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

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 😀

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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… 😀

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

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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 😀

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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… 😛

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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.

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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… 😦

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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. 🙂

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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… 🙂

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… 🙂

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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.

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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. 🙂

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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… 🙂

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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*

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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… 😀

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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… :-/

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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:

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My finds in Prague on the Geocaching-Map

An Awesome Weekend

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Hi Folks!

Hope you’ve all had a great Weekend so far. Mine was absolutely awesome.

I worked the early shift on friday, and as my boss is a really nice one, he let me run off 15mins earlier so I could catch the train to Bad Ragaz, leaving from Zurich main station 18:12. My mom invited me to do a mother-and-daughter-wellness-night at the Tamina Thermal Spring. It was a wonderful evening. The air was rather chilly, and so we enjoyed the hot tubs outside even more, especially the little waterfall and the whirlpool. Inside the building we found a steam grotto, a really cold bath (17° after  45° C and 100% air humidity in the steam grotto really freaked me out 😀 ). After the cold bath we enjoyed our stay in the 39° C warm water in the next tub… 😀 After that we were given a preheated towel and lay down on the balcony for a little rest. After 20 minutes of chillout, we went back into the water and enjoyed several massage jets. On friday nights, the entrance fee is only 19.- Swiss Franks (compared to 26 Swiss Franks for two hours any other time). You may enter at 19:30 and stay until 22:30. You are required to leave the building until 23:00.

If you want to read more about this beautiful spa place, please visit their homepage: http://www.taminatherme.ch

Image Casino Bad Ragaz

Image Tamina Thermal Spring Bad Ragaz

Yesterday, I helped my best friend P.J. to move into his brand new apartment in Walenstadt SG. It’s a really cozy, comfy 2.5 room apartment with an absolutely beautiful bathroom. I adore this lovely bath tub, so much space to store all your little wellness-goodies and bottle of champagne with glasses, candles and everything. I really envy him for this little peace of paradise. 😀 When we arrived, P.J. couldn’t resist to test this comfort immediately:Image

To keep us awake, P.J. offered us some “hazardously sour candy”… They really lived up to their names… :-S Terrible stuff! =D

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The last “thing” we moved was the cage of P.J.’s Degus (and of course the animals). 😀 They were kinda stressed, although we tried to put them in a quiet space while we were emptying the old flat and furnishing the new one. But when we finally introduced them to their new home, they calmed down quickly.

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Degu “Fire”

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Degu “Ice”

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Degus Ice and Fire

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Walenstadt is a really beautiful little town. It’s surrounded by picturesque mountains and the Walensee, one of the deepest and therefore coldest lakes in Switzerland. There is also an ancient mine, where P.J. placed an horrific Mystery-Multi-Geocache called “My Bloody Valentine” (*click* to get to the listing of this cache *click*).

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