholms skärgård

Tunnbröd! Mmmmm

I want to make a road trip from Malmö to Kiruna. I want to swim naked in one of the thousands lakes and make smultron på strå for my daughter to eat and a maskros krans for her to wear. And pick kantareller for dinner.

Smultron!

I want to sleep in a peaceful sommarstuga by a lake and dance around the midsommarstången while learning my daughter to sing “Sommartider” by Gyllne tiderIf we have time we could take a Silja Line or Viking line to Soumilandet

And eat Semlor!!

Ohh how I miss Swedish summer! 


Santorini with toddlers!

Before we flew to Santorini we knew that Santorini is not the best vacation destination for young kids. We have heard that Santorini has a lot of stairs up and down, up and down. The beaches are more pebbles than fine sand. There are lack of baby chairs in the restaurants. People are driving like crazy. And some more other warnings…

Inspite of all these warnings we took our one years old daughter and spend our vacation there for 8 days! And we survived…and had a great time without having any baby related problems (except the usually ones we have at home like waking up at 5am😓). Here are some advices to think about before you decide to visit Santorini with small children. 

 The location and hotel

We stayed at Condutto Residences.

The main reason many people are going to Santorini is to stay in one of these traditional caves houses and be waking up with the caldera view. But these beautiful cave houses build on the cliff can be very dangerous for small children as many of these houses have safety issues! Most of terraces and staircases don’t have fences to protect. We dared to stay in one because our daughter was not walking yet, she was a very slow crawler and she was never left alone if the front door was open. If you insist of having the best view make sure before booking that the terrace/balcony of the cave house is safe! But if the view is not very important for you then there are alot of great hotel for families by the beach as in Kamari or Perissa. 

Beach life

Perissa beach
Red beach

It is true that Santorini doesn’t have the best beach of all the greek islands. The three beaches we visited were The red beach, Kamari and Perissa. These beaches were beautiful but have alot of rocks and huge hot pebbles that make your feet sore when walking. So not very fun for young kids! But we found Perissa beach quite nice and the pebbles are so small that it feels like sand between your toes! Or you can just make your kids wear a pair of beach shoes! 

Another alternativ is to have a pool by the hotel. Not ours, but the neighbors!😭

Photo: Lioyerma

But if you are in Oia, Lioyerma restaurant has a free and the only public pool in Santorini. 

Strangely there are not much people knowing about this place. You just have to order something to drink and eat to use the pool. Not very good food but I still highly recommend to go there for the sunset.

The famous sunset in Oia

Even thought we were staying in Oia we only saw the sunset once. First of all it was so ridiciously crowded and second it was “just another sunset”. It was beautiful but nothing special. If we were without kids we would have bought a bottle of wine and found the perfect spot and just wait. Just for the atmosphere! But with a baby we chose to walk down to the Amoudi bay and from there we watched the sunset without having to fight for the space! Or as I mention above, go to the Lioyerma and enjoy the sunset from the pool! 

Transportion

Yes it is true that the greeks drive like crazy.  We never rented a car but what I have heard there are a lot of car rentals companies that provide you a car seat if you need one. This is the easiet and the best way to explore the island. We on the other hand used public buses and it worked fine. The buses are unexpensiv and they take you almost everywhere. Just avoid taking the bus toward Oia by the sunset because you just might not get a seat! If we could we would just rent a scooter like the crazy old days but those days are over when you have a baby!😢

Stairs

If you stay by the beaches you wouldn’t have a problem with stairs! But it would be a shame to come to Santorini and not be able to  explore the the small town on the caldera because that is what Santorini is so famous for! We are lucky that our daughter loves to be in the baby carrier so we could walk up and down discovering ever corner and houses. We have seen alot of families using a stoller and it didn’t seem fun! 

Restaurant

During our 8 days we only went to restaurant five time. Most of the time we just bought cheap but delicious gyros (kebab), fruit and salads and enjoying it from our terrace. Four restaurants out of five had a baby chair so I guess baby chair is not a problem or we were just lucky!

One restaurant I highly recommend is Mamas house in Fira not far from the main bus station. It’s not expensiv at all and the food is delicious! We asked a local and she pointed out this restaurant. On tripadvisor this place got great reviews. Here are some dishes we had. All these with a big bottle of water went for 30€.

More informtion: Mamas house

Stuffed pepperoni.

Moussaka

Lamb

Activities

With a baby we tend to go slow! Beside of hanging by the pool or the beach, eating good food or just take a siesta in the room there are not much things to do for kids in Santorini. I know there is Santorini water parc in Perissa but we never went there. We made an early hike from Oia to Fira which tooked us 3 hours. I recommend this hike if your toddler like to sit in the baby carrier. 

We recommend aswell the wine tasting at Sigalas wine house a little bit outside of Oia. A lovely place with good wine! If I was not breastfeeding and our daughter was not fussy that evening I would have try their tasting package for 25€. Insted we only had two tasting glasses. 

More information: Sigalas wine house

Condutto Residences, our little room in Santorini

The photos of the room were taken the minute before we checked out so the room is a bit messy!😅

Many of my friends have ask me about our hotel we had in Oia, Santorini. So here comes a review of our stay in early september at Condutto Residences. Before decided for Santorini I told David that if we can’t wake up with an amazing view of the sea and the traditional caves houses for what Santorini is so famous….we are not going!!

As always we had a very tight budget and Santorini is famous for beeing expensiv if you absolutely want to eat and sleep with a caldera view. So I knew I had a difficult task infront of me. For two weeks I was comparing prices and places loosing my mind and loosing my hope of finding a place to stay for under 100€/night with the perfect location and view! Finally at booking.com ( they are at airbnb aswell) I found Condutto Residences. It’s a “new” opened hotel so they had a promotion. For 90€/night in the heart of Oia we could have a small studio with a terrace overlooking the sea. So I booked for 8 nights. Since it was new and there was no reviews I was nervous before leaving!

So here are some good and bad points of our stay at Condutto Residences. Note that this a review of the studio we had!

For more information : Condutto Residences
I give: ❤️❤️❤️❤️💛


+ Good points:

1. The view

OMG! The view from our terrace is beautiful! When I was daydreaming of our view in Santorini I had exactly this is my mind! A dream really came true!

2. The studio terrace

Condutto Residences has 2 maisonettes, 2 apartements and one studio. They all have a terrace but personally I think  our terrace was the most unique and because of we were higher up we had a better view of the surrounding! We spent many many hours on that terrace!

3. The location

I divide Oia in three sections. “The luxury side” with all the very expensiv hotels, “the traditional” side with more tradional caves houses and “the sunset side”( the least pretty I think). Condutto Residences is located where I exactly wanted to be…in “the tradional side”. In the heart of Oia! But where ever you stay in Oia, you are near to everything because Oia is small.

4. The price

Since it was a promotion we had the studio for almost 90€/night. I don’t know how much you normally  pay for it but for 90€ with that terrace, that view and that location in the middle of Oia!  I couldn’t find better quality/price!

– Bad points

1. The service

There is no hotel reception. You just have to contact a person by calling or e-mailing. This person we had was very distance and very brief. Doing what he had to but not much more.

2. The room

The studio we had was cosy but aswell very old and rusty so I don’t think our studio is “new”! The studio could have been perfect with a bit of care and love. They could for instants hang a shower curtain. And also for the space were we put the clothes. And more curtains 😂, instead of the useless toilet door that was taking to much space of the mini toilet! Hang some flowers on the terrace.

And why not a private pool if it’s not to much to ask!☺️

3. The cleaning

We stayed 8 nights and the studio was not cleaned once! Perhaps it was a missunderstanding because we told the lady not to clean for three days because our Mirabelle was naping. But the other days while we were out she only changed the bed sheets and changed the towels once! At the end of the week I got crazy of all the dust and hair on the floor so I was down on my knees trying to clean as good as I could.