Earth

Nature continues to show us just how small we are, even in the Swiss Alps, on peaks or no peaks, nature and the earth is greater than ourselves; we can only be considered guests.  Here is a view of the Lämmerenhütte (2501m) as viewed from Gemmipass on an early morning sunrise.  The receding Steghorngletscher reminds us of our impact.  We invite you to look here for more views and information about the trail towards Lämmerenhütte and Lämmerensee, additionally, here for an adjacent hike to the infamous Gemmipass.

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Lämmerenhütte

This post is part of the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Earth

In the Alps #5

The “Into the Alps” photo series are snapshots from various trips we have taken in the Alps. Although the photos are primarily in black and white, they aim to show the natural beauty of the Alps in areas which may be of interest to others. We hope you enjoy this series and that you follow us to be a part of the updates.

This photo was taken above the town of Lenk, in the Simmental region of Switzerland.

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A Little Green

We are looking forward to spring, to everything awakening and signaling us to get outside!  It’s time to dust off the cold layers of winter and make our mark on this new, gorgeous weather.  Hello nature…here we come!

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Poppies in a Field

This photo was taken near Mariastein, Switzerland on the boarder with France.  A great place for casual hiking, Castle included… just out side of Basel.

This post is part of the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Green

Neighborhoods Matter

Where you live is vitally important to your happiness and quality of life.  Your neighborhood and where you call home can make or break your experience in any new area.  Location matters immensely and here is why.

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We have been off to a bumpy start in 2017.  Plagued by illness and being captive inside our home more than we would like to admit, our neighborhood has once again proven to be a light at the end of our dark, and what feels like at times, endless tunnel.  Our small area has supported our needs, without ever once requiring a car (thank God for that we don’t even own one).

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Within a block in either direction from our front door our children can easily and independently walk alone to school, our pediatrician is about two to three blocks down a quiet street, we have three grocery stores about 10 minutes from our front door, our bank and the drug store are reachable by foot too. Oh, and the gym, five minutes warm – up from the house…no excuses…right!?

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The neighborhood boasts two playgrounds, loads of green space and access to the Rhine River, which proves time and again to be a scenic and gorgeous walk anytime of day or year.   We can access green space by walking to a local deer park, or botanical gardens in less than 30 minutes.  A tram runs right in front of our house, which means access to the city and neighboring villages are all available to us most hours of the day, despite the noise.  We feel remarkably blessed that ten years ago when we moved to Basel and had no idea where to live that we stumbled upon our little gem of a  neighborhood. We can honestly say it has made a huge impact on our happiness and above all, our quality of life.

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We offer this advice to all of those moving to the city or its’ outskirts:

Neighborhoods directly relate to your quality of life, so choose wisely.  If you don’t know where to start, ask locals, your relocation service, or simply walk the streets during the day and night to get a feel for the new area.

Be honest with your needs and desires before you settle down.  Do you mind being reliant on a car or do you prefer to be able to walk or take public transportation?  Keep in mind, the public transportation is reliable, clean and very accessible in Switzerland.

If you are new to Switzerland, consider a neighborhood that is host to Expats, though not the best for integration, you might feel a bit more at home.

Consider conveniences and their proximity to your home: schools, drug stores, playgrounds, grocery stores, a gym, the bank, Dr.’s offices, the post office, your office location, etc.

How often do you want to and/or need to be in the city of Basel?  Consider this when you select your location.

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Walking opportunities – can you stroll out your front door and safely walk to scenic, family – friendly locations or take long hikes through rolling hills?

Noise – if you long for quiet, consider tramlines, buses, trains and other modes of public transport and their location to your home.

All the best settling in!

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Solitude

Nature.  Awe inspiring and humbling.  Beyond the grandeur, deeper within the Alps, if you are able, you will find your own introspection.  A place of solitude, perhaps, and yet anticipatory of something constructive, progressive, good.  We can all use a little “better” nowadays; we should all strive, not just for our own contentment, but for that of our environment, our species, our future.

This photo was taken near Gemmipass, near Kandersteg, Switzerland.  Other great photos and more on this area can be found on this post.

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A lone hiker

This post is part of the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitude