Saturday, 1 August 2015

The Hills Are Alive...Switzerland Part 2

Hello again my friends...I hope you enjoyed the first part of my report on the BT HQ holiday....

...morning 3...more modern "art"...pfffft.....

...I insisted we took the typist outside for the good of his mental and physical health...here we are by the Rhine again...

....we decided to take the ferry to the other side...the ferry is very clever..it is attached to a long rope across the river and the speed of the current pulls it across....

.....here I am in the middle of the river....we were heading for that tall building in the background because it was near a museum of funny machines ....but we did not end up in that museum because we wanted to have lunch nearby first but could not find anything to suit...so we walked back along the river in to the centre of town and went for a nap...and then the typist went for a run along the river and over the bridges...he got to see more of the city than the rest of us did I think...
....and then afterwards mum took him for a "vegan feast"....*whipser* he won't confess it here but it was actually rather delicious...they made nice iced-tea with grapefruit too...

....to keep him happy we went for espresso and dessert in the cathedral square afterwards....

...the next day we four them selling this in the market square by the tram stop...that's quite a word isn't it?...gotta love the Germans.....(8we were in the German part of Switzerland)

...after this we caught a bus to Germany (..not actually that far away...)...no one checked our passports ...in fact no one even checked our tickets....

...we went to the design museum called Vitra....this fancy place was selling coffee and ice cream in the grounds....

...designed by the famous architect Frank Gehry....the building, not me...
...i took quite a bit of interest in the design...comfy chairs...useful table...

....mega-comfy chair!...actually an Eames chair and costing about €5,000!!...

...and I simply had to share this with you...it was mum's lunch at Vitra...any guesses?....watermelon and pumpkin soup...with a pesto thingy in it...

...i took the opportunity to leave a few ideas of my own for them to work on....
...in the morning we left Basel by train and went to see some reeeeeeallly old friends of the family who live in a small village called Grellingen...pop 2,000......

...OMD...the weather had changed by the time we reached Grellingen....there was an enormous thunderstorm....


...uh oh...leaves in the pool...

...we did a super walk round the village in the morning.....

....thankfully the storm had cleared.....

...we even met some of the locals...

...i rather like Grellingen....

..in the evening we alkyd over the big hill to get dinner and admire the view....

...but all good things come to an end and before we knew it we were back in Basel at the station and waiting to catch our train back to Paris and on to England...

...we had some suitable reading on the train...we arrived in Paris a couple of hours ahead of the Tour de France but we could not stay to watch the cyclists as our train was due to leave at exactly the time they were due to arrive....

......Miss Lola was delighted to see us....she had spent the week at the farm and they had finished the haircut she had had the week before we left...much smarter I think

...so that is my report my friends....we did enjoy Switzerland and can recommend Basel for a break...just member to empty your piggy bank before you go....


Woof...Herr Clapton....

Friday, 31 July 2015

Sweeeeeeeeetzerland (part 1)

Hello my friends...we have returned from our exciting trip across Europe by train....

.....here I am at Ebbsfleet...ready to catch the train to France....nice sunny start to the day.....*yawn*...but we had been up since 3.45am because William was also going off on a music tour to France and we had to get him to a very early coach....we were looking forward to relaxing for a couple of hours and maybe catching up on naps on the way to Paris....

.....of the hilarity...humour in the WC on the train.....

....after our naps I helped the typist pass the time by doing the crossword...we only had to cheat on the final clue...we had never heard of "niobium" before....its a metallic element...

....we took a train from Paris all the way to Switzerland and we arrived just in time to take a relaxing stroll around Basel before dinner and bed....but OMD..look at this ....all the crazy Swiss people were leaping into the river and being carried at high speed by the current .....it was  great way to cool off they said (it was about 100 degrees when we arrived)...they carry their clots in waterproof bags which blow up in the water and act like floats...there were hundreds of them doing it...

....I opted to cool off by finding a shady spot for some quiet contemplation.....Basel has these little fountains and pools in every nook and cranny....the water is nice to drink because it just flows straight out of the mountains into the city.....perhaps I should try a few laps...

....I attended to my normal duties in the morning....an espresso to wake up the tired troops before breakfast.....

....we wandered down to a nice cafe in MarktPlatz and had some Bircher Mueseli...a Swiss speciality...its basically muesli and fresh fruit...plus more coffee......

...and we spent the morning at the Beyeler Foundation....a very nice modern art museum in Basel....no cameras allowed inside sadly....

....we enjoyed it very much...and also enjoyed our nice lunch in their cafe....(*more coffee)

....it was fun travelling around Basel by tram....they go everywhere and run strictly to timetable...there are almost no cars in the city....we saw plenty of real dogs on the trams by the way

...look...a tram is due and there it it is.....

...in the afternoon we went to the museum dedicated to paper making and book printing...the whole thing is powered by the river which flows past its door and this big water wheel....

.....wow, they are literally sewing a book!.....

...we did this with a real Quill!....BOL..we even made the paper its written on!...
....look...no cars...

...to end our afternoon we went to see the cathedral...in German it is called the Munster and lives in Munster Platz...

....and it was nice and cool inside....

...on our second morning we walked around Basel some more....bit cooler today thank the dog....

...some old bits with pretty cobbly streets....

....some modern bits with street art.....

...and lots and lots of uppy and downy bits.....

...bikes everywhere.....we stopped to admire this one because it had a very nice old leather Brooks saddle made in England...but fancy new carbon wheels...

....Basel is such an interesting town...

...we call this "Rooftops of Basel"...I think perhaps we have been seeing too much art on this trip....

....I shall bring you more from the rest of our holiday tomorrow my friends.....

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Tour de France ...and possibly other places too

Hello my friends....*waves to Mr Frankie and Mr Ernie and promises to get on to their blog to read it asap*....there was great excitement last weekend because the Tour de France was starting and you know how much the typist likes his cycling...so on Saturday morning, just ahead of the professionals, we set off on the Tour de Clapton.....

....we got up at 7am....and given the serious nature of the day's route i demanded that we took the special front-mounted bag so i could keep an eye on the route via our little yellow navigation computer....and we keep the jelly babies in here too...

....we stopped every now and again to have a jelly baby...they are good for cyclists because they are a little sugar shot for instant energy on a hot day and can be easily gobbled down whilst on the move...we stopped to take this photo for safety reasons...

....we cycled out of Surrey and in to Kent and eventually all the way to Tunbridge Wells....that's about 42 miles from our house...we went to investigate their shiny new cycleshop-cum-cafe called The Velo House....they have very nice espresso...and tables which have maps of the area printed on them for navigation tips....

....we calibrated out sat nav so we knew we were on the right route home....we wanted to try going up the fearsome Yorks Hill...a very steep local mountain .....we do like a challenge when we are on the bike but some of these places can be hard to find as they are quiet little lanes in the middle of nowhere....we had done this once before but on a very windy and rainy day and at the end of a long ride and he was interested to see if it was quite as bad as he remembered...

....but we made sure to sample the warm date and banana bread with cinnamon butter before we left...two slices...perfect......fule is very important for cyclists....

....it was lovely and sunny and we got a tremendous view of Kent as we left Tunbridge Wells.....

....and we did find Yorks Hill...and we did get up it...and it was VERY hard...but he did set a personal best time...a whole 1 minute quicker than last time....and we eventually had to stop and rest tired legs....and by the time we got home we had cycled 88 miles and climbed almost 6,000ft ....this was quite tough on some members of the team on a hot and windy day....navigation was faultless i should add....

....Miss Lola had restricted her day to finding shade in the garden because she is badly in need of grooming and her coat is like that of a polar bear...

....although she was happy to help us watch the actual Tour de France later in the afternoon.....

....on Monday I decided to accompany the typist on one of his European trips....this time to Dusseldorf in Germany....we started out early...but I don't think that is any excuse for him making me come out with bed-fur....

LOOK! I am out in London with fur like THIS!...its embarrassing....

...our tips these days are like a wire-curling contest...how many devices are we travelling with?....

...fist stop Brussels....I enjoyed going to our meeting in a Mercedes ....good quality sun-puddling....

...but afterwards...OH DEAR...we missed our train to Dusseldorf thanks to traffic...the driver said it was because of the Tour de France coming across Belgium!!...oh the irony

...so while he worked a bit at the station i tried to relax and plan ahead....

.....I was very happy to finally reach the hotel and sort out my fur......

...and the following day I was CEO Dog....someone has to be in charge on days like this.....

....these European trips can be a bit daunting....so many countries in so few days...you don't know which way to turn.......

...but i was happy to receive a message from Miss Lola letting me know she had finally found a groomer with an open appointment and had her fur done...she is happy to be cooler....

.....but i was rushing about in Germany with the temperature over 100 degrees....

....and was only able to finally cool down when we got back to Brussels that evening....who's had the Toblerone?

...that was my week pals...and tomorrow we head off for two days in France...I wish it was to watch the cycling but it isn't...*sigh*....

Clapton...somewhere in Europe...le woof