Pen y Fan, Wales – At the head of the Valleys

In the centre of Wales lies Brecon Beacons National Park, which contains a mountain range of the same name (Brecon Beacons). One of these mountains is Pen y Fan. A lot of these valleys have streams or small rivers in them that are still eroding them, continuing what small glaciers started 13,000 - 15,000 years … Continue reading Pen y Fan, Wales – At the head of the Valleys

Vienna Wine Hiking Day (Wiener Weinwandertag)

Although you wouldn't necessarily associate Vienna with wine (or "Wein" and "Wien" in German), it is amazing how much wine this part of Austria produces. As a result, Vienna has a day known as the Vienna Wine Hiking Day (Wiener Weinwandertag). I had the opportunity to do the Vienna Wine Hiking Day when I went … Continue reading Vienna Wine Hiking Day (Wiener Weinwandertag)

Rest and Be Thankful – Scotland A83

In 1753 there had been a recent Jacobite rebellion; General Wade had the task of subjugating Scotland. One of the many things they built were roads to improve connectivity, This would allow troops to move faster and react to these crises in the future. One of the results was Drover's Road (the old A83) and … Continue reading Rest and Be Thankful – Scotland A83

Brean Down, England – Down to the Sea

On the Somerset coast just outside Weston-Super-Mare is a small holiday village: Brean. Apart from the beach and holiday homes, there really isn’t much there. There is just one exception: Brean Down. Looking at Brean Down from Brean Beach History Brean Down formed about 60,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age … Continue reading Brean Down, England – Down to the Sea

Caumasee, Switzerland – Ice blue water in winter

Like the Rheinschlucht nearby, the Caumasee is a lake formed due to the largest known pre-historic landslide in the Alps. The lake itself (which is how See translates from German in this case) sits upon the debris deposited by the landslide. The lake is located near the ski resort town of Flims in the Swiss … Continue reading Caumasee, Switzerland – Ice blue water in winter

Rheinschlucht, Switzerland – The Grand Canyon of Switzerland

The Ruinaulta or Rheinschlucht is a large canyon in the Canton of Grisons in Switzerland. It was formed approximately 10,000 years ago. when a landslide brought millions of tonnes of debris into the valley, creating this canyon area. The term Ruinaulta refers to this high heap of rubble (the literal meaning), while the name Rheinschlucht … Continue reading Rheinschlucht, Switzerland – The Grand Canyon of Switzerland

Bohemian Switzerland (Böhmische Schweiz), Czech Republic – A Walk in the Park

On the German-Czech border lies a national park split by the two countries. The German side is Saxon Switzerland, named so by two artists employed by the court in Dresden who were from Switzerland (the Saxon part comes from the name of the state in which Dresden lies, Saxony). The Czech side is Bohemian Switzerland. … Continue reading Bohemian Switzerland (Böhmische Schweiz), Czech Republic – A Walk in the Park

Peak District, England – The land of inspiration

The Peak District in England is a national park that draws an estimated 20 million people every year. They hike around the rural areas, including farmland, moorland, hills and the peaks themselves. History Historically this area has been very important to England and the UK as a whole. Settlements of the area have been dated … Continue reading Peak District, England – The land of inspiration

Schiefergebirge, Germany – My Heart’s in the Highlands

The Thüringer Schiefergebirge, known as the Thuringian Highlands in English, is an area of the German federal state Thuringia (German: Thüringen) featuring steeply hilly areas on the border between Bavaria and Thuringia, through which the Saale River cuts. As the German name suggests, this area contains a lot of slate rock. There are very few … Continue reading Schiefergebirge, Germany – My Heart’s in the Highlands

Crestasee & Felsbachschlucht, Switzerland – Winter Wonderland

When you say "Grisons, Switzerland", what comes to mind? For most people this Swiss canton conjures up images of skiing in the Swiss Alps, for example the ski resort in Laax/Flims/Falera. But what happens when you can't or don't want to ski? What else is there to do? Here is one option:

Monasterio de Obarra, Spain – Monastery in a valley

In the foothills of the Pyrenees near Roda de Isábena lies a Romanesque monastery. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary (Santa Maria), mountains surround it on all sides and you can only access it by hiking or through a small road that goes between Ballabriga and Bonansa. Because it is difficult to access, not many tourists … Continue reading Monasterio de Obarra, Spain – Monastery in a valley

Riu de Jan, Andorra – High in the Pyrenees

High in the Pyrenees, nestled amongst the peaks in the Principality of Andorra, lies a river on the Andorran-French border known as the Riu de Jan. The turnoff to get to this remote area is just north of Meritxell, the famous Andorran sanctuary. With a spring high in the mountains, this area is a great place … Continue reading Riu de Jan, Andorra – High in the Pyrenees

Vaduz, Liechtenstein – A tiny capital for a tiny country

Vaduz dates back to the 1100s (at least, it appeared in manuscripts from the time); a castle dates from 1322, but the Swiss completely destroyed both in 1499. Until 1719, the Hohenems family held Liechtenstein. This is when the Liechtenstein family purchased it. The family originally came from Castle Liechtenstein in Lower Austria. They wanted … Continue reading Vaduz, Liechtenstein – A tiny capital for a tiny country

Santuari de Meritxell, Andorra

In the mountains in Andorra lies a village called Meritxell (the 'tx' is like the 'ch' in English) with 66 inhabitants. So why is it one of the places to go when visiting Andorra if you want to get a feel for the people? The answer lies in the Santuari de Meritxell, a sanctuary basilica. … Continue reading Santuari de Meritxell, Andorra