Annie Bananie en Europe

A blog about travel, life, and everyday tidbits

Tag Archives: sheep

The hills are alive…on the Isle of Mull! (Part 2)

Because of of the abundant series of events that happened on the Isle of Mull, I wrote a 3000+ word recount of the experience, which you can read here. However, most people will probably find it TL;DR, and so if you just want the summary and the photos, read on! A complete series of photos of this trip can also be found on Facebook 😉


If you haven’t read my first post about the recent trip to the Isle of Mull (the cycling adventure), I suggest you read that first as this post continues from the previous one 🙂 Of course, one post isn’t nearly sufficient to cover the incredible experience, so let’s move on with part 2!

Tobermory and its harbour

As I had mentioned in the previous post, one of the reasons for visiting Mull was to go to the original Tobermory. There is a little place named Tobermory in Canada, which I visited as part of a road trip with my friends four years ago. After finding out the name Tobermory came from a town on Mull, steps away from where I am situated, I had to seize the summer opportunity to go see it for my own. Canadian Tobermory and Scottish Tobermory are quite different, each unique in its own rights. While Canadian Tobermory entertained us with its surrounding attractions like Flowerpot Island and the Grotto, Scottish Tobermory is the only sizeable town on the Isle of Mull and stood out with its vibrant colours and serene air. After my 8-hour biking session, I had Saturday evening and Sunday morning to stroll around the small town, enjoying my walk along the harbour with all remaining strength in my legs, browsing the delicate gift shops on Main Street, and even attending part of a church service on Sunday. Sometimes it’s just nice to get away from it all – the city, the friends, the noise, the familiarity – and to recharge for a bit with a change in scenery 🙂

Continue reading

Advertisements

The Swiss Escape, part 2: Interlaken and around

As I had mentioned before, Interlaken was my primary motivation to go to Switzerland.

Well, the first one was Interlaken, and the other one was Rhine Falls. A few years ago, I saw an introduction of Interlaken on a Chinese travel TV show and instantly fell in love with the picturesque and seemingly dreamlike landscapes of the place, and it became the one place I knew I needed to visit at least once in my life. As for Rhine Falls, coincidentally I also learned of it from a TV program. It would have been on my itinerary if I didn’t make a mistake in the timing, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to visit the largest waterfall in Europe during this Swiss trip. Perhaps next year.

Interlaken was my place during the trip. I gave Basel and Zurich to chef, but I said, we HAVE to go to Interlaken no matter what. Truth is though that I’ve heard that Interlaken is rather a touristy place, and I was anticipating something like Bruges or Amsterdam. (Sorry Bruges and Amsterdam, I keep picking on you two.) However, that was no issue for me and I told my friends, “I know it’s super touristy but I don’t care, I have to go!!”

Chef and I didn’t have much of a plan before going to Interlaken. I know that there is quite a variety of extreme activities that you can do there, like paragliding and canyoning, but with only one day, we discarded the thoughts of any of those. Indeed, it was the spirit of “not knowing what you are going to do until you get there” 😀

We took the earliest train from Basel to Interlaken at 5:59am, not-so-bright yet but certainly early. Thankfully the train station was very close to our hostel, and the journey was two hours, long enough for a nap before arrival. Even though I had wanted to make the most out of the sceneries on the way, I had to give in to drowsiness.

Continue reading

Basque Country part 3: La Rhune

The third part of the Basque Country series is devoted to La Rhune, a mountain range that is part of the Pyrenees. The IDS-FunMat group went to La Rhune as an excursion, as we did in Lisbon last year. In the Lisbon entry I mentioned that the word “excursion” reminded me of elementary school field trips, and it still does! The whole class hops onto a bus, all curious and excited. Where would it be this year?

But seriously, we didn’t know where we were going until we actually GOT there. Unlike the previous year, the organizers said nothing about the excursion beforehand except “bring good shoes as we will be going to a place with a scenic view”. Uh, okay. No name of the place was mentioned, why so mysterious? Consequently though, I think some people brought hiking shoes, expecting some arduous trek or heavy walking, but boy, they were sadly mistaken.

You see, according to inside information from a friend, we would be “going to some place by bus, then taking a little train to go up, then we take some photos and leave”. Dot dot dot was followed by more silence. WHAT?! Some place WHERE? Going up WHERE? Take some photos of WHAT? Then confusion was followed by relief for those who didn’t bring hiking shoes – which was most of us – as apparently one of the organizers said, “You could even go in high heels.” Ha!

So we boarded the bus without knowing where we were going. I mean, they could have been driving us to an island for Battle Royale and none of us would have been suspicious. Ugh, what a horrid thought, I shouldn’t have even conjured up that imaginary scenario. Anyhow, we did pass by Biarritz on the way. At least I was quite fascinated by the views of the city from the bus, and some of us wondered why it wasn’t the destination of the excursion instead. (I suppose it was too close a city to be considered a place for an “excursion” yet too far to go on foot.) Those of that did wonder eventually did go to Biarritz…in the next entry 😉

So after about 40 minutes of bus ride, we arrived…at the base of La Rhune. Of course I still didn’t know what this place was, nor did I know that we would be ascending 905 metres to the top of the mountain for some spectacular views of the Basque Country. I waited in line with the others, got my ticket for the little train, and on we went.

We mounted the little train that would take us up to the top of La Rhune. According to the web site of Le Petit Train de la Rhune, it travels at a speed of 8 km/h and delivers you to your destination in about 35 minutes, to an altitude of 905 metres. And the train has been operational since 1924, strong and proud! 😉

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: