Höllgrotten Baar (Hell-Grotto, Baar) / International Earthcache Day 2014

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Hey Folks!

Last Sunday (12th of October) was the International Earthcache Day 2014. Together with my Mom we searched for a cool Earthcache-Location so we would earn the souvenir of this year. We decided to visit the Höllgrotten in Baar, a beautiful cave-landscape. There were also plenty of traditional Geocaches in Baar and in Zug, so we were busy the entire day. Luckily we had a lot of sunshine and warm temperatures. 🙂

We started in Baar by visiting the Höllgrotten, as it was our chief aim to find the right answers for the Earthcache. The Höllgrotten caves are unlike any other stalactite cave on earth. While other grottos were created deep underground – a process which takes millions of years – the Höllgrotten caves were formed on the surface over a relatively short period of time, approximately 3000 years.

The "green beard" growing over the tufa here is the result of artificial illumination.

The “green beard” growing over the tufa here is the result of artificial illumination.

As I read on the Höllgrotten-Website, there’s constant dripping inside the caves, so didn’t take my reflex camera (Nikon D7000) with me, but the less expensive digital camera Nikon Coolpix S6600. It was difficult to take good shots in the caves, as the light-situation was different to everything I’ve ever photographed before… Nevertheless I kept on trying… 🙂 I also tried to film the spectacular scene at the “Zauberschloss” (enchanted castle).

Finding the answers required for the Earthcache was not difficult at all, as they were all printed on the information boards, and the listing even gave the numbers of the corresponding info boards.

Zauberschloss @ Höllgrotten, Baar

Zauberschloss @ Höllgrotten, Baar

Zauberschloss @ Höllgrotten, Baar

Zauberschloss @ Höllgrotten, Baar











After having completed the Earthcache we went back to the car and approached two traditional Geocaches by car. After that we parked somewhere near the railway station “Zug Schutzengel”. Then we continued our tour by feet:

  1. GC4JR30 Höllgrotten Baar (Earthcache, by car)
  2. GC51VWR Julias Baum (by car)
  3. GC51VXE Unter der Lorzenbrücke auf dem Industriepfad (by car)

    "Away from here".

    “Away from here”.

  4. GC3B284 Kommunizierende Gefässe
  5. GC1H030 Fussballcache 1
  6. GC2HW4A Fussball-Familie Zug
  7. GC3E5HY  Hikiashi’s Ruhepfad
  8. GC36AQE Hikiashi’s Lindenpark
  9. GC4Q9PK Willkommen in Zug
  10. GC3EFEN Hikiashi’s Kistenfabrik
  11. GC4R3VR Hikiashi’s Park & Play
  12. GC47X8B Spaziergang – Rad Fussweg
  13. GC4WXT7 Wasser
  14. GC4WVFJ Mauer 2 (DNF 😦 )
  15. GC4WMGC Mauer (DNF 😦 )
  16. GC4YX19 Baum 12 (DNF 😦 )
  17. GC4H9K4 Where is Honey Boo Boo (DNF 😦 )
  18. GC4ZJTC Grienbach
  19. GC3JG1B Vermessen … LFP3 17016038
  20. GC47VPH Spaziergang – Bushaltestelle
  21. GC47XWH Spaziergang – Brunnen
  22. GC47XAG Spaziergang – Aarbach
  23. GC47XA3 Spaziergang – Kreuzung
  24. GC4ZTM7 SCZ
  25. GC4VT72 Friendensglöckli
  26. GC4FJN6 St. Michael
  27. GC59VRA Postkarten kommen immer gut an
  28. GC2W4MW Concrete Bridge 9
  29. GC2E6R9 Schutzengel
  30. GC1QVWH Bahnhof Zug
My Geocachingmap Zug / Baar

My Geocachingmap Zug / Baar

Opening Kaeng Krachan Elephant Park (Zoo Zurich)

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As I worked the early shift yesterday and the Zoo in Zurich was exceptionally opened until 10 p.m., I called D. during my lunch break and asked him, whether he fancied going to the zoo and have a look at the brand new elephant park “Kaeng Krachan”. The construction works started in May 2011. The architecture is simply amazing – I especially like how the roof is swung, and also how the visitor is slowly introduced to the natural environment of the elephants when approaching the elephant park.

View on Kaeng Krachan Elephant Park at Zoo Zurich, Switzerland

View on Kaeng Krachan Elephant Park at Zoo Zurich, Switzerland

Water plays a very central role in the new elephant park; there are water basins in the open-air enclosure as well as  inside the elephant house.  Inside the house, the visitors even have the possibility to see the elephant bathing from underneath the water surface through a huge window. On the outside there’s also a kind of shower that the elephants can handle themselves. There’s also a lovely restaurant on the upper floor of the elephant house with a fantastic view.

View from the restaurant's terrace inside the elephant house of Kaeng Krachan

View from the restaurant’s terrace inside the elephant house of Kaeng Krachan

We enjoyed a walk around the park, where we also found other animals in lovely decorated terrariums, such as scorpions and java mouse-deers. It’s really a fantastic park, and absolutely worth a visit, especially when you weren’t at the zoo during the last few years.

Elephant "Maxi" at Kaeng Karchan Park at the Zurich Zoo

Elephant “Maxi” at Kaeng Karchan Park at the Zurich Zoo

And there will be another huge change in the life of the elephants coming later this year: Elephant-Lady Indi will have a baby this year! 🙂 According to the zoo’s website, the pregnancy of an Asian elephant takes 20-22 months, and Indi is pregnant since August 2012… 🙂

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Morocco-Trip 2014 – Day 4

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pin-it-Ait-Benhaddou 2014


We got up early at the Hotel where we stayed for the night. As the dinner wasn’t really good, my cousin, his wife, and the befriended couple had a hard night with a lot of stomach-ache and feeling miserable. Although we all had the same for dinner (they only had 2 dishes on their menu, kefta an cheese omelettes), I haven’t had such problems… So I was playing with some stray dogs on the parking lot of the hotel and fed them some meat, as they were only skin and bones… It took me quite a while to gain their trust, but in the end, they couldn’t get enough cuddles… 😀 Seeing all those homeless and malnourished animals in the streets was one thing that I will never get used to… I’m really an animal-lover, no matter whether cats, dogs, foxes, birds…. just any animal is dear to me.

After having fed the dogs, we boarded our cars and drove away from the hotel, in the direction of Ouarzazate. We stopped after half an hour of driving in order to have breakfast at Üse’s and Silä’s Camper somewhere in free nature. It was the perfect harmony… A goat herder passed along with about 50 goats, a lot of very young goats included… It was really cute to see them. 🙂

We drove off, and I really enjoyed the sights passing by my window… just before we entered the city of Ouarzazate, we were stopped by the Royal Police… He asked my cousin, why the girl on the backseat isn’t wearing her safety belt… As my cousin is not really a master of the French language, I opened my window and told & showed the guy, that I was wearing my safety belt. He claimed that I just put it on when he stopped me… Well… I guess he didn’t expect me to speak up to him… But I find it so annoying when people want to tell me that I was a liar… I love the French language, and I was always good at speaking it as well… So we had quite an argument.. Then he asked me whether we were French… I denied… He wanted to know where we were from, then… I told them that we were coming from Switzerland, the German part of Switzerland, to be more precisely, and all of the sudden he let us go… I don’t really know what he wanted from us, and I also don’t really understand why he called me a liar, but well… I was quite happy to leave that unfriendly officer behind on the street… -.-

When we arrived in Ouarzazate, we went to a hotel that my cousin already knew from his last Morocco-Trip. The Hotel is called “Auberge Le Carrefour”. It’s owned by a Moroccan couple. The wife’s name is Fatima, and she’s just the most humble, caring and lovely young Lady I’ve met during the whole Morocco-Trip. She was really happy to see my cousin again, and she seemed very pleased to meet his wife and me, too. She’s also a fabulous cook – you can really feel how much love she puts into every dish she’s serving her guests. I had the best couscous of my entire life… 🙂

But, before we were having dinner, we wanted to do some sightseeing. So we went to “Ksa Ait Benhaddou”, a beautiful fortress, which was also featured as setting of various films, e.g. The Mummy (1999) and Gladiator (2000). Although there were a lot of tourists inside this fortress, I really enjoyed strolling through a city so different to everything I’ve ever seen in my entire life. 🙂 But again, I want to let the images do the talking for me. 🙂












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Morocco-Trip 2014 – Day 2

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My cousin enjoying the scenery on the atlantic coast somewhere between Essaouira and Taghazout.

On our second day in Morocco, we had a lovely breakfast at “Riad Chakir Mogador” and then drove along the atlantic coast towards Taghazout, where we wanted to meet friends of my cousin. The scenery along the coast was just impressively beautiful… I could have stop and stared every 100 meters… 😀 Luckily I wasn’t the driver, otherwise we would still be down there 😀


Just me in front of the huge waves of the Atlantic Ocean…

After having found my cousin’s friends “Silä” and “Üse”, we left our luggage in their caravan, as we weren’t sure whether we wanted to stay on the camping for the night or proceed to Agadir and find a hotel there… Then we all boarded our car and drove down the hill towards the beautiful beach… After having marveled at numerous surfers, we decided to do some rather touristic stuff… 😀


First time ever: Camel Riding with my cousins wife, whereas he himself preferred stay a bit lower, namely on a horse 😀


The Camel’s name was Hasan, the “guide” was called Mustafa. I guess these are the most common names in Morocco, as it seemed to me, that almost everyone was called Hasan, Mustafa or Murat… 🙂

It was fun, even if we just rode for a few hundred meters forth and back on the beach and not a trip into the Atlas or even the desert, haha 😀


Me and “Salam”. 🙂

After having seen the horse-riding-skills of my cousin, I had to prove that not all Swiss people are such bad horsemen as he was – he somehow sat on that horse like a sac of potatoes… no moving along with the horse’s movement… 😀 But I managed to restore our good reputation, at least according to Murat, the owner of the horse… 😛


Sunset over the Atlantic Ocean… *_*

After we had a Snack at a tiny little restaurant in the middle of several surfer-shops and booths, we went back to the campground “Terre D’Ocean” and decided to stay in a kind of ridge tent for the night. We stored our luggage and then went back to our friend’s caravan for a glass of wine and orange juice. My cousin and I went for orange juice because we wanted to do a little sunset-quad-tour together on our friend’s quad.


Sunset over the Atlantic Ocean (view from our friend’s caravan)

It was the first time for me to sit on a squat – my cousin is really into motorbikes and quads etc., and we did an awesome tour to Italy last year in spring on his Triumph Tiger T400 –  which was quite awesome – but this is still a very different feeling, as we were driving rather on a path than on a real street with our quad…  The scenery was super-awesome – but I was too busy holding on to my cousin and quite afraid of falling of the seat because of the bumpy trail we drove along, so I couldn’t take any pictures… 😦


Our Campsite during sunset…

After the Quad-ride we went to a lovely restaurant down the camping hill, in the village. It’s called “Cafe Restaurant West Coast”. The service was really friendly and awesome, and the food was delicious! 🙂 We had Tagine with veggies and also chicken, and the couscous was tasty, too. 🙂


Our ridge tent on the campground “Terre d’Ocean”.

Then we went to sleep in our ridge tent. As you can see, there are little holes above the entrance door – the night was freezing cold, even inside… But well, the sound of the waves and the wind of the Atlantic Ocean compensated for the cold night in my sleeping bag.

Tomorrow we’ll drive towards Agadir and try to get on the Atlas… I’m very excited to tell you everything about it… 🙂

Morocco Trip February 2014 – Day 1

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On our way from Marrakech to Essaouira with my Cousin and his wife

On Saturday evening I took the train to Berne in Order to sleep at my cousins place, as we had to get up and drive to the Geneva airport at 2 a.m. I really am a morning grouch, so I didn’t talk a lot, just moved myself into my cousins car stared out of the window. When we drove on to the feeder road, my cousin suddenly hit the brakes – a stupid deer just crossed the street without paying any attention to the traffic… We didn’t crash, but as my cousin wanted to accelerate again, we didn’t manage to get on more than 80km/h…


Me in front of Essaouira


Fishermen & Harbor – Atmosphere in Essaouira

So we drove off the freeway and stopped on a parking lot… My cousin couldn’t find out what was wrong with the engine, and so we decided to call his son for help… His son arrived 20 minutes later with two of his friends, put our luggage into the back of his car, changed the keys with his dad, so we could get to the airport with his car, whereas he promised to wait for the roadside assistance…


Ships at the Harbor of Essaouira


A ruin on Essaouira’s Small Island

We made it to the airport not a moment too soon. we ran from baggage drop-off to the security check right into the plane.. That was close! But at least it was a calm flight from Geneva to Marrakech, so I could get some sleep until we arrived.


Some more of the lovely harbor-atmosphere… I love this blue color everywhere…

At the Marrakech airport we picked up our Europcar-rental, a Dacia Duster, and started our journey to Essaouira, a lovely city in the West of Morocco on the atlantic coast. I loved the harbor-atmosphere there, with the fishermen selling their products and the cats sleeping in the sun while the pigeons flew around to get some fish.


We spent the night at the “Riad Chakir Mogador” (13. Rue Malek Ben Morhal, Avenue Istiqlal, Essaouira; web: www.riadchakir.com ), a lovely place to sleep, and we paid 50€ for the three of us, one room with a double and two single beds, including breakfast (pancakes, bread, baguette, freshly pressed orange juice, café au lait and for me even a chocolate milk… 😀 ) The personal was very nice, so it’s definitively worth the money I guess… 😀


One of the funny things in Essaouira was, that I had the impression that it is easier to get some space-cakes there than cash… One of those flying space-cake-mongers followed my cousin about 2 hours trying to sell some special cookies to him, while I was trying desperately to get some cash out of a cash dispenser… But as the sky was cloudy, the machines weren’t able to contact their satellites (at least that was what people told us), and my “request was aborted”, as the machine’s screens said… Well, hard luck for me, hopefully I’ll find a working cash machine on our next stop in Taghazout… 😀

A Lovely Day of Geocaching & Sightseeing in Prague

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Prague Main Station – View from the first Geocache we found during our Prague-Trip

Geocaching usually is big fun everywhere I go, but it’s always the most beautiful when you share the geocaching-fun with people you love most… It becomes even more special when you’re able to go geocaching in a place that you just came to know a few months ago, but that already feels like home… That’s exactly how I feel about the Czech Republic… I’ve only been to a few places in CZ (Karlovy Vary, Sokolov, Habartov, Mariánské Lázně, Loket, Františkovy Lázně & Praha) and I’m still a beginner when it comes to speaking Czech, I just love this country and its people… 🙂


The Czech National Museum – Národní Muzeum

I had about 486 geocaches found before we started our hunt in Prague – our aim for my CZ-holidays this time was to make my next milestone of 500 found geocaches a Czech one, one that reminds me of a wonderful excursion. In front of the National Museum, we had our first little deception… somewhere in the sculpture near the fountain we had our first “Did Not Find” of the day… But there was some kind of event at the National Museum, the place was very busy and full of security guards, so we decided to leave the place and find some other geocaches.


Ss. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral – Pravoslavný chrám svatých Cyrila a Metoděje

On the walk to one of our caches, we came accross the “Ss. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral”, and V. told me about its historical background… I love strolling through cities and learning about its history from friends who live there…

In 1942, during World War II, the cathedral was the scene of the last stand of a number of Czech and Slovak patriots who, in Operation Anthropoid, had assassinated Reinhard Heydrich, the Nazi SS Obergruppenführer and General of Police. Karl Fischer von Treuenfeld was in command of the troops that stormed the church on 18 June 1942. After a fierce gun battle, they committed suicide to avoid capture. Presently there is a museum in the church crypt dedicated to them as national heroes. (source: wikipedia.org)

As a student back in school, I wasn’t into history and politics at all, but when you get it first or maybe second hand from people who “experienced history” right at the scene, it’s a whole different story. 🙂


V. descending to the river Vltava in order to get me another cache 😀

After a grey, windy and very misty morning, the weather became more and more friendly around midday. I was quite pleased to see the sun again, the grey weather wasn’t really motivating me until now… And I longed to enjoy the view on the Charles Bridge etc., as it was so misty last time that I could hardly see whats 2 meters ahead… 🙂


Love Padlocks on a small pedestrian bridge over a sidearm of the Vltava – so romantic!

DNF’s aren’t always just time wasted, as we walked past those lovelocks on a pedestrian bridge on our way to another cache… I love these – I hope, one day, I’ll hang a lock on there, too… *dreamy*


View from somewhere under the Charles Bridge…

After we found a few more caches, we decided to go for a hot chocolate – chocolate helps against everything, even headaches, I think… 😀 Although the restaurant had written horká čokoláda (hot chocolate) on its menu, I didn’t get one as they ran out of chocolate… hard luck… 😉 But I’m not complicated, so I simply ordered a schnitzel with some fries instead, which kinda irritated the waiter (he might have expected a tea or coffee, haha) but tasted delicious in the end… 😀


View on the Charles Bridge from Mánesův most

We enjoyed walking through the city as the sun was going down on Prague and found some more caches, so we finally made it to 499. We decided that we want to make my 500th geocache an Earthcache of a place where I already went at my first trip to CZ: The Fountain-Earthcache in Karlovy Vary. 🙂 So we just strolled around and took some more pictures before I had to leave for Switzerland again… I don’t know when I will be able to return to CZ, but I hope it’s going to be soon… I feel kinda homesick already… :-/


The Church of Mother of God in front of Týn – Kostel Matky Boží před Týnem; Old Town Square


My finds in Prague…:

GCP7YK – Praha – Hlavni nadrazi / Prague – The Main Station
GCW43N – Narodni muzeum 1891
GC4FB4A – Novomestsky pivovar
GC1GC4H – Prazske legendy – O Lokytkovi
GC33DJ3 – Prazske legendy – O stribrne rybe
GC38GN3 – Prazske legendy – O studance Pucka
GC1JXDP – Prague bridges 13 – Most na Slovansky ostrov
GC1B418 – Rotunda sv. Krize Mensiho
GC1GQ2T – Prazske legendy – O zkamenelem ulicnikovi
GC1TTFZ – Nejuzsi ulicka v Praze / Prague narrowest street
GC1EMMK – Prague bridges 9 – Manesuv most
GC14WV8 – Terezka
GC4G78X – Otýlie (Norsk, English) – Brhel #14

… on the map:


My finds in Prague on the Geocaching-Map

Geocaching in Lugano, Ticino, Switzerland

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20140123-091044.jpg20140123-091032.jpg My Mom and I, we went to Lugano the day before yesterday. Our primary aim was to get the SWISS MONOPOLY Cache “Lugano, Via Nassa” (click here to get to the listing on geocaching.com). I like this geocaching-series a lot, it’s always a lot of fun to walk through cities you’ve never been before, searching for tiny little details that lead you to the final coordinates. 🙂

When we arrived at the station in Lugano, we wanted to buy something for lunch… but the store my mother wanted to enter, I realized that we were not allowed to enter with our backpacks on… 😀 I’ve never seen a sign like this before… But well, we found a “Brezelkönig” in Via Nassa, so we got a delicious lunch anyway. 😀


The weather in Lugano was awesome, sunny, yet windy… about 12° C all day long… I could get used to that… It’s been rainy, grey and windy for weeks here in Zurich… We even bought our first ice cream for this year, which we enjoyed while marveling at the sculptures…

20140123-091103.jpg20140123-091117.jpgWe also “found” an Earth Cache on the lakeside of lake Lugano, while we enjoyed the sun and our ice creams… 🙂 Have I mentioned that I love being close to the water? No matter if it’s a sea, a lake, a river or only a pond… The deep blue and green colors of water and its waves and their sounds always calm me down, bring me peace… Sometimes I really wish that we would have some sea shore here in Switzerland… but at least we have many lakes here…




After we logged the cache “Welcome to Paradise”, we heard a strange noise while re-hiding the cache container… When we went back on the path on the lakeside, we saw that beautiful fountain just a few meters into the lake, and the gulls were flying around it so beautifully, it was really idyllic… 🙂 I could have stood there and watched for hours – but the next geocache was already waiting… 🙂


20140123-091134.jpg20140123-091354.jpgThe next cache was the “Peööegrinaggio alla Chiesa di S.ta Maria di Loreto”, between the statue of Saint Francis and a lovely little church. The cache was hidden on a quite cheeky spot… 😀

Another cache was hidden near this blue snail, in Parco Ciani. I liked the snail a lot, as you can see…  😀



There is also another series in and around the city of Lugano, it is called “PLAY”. The caches of the series are located on playgrounds, and I’m not really sure whether I like it or not… On one hand, it was big fun climbing the tower and to slide the chute, but on the other hand it was quite difficult to look for the cache in stealth mode, as there were many kids and their parents. There’s no chance getting the geocache without climbing where kids should not climb, and I didn’t want to show the kids something they mustn’t do because it’s dangerous… So we had to wait a long time until the kids and their family went back home, so we could get the cache without being a bad example… :-/

What do you think about geocaches on playgrounds?