Thursday 3rd July:


Up at 8am. We drove up to Grindlewald, and took the cable car up to the first stop at Bort. Had a coffee overlooking the spectacular views. Although the weather had closed in a little, there were still plenty of photo opportunities, and I think I shall long remember that as one of the best coffee stops we've ever had!


After coffee, we walked up the mountain a little way, though going was fairly slow because of my ankle. Up there we encountered our first bell-wearing cow, much to Stef's delight, though it was too far away to get a picture.

Then we walked back down to the cable-car station to pick up Trotti-Bikes for our return journey. They were brilliant. They were a cross between a scooter and a bike, or perhaps, a bike that you stand up on. Thankfully they had good brakes, because the road down was quite steep and in no time at all we were hurtling downhill. Even Mark admitted to having his brakes on most of the time!


Arriving back in Grindlewald, we realised they have one disadvantage. They are by no means easy to “scoot” on, and we eventually had to abandon riding and resort to pushing them up the hill back to the base cable-car station. Nevertheless, they were great fun, and I came away wondering where I could buy one!

On the way back to the car, we stopped at a shop selling t-shirts. Stef wanted a memento of Switzerland, and she got it in the form of a t-shirt with three cows on! We had only been in the shop a few minutes when a very committed rainstorm started.

As we gazed out of the shop door at the rain bouncing off the road which was rapidly turning into a river we had to marvel at the fact that had we left the top just ten minutes later, we would have been caught in the downpour. Trotti-bikes were hairy enough in the dry. I'm not sure I'd want to plummet downhill on one in the middle of a storm.

We picnicked in Wombat, watching the scenery disappear behind the cloud, but the rain was short-lived, and by the time we had eaten, the sky was clearing. We drove back down to Interlaken and found the Migros supermarket where we got more supplies, then we took a drive around Brienzersee.

It was lovely around there. On the south side there is a quiet road that runs alongside the lake and has parking places all the way along. We pulled into one and stood watching the lake and took more photos.


Stef decided to investigate the water temperature, and having scrambled over some rocks to get to it, found a family of ducks. They seemed friendly, so we shared some of our bread with them, which they seemed to appreciate!

Continued on around the lake, but the north side was fairly built up and we couldn't see much of the view. Back up to camp, tired but happy. Had a drink, then walked up to the Staubach Falls.

They've built a proper walkway up to the falls, and if the wind is right, you can actually stand behind the water. A few more photos were taken and then we wondered back down and into Lauterbrunnen.

We planned to go to the information office as we had heard a whisper of some falls at Trummelbach, but en-route the heavens opened, and we were forced to take shelter for about 15 minutes. It finally stopped, so we hoofed it along to Information, and then back to camp.

Foot hurting! Had dinner, then showers. Phoned Mum. She seemed okay. Dad quite poorly, but the operation seems to have gone well. Played dominoes,then bed.

Friday 4th July:

Late-ish start to the day. Breakfasted, then walked to Trummelbach Falls. Beautiful walk through Alpine countryside the like of which you imagine but don't really expect to see. We were almost at Trummelbach when the phone rang, and I tentatively answered, scared that something had gone wrong with Dad.


Thankfully, Dad was fine, but something had gone wrong with our burglar alarm. Our neighbour had phoned Mum to say that it had gone off, and he couldn't seem to sort it out. He'd left his work number with Mum, so Mark gave him a call and explained how to reset it. He told Mark that he had been right around the house and that everything was fine, so we walked on, with me muttering about useless ****** alarms!

We got to the falls and had a coffee. Stef had a Mango Lassi, which was apparently some sort of yoghurt drink and very nice! Up to the falls. Ch.f.26 for entry to the falls for the three of us.

We were shepherded into a large lift, which rapidly filled alarmingly, but thankfully only travelled a short distance before we were disgorged halfway up the mountain. From here we walked into the mountain, right by the falls.


They are astounding glacial waterfalls, draining through the mountain at 20,000 litres a second. On its way through, the water has carved tunnels and caves, great corkscrews and bowls from the mountain. The water thunders its way down, making the very rock tremble under its power.

I took as many photos as I could whilst trying to protect my new camera from the spray! It's very difficult to describe such an awesome spectacle, especially one that imprints itself on so many senses! It was a surprise to me to feel the water through the rock. It was beautiful, and yet terrible at the same time.

We left the falls some time later, slightly bug eyed by what we had seen! We took a slow walk back as it was hot by now, and stopped along the way for a picnic lunch. Then, as we continued back to camp we saw some deranged folk lobbing themselves off the mountain. Fortunately, some kindly soul had taken the trouble to strap parachutes to them, so they landed without making too much of a dent in the countryside! Next came the para-gliders, which seemed to me to be only marginally more sensible.

Back at the camp, we changed into cooler gear, then walked into Lauterbrunnen for gifts, but even the tat was a hideous price, so we bought some food and trudged back to camp. We rested a short while, then went for a walk through the camp to the river.

Followed the river into Lauterbrunnen, then came back along the other side, where we saw helicopters taking people up for rides. They took them to quite a height, and then made them jump out! Good job we move on tomorrow! The air here seems to do something funny to people!

Back to camp for tea. Foot hurting badly. Watched some more idiots jump out of helicopters. Got a text from Mum to say that Dad could possibly come home tomorrow.

Saturday 5th July:


Up in good time, Packed car and said farewell to Lauterbrunnen. I was sorry to leave it as it was so beautiful and peaceful, but this trip was always designed to be a tour. The long drive to Italy took us over the Grimselpass first, which was just stunning. We made several stops for photos and then again at the top for our first close-up with the snow. Had a coffee, then pushed on.


We attempted to use the Gotthard Tunnel, but the traffic was backed up so far, that we wimped out, deciding that even if it took much longer, going over the pass would be much nicer. And so it was, though not as lovely as Grimselpass. Got a text from Mum to say that Dad may be on his way home, he was just waiting to see the doctor. Wouldn't have got the text 'til later if we'd been in the tunnel!

Stopped at a hellishly busy services for a comfort break, but decided to eat on the go rather than stay there another minute! So, on and on, on down towards Milan. I can only say that this is probably not the best introduction to Italy. The outskirts of Milan – which was all we saw – are grim and depressing, and the traffic waivers between frightening and terrifying.

After a long, tedious and hot drive, Tom Tom brought us to Camping Fontanelle at Moniga Del Garda. We received what was to be the best welcome of our trip, from the British couriers, Chris and Deniece.

We spent a long time chatting as we had a mutual interest in motorhomes, and I got the impression that they were as glad as I was to have a “British” conversation! After our journey, and the experience of Milan, and all the worry about Dad, they were the perfect tonic.


Chris took us up to our mobile home, positioned at the top of the site, with views over the lake. Lovely van, with the unexpected treat of a private deck! The site itself was fairly small, with a swimming pool (in which the wearing of swimming caps was compulsory!) a pizzeria, and a small supermarket.

We took a stroll down to the lakeside, then got some drink from the shop and retreated to our mobile home. It was blisteringly hot, and we had no energy for anything other than resting on our deck. Poor Chris and Deniece having to work in this heat!

At last it began to cool off enough to allow movement, so we plodded back down for a swim in the lake. It was heaven to immerse ourselves in the refreshing water. Though we did have a brief moment of consternation, and pain, while we negotiated the stone beach.

After a quick shower, we headed to the pizzeria for dinner. Deniece was right, they are the best pizzas! Phoned Mum and Dad whilst down there. Dad home, but very tired, so I didn't speak to him. Mum sounded pretty shattered too. I'd have given a lot right then to have given her a cuddle.

After dinner we took a stroll along the lakeside. After the peace and quiet of Fontanelle, it seemed incredibly noisy. Traders had spread blankets on the beach selling fake Dolce and Gabbana, Versace etc. Not being smitten by the label bug, I wouldn't have known real from fake, so we, like most other people, walked on without feeling the need buy.

Further along the beach was another camp site, with a bar on the front. A DJ was spinning his discs accompanied by some guy on bongo drums. Bongo man apparently only knew one very short rhythm, so he just played it over and over very loudly! Still, he seemed to be enjoying himself, even if most of the people around him were having dangerous thoughts about where they would like to shove his drums!

Whilst down there, we checked where to get the ferry tickets for Sirmione, then beat a hasty retreat to the slightly calmer air at Fontanelle. Though we could still hear the ****** bongo drums! Had a drink, listening to drums and dodgy singing, then crawled into bed. Still hot.

Next Stage: Italy - Lake Garda