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

An Evening Walk Through Zurich and a Flight to Prague

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Hey Folks,

Last friday, I couldn’t wait to get out of work as I was meeting Eli, a friend that I first met earlier this year at the University, during the *Language and the Media“- and *English in New Zealand“-Lectures..

We decided to meet at the Zurich main station, then find some drinks and a snack and walk towards lake Zurich, where we hoped to find a place for a little picnic. 🙂 While walking there, we found this  street sign, saying:  No-Sharks-in-the-Limmat-River-Zurich.JPG

 

“No Sharks in the Limmat River in Zurich.

The municipal police of Zurich gives the all-clear: In the flowing waters of Zurich is absolutely no risk of being attacked by sharks. Nevertheless, swimming between the “Quai bridge“ and the river baths „Oberer Letten“ is dangerous and therefore forbidden.”

What a great idea to catch people’s attention – and it’s so much funnier than the usual prohibition signs in the city. 😀

 

The Sun is setting over Lake Zurich

We found a lovely place under a tree close to the water, where we sat down, had our beers and ate “pom-bears“. We talked a lot, about everything at all. It felt like we’ve known each other for ages. 🙂

After finishing our beers, we went for some ice cream. I picked dark chocolate, and the seller gave me some mango-icecream to try. A very funny and nice guy, and the ice cream was delicious, too… 😀

We strolled along the lakeside and enjoyed the view on the lake. We decided to go back to the main station just in time, as there was a huge thunderstorm approaching us from the other side of the lake. It was windy and we could already see the lightning dancing in the dark, cloudy sky when we turned around. Just when we arrived at the station, it began to rain heavily… But still, it was an awesome evening, and I hope we can repeat that, soon… 🙂

Here are some more pictures that I took during the evening walk.

Boats on Lake Zurich in the late Evening

Boats on Lake Zurich in the late Evening

View on Lake Zurich towards the alps

View on Lake Zurich towards the Mountains in between which I grew up… 🙂

 

St Peters Church in Zurich by night

St Peters Church in Zurich by night

By the way, I finally booked a flight back to Czech Republic last week. I’ll leave Zurich on the 18th of July, and I’ll return on the 24th. I really can’t wait to see my friends and my second family back in Czech Republic again. And I’m really wondering how big the kittens have grown, which were born only three weeks before I went there in April. 🙂 I’m really super-excited. Unfortunately, my mobility is still quite limited, as I still haven’t got my driver’s license. So we will stay in the Karlovy Vary Region. The last day we want to spend in the Zoo in Prague – I love Zoos a lot! For the other days we haven’t made any plans yet – suggestions would be highly appreciated. 🙂

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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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. 😀

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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…

 

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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…  😀

 

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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?

Geocaching around the Hallwilersee, Switzerland

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Hey folks,

Today I want to show you where I’ve been this sunday. We first wanted to complete the “Emmenuferweg”-trail in Entlebuch (canton Lucerne), but since there was so much snow and the trail is very close to the river “Emme”, we thought we wouldn’t find any of the caches anyway. So we had to work out a Plan B very quickly. Our choice fell on the geocaching-trail around the lake of Hallwil.

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My geocaching-friend Diane picked my up at my place around 10:30 a.m., so I didn’t have to buy a ticket for the train – and it’s far more quickly to go there by car. And we had the possibility to chat a bit on our way there. She’s been to Morocco with her sister recently – what an adventure! 🙂 Image

V. texted me via Skype and asked us to take some pictures of myself (he loved geocaching with me while he was in Switzerland, and he’s missing those times like crazy – me too, of course), so here they are… 😀

ImageIn Hallwil, there is a lovely castle set on the lake. It was my highlight of our tour, in some ways… 🙂 Of course we took another picture for V…. 🙂

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*smile* I wouldn’t mind taking this castle for my residence at all… 😀 I always loved all kinds of castles, and I always loved being close to lakes or rivers… Perfect match, what do you think? Image

The tour around the lake wasn’t as great as we hoped. There were only few caches, located in at least 700m of distance.. The cold and rainy weather didn’t help at all. There was one cache in the series that we couldn’t find because we couldn’t access the area where it was hidden, since there were fences all around, with closed gates and prohibition signs. 😦 I hate stuff like that, and so our mood went down… DSCN1438

Short after we left the castle, we found this stilt house next to the lake. It’s open, so people can go in and “feel” how the lake-dwelling folks lived.DSCN1449

 

After visiting the stilt house, we found this geocache-guard next to the trail. V. told me, that squirrel means  veverka in Czech. Learned something new, yee-haw…. 🙂 Image

Is this a travelbug, lost in the deep dark forest? 😀 However, suddenly, the darkness fell over the lakeside… we still fought our way through the dark forest, luckily Diane had her headlamp with her – I didn’t. So I tried to follow her more or less blindly…

We found about 14 geocaches that day, and we couldn’t find 4 boxes… The tour was okay, but nothing we would recommend to any geocaching-tourists, there are far more beautiful trails here in Switzerland… 🙂 But at least we went outside and got some fresh air… I’m always grateful when my friends get me out of my place, especially in the cold and dark season, since I have a tendency to fall into depressions as soon as I’m not busy anymore… -.-  And I like the squirrel-picture a lot … 😀

The Swiss Federal Parliament Building in Autumn

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Hey folks!

I had to go to Jegenstorf to accomplish a course for my work… Since I haven’t met my Friends from Berne since quite a time, I decided to meet some of them for some mulled wine, some talking and the spectacular light show at the Swiss Federal Building in Bern. This light show is called “Rendez-Vous Bundesplatz” and this particular program is called “legendary”. It shows different scenes of Swiss legends wrapped in a quite funny, fictional story. It’s really a must-see if you are in Bern during these days… You’ll never see our Federal Building in so many beautiful colors except during those 6 weeks… There are two shows every day (19:00 and 20:30), and the shows are about 30 minutes in length.

Last year’s show was my first one, and as I realized that I’m going to be around at the exact same time in Bern, my friends and I decided to enjoy this spectacle again… 🙂 Hope you like those few impressions I uploaded for you… 🙂

Lots of Love & Good night,
Sluníčko

Recipe: Capuns (Traditional Grisons Dish)

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Hey Folks!

As I told you before, I recently made Capuns, a very traditional, delicious dish from the canton Grisons in Switzerland. It’s famous in the western western part of the canton, but you’ll hardly find any restaurant that hasn’t Capuns on its menue. I’m always having it at least once during my winter holidays (usually I spend them in Bivio, and there are two restaurants where I eat Capuns: Hotel / Restaurant Guidon and Hotel / Restaurant Solaria. So if you ever make it to Bivio, you know what you’ve got to do… 😀

You’ll need…
(serves 5)

  • 400g white flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1dl water
  • 5dl milk
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 pair of Landjäger *
  • 1 Salsiz (approx. 120g) *
  • 100g dry-cured ham
  • 10g parsley, chopped
  • 10g chives, chopped
  • 10g brook mint, chopped
  • 60 chard leafs
  • 4dl vegetable stock
  • 50g butter
  • 100g diced bacon
  • some grated cheese, preferably Grisons mountain cheese

* both special, traditional Grisons sausages, similar to Salami

Image Bündner Capuns

Put the flour into a large bowl, add the eggs, water, 1dl milk, salt and pepper, and knead until the dough gets smooth. Dice the Landjäger, Salsiz and dry-cured ham and add them together with the chopped herbs to the dough and knead again. Wash the chard leafs, dry them and put a small spoon full of dough into each leaf, and wrap the leaf tightly around the filling, so that they look like dumplings.

Boil up together the last 4dl of milk and the vegetable stock, add the dumplings and cook them gently on low heat for about 10 minutes. Roast the bacon dices in a pan with some butter. Carefully take the dumplings out of the pot, serve them on a soup plate, cover them with some of the cooking liquid and coat them with the bacon dices and a bit of grated cheese.

Enjoy!
(Or “An Guata”, as people from Grison say)