Mountains, Hiking, Biking, Cheese.. What more could you wish for?
The snowy mountains are where I love spending time the most I’d say. However, this is the first time I’ve been solely to the mountains in summer. Myself and Becci had the chance to head out to the French Alps and it seemed too good to miss out on..
We picked up flights into Geneva for £80 return per person, and luckily for us we were collected from the airport and ferried to the Alps by car. The route from Geneva to Morzine is pretty simple. The main route headed past some places I’ve already travelled to, Lake Geneva and the Telepheric Salavéwhich over looks Geneva, the views are beautiful.. Non stop mountains and blue sky’s..
We arrived in Morzine in around 1h30mins, the winding roads were not too favorable to a VW Caravelle! The trip could probably be done quicker in a smaller car..
We were staying with VIP SKIin a chalet on the Morzine main high street. The chalet was awesome, a massive place which slept 14-16 people, Chalet Alaska.
Châtel Mountain Range (Pré la Joux, 74390 Châtel, France)
We headed out past Montriond, up into the mountains towards Châtel, through Les Lindarets.. The goat village.. Yes Goat Village.. We headed deeper into the mountains, up the chair lifts towards Châtel. At the top of the chairlifts we saw the Zipline which ran a couple of 100 meters above the ground below.. We queued up for our flight suit and prepped for the zipline..
Be prepared for a queue.. We waited around 40 minutes to get on to the zipline, but we did head up here just before midday so a peak time..
I watched Sarah and Becci zip off.. And I must admit.. The fear kicked in. I’d always been scared of heights but I’ve got over that slowly over the years.. So this was sort of a conquer my fear moment!
The experience was amazing. I’ve never done anything else like it. The speed, height.. An amazing view. It was well worth the €35!! Visit Fantasticable for more info…
Head over to my Instagram to see some zipline videos..
Lac de Montriond (Voie Communale N°2 de la Glière au Pont du Tannay du Chemin N°228, 74110 Montriond)
Lac de Montriond is a real beauty and it has lots to do. Kayaks, paddleboarding, swimming.. It’s a pretty clean lake so well worth venturing out on..
This was by far the most beautiful place we have ever paddleboarded. The setting is almost unreal. Hiring paddleboards cost us €15 each per hour, so not bad at all.
Cascade de Nyon (Chemin sous le Rocher, 74110 Morzine, France)
The Cascade de Nyon was on Becci’s list.. I had no idea it existed but, as usually, she was right. The walk from Morzine took us around 20 minutes. Follow the ‘Tour’ trail until you reach the waterfall..
Becci and I grappled with rocks and rushing waters to get up close to the waterfall.. Be aware.. The water.. Is BALTIC, and the rocks are slippery..
Pointe de Nyon (Chabalis Mountain Range)
Grab the Gondola next to the Cascade de Nyon, then the chairlift to the right. This will take you up to the Pointe De Nyon. There’s a little hike in store for you at the top though so wear decent footwear…
After a 15-20 minute hike you’ll reach the summit at 2019m, Pointe de Nyon. On a clear day the Pointe boasts views of Mont Blanc on a clear day.. Unfortunately it was a bit cloudy but the view was still epic. You get a 360° view of the whole area and it’s honestly one of the most impressive sights I’ve seen to date..
Downhill MTB Morzine to Les Gets
I managed to haggle a hire to a downhill bike with a local shop in Morzine. 1/2 a day for around €50 including all protection (helmet, body armor etc).. Be aware, to ride the gondolas and chairlifts with a bike you’ll need a different pass.. I opted for a 5 hour pass at €22 – this covered Morzine, Les Gets and Mont Chéry.
It’s fair to say that this is a difficult sport.. I’ve never done it so I had no idea what to expect.. The closest I go to MTB is road cycling!
The runs are ranged, much like snowboarding.. I hit some ‘family runs’ which were far from family friendly!! I headed out from Morzine, across the mountain to Les Gets, looking to get up to the Top of Mont Chéry..
The above video was headed down into Les Gets.. I continued through the runs until I reached the town, and the Gondola up to Mont Chéry. The views from the summit of Mont Chéry were amazing. Mont Blanc was clearly visible in the distance.. My first real view of that mountain, and a moment to remember..
I’d recommend beginners take a guide with them for a tour. Most shops offer this service, and they’ll even teach you how to ride certain terrain..
There is tons for you to do here.. We even did a bit of Luge.. Not just for kids!
There’s lots of places offering parapenting also.. Something I would have done if we hadn’t hiked to over 2000m! I recommend this destination to anyone, especially those who think the mountains are just for snow.. I think me and Becci will head back for some more mountains adventures!
Here’s the cut from our trip:
All shots taken with GoPro Hero 5 and where noted, the DJI Spark Drone
Once a year it’s time… TIME TO GET IT DONE. And this was it, Bardo. Bardonecchia, Italy.
Nestled in Piedmont about an hour from Turin. I’d been here before, for my first ever snowboarding experience. This time I was returning with some friends who had never boarded..
After doing lots of travel in 2016 I decide to piece together the holiday myself.. Flights, apartment, lift passes, hire for the others, I arranged it all at a fraction of the cost to a tour operator. After toying with options and prices, it was all booked up, myself Baker, Pledge, and Gaz were ready to go..
Bardonecchia, Melezet, Jafferau.
A real all round gem of a resort, for all skill levels.
23 ski lifts
Over 100km of Runs (5 black, 18 red, 16 blue)
38km equipped with snow cannons
Ski & snowboard schools
First aid/medical assistance
Bars & restaurants on the slopes
Ski, snowboard & accessory hire
Railway station in the centre
Bardonecchia is ideally placed – the Trenitalia line runs straight into the town, and for €7 one way from Turin central station, it’s an ABSOLUTE BARGAIN. If you need advice on Travel arrangements please contact me.
This isn’t so much a travel guide this time, more photos than info.. I can’t really say much more than it’s an awesome place to learn, with spectacular views. The town of Bardonecchia is best described as sleepy.. Yes it’s very quiet. When the lifts stop running.. So does everything else. The town itself has plenty of restaurants and a couple of mini markets. I remember Tuesday night being absolutely dead at 5pm, the town was silent! Advice would be to stock up on food, bring a laptop and relax in the evening. This isn’t an a massive Aprés scene.. Which suited us because we were knackered after a solid 7-8 hours on the mountain!
I love Bardonecchia. Great place to learn and an even better place to hone your skills. When it dumps it can go from perfect conditions to full on whiteout.. Tons of fun!
I’ll let the photos do the talking..
Check out my Instagram page for more content from the trip, and take at look at the other places I’ve visited on my blog homepage..
°All photos shot using GoPro and Sandmarc accessories
After visiting a few cities at the start of 2016, Berlin was at the top of my hit list – so much history, I had to go. I picked up some really cheap flights.. £29 each way so it was a no brainer, I was booked in.
I landed at Flughafen Schönefeld pretty early, around 7am, but I was happy with that. I’d completely forgot to look into how to get from the airport to the city.. I’ll save you the trouble..
Walk out of the airport and head towards the train station. You can catch either the RB14, RB or RE/RE7 – all will get you into the main station of Alexanderplatz. Various routes can be reached from here. Ensure you grab yourself a ticket – machines are pretty easy to use, they are down stairs, before you get to the platforms. It’s an approx 40 minute ride, so sit back and relax.
Iconic. That’s the best way to describe this place. You walk out of the station to the Fernsehturm, the Berlin TV Tower. It is a stunning view, and on a sunny day.. Perfection. The Fernsehturm is accessible for entry, I’ll get to that in a second..
It’s a shopping hub around Alexanderplatz, so if you do need anything for your stay it may be worth your time having a quick look around. Alexa Shopping Centrehas lots of cool shops including the likes of Quiksilver.
The Fernsehturm can be accessed by lift to the summit. 365m high, a perfect 360 degree view of Berlin. It costs €13 for an Adult. It’s an unmissable sight if it’s a clear day.
The Olympiapark (Olympischer Platz 3, 14053 Berlin)
The main gates of the Olympiapark. Shot with GoPro Hero 4 Silver, Sandmarc Metal Edition pole, on Timelapse.
The grounds of the stadium are simply epic. Entry costs €7 and you are free to walk almost anywhere within the ground (except on the pitch, and changing room areas).
Being a huge fan of different stadiums.. I must have sat in every seat! You get a perfect view from each stand.. as I said, EPIC. It was amazing to sit almost alone in a stadium this large. I counted around 20 people inside the stadium while I was there.
There is so much history in this stadium alone. I would advise a walking tour from the entrance office. Originally built for 1936 summer Olympics, it’s said to have held over 100,000 people.. Simply amazing. Official capacity for today is just under 75,000.
I cannot stress how much this must be visited, it’s truly amazing and a place I’ll never forget visiting.
The Olympiapark has it’s own train station. I caught the U2 train from Alexanderplatz. It takes around 30 mins and is 21 stops. You can also catch the S75 for 12 stops. Consult Google Maps if you’re in a different location!
The Reichstag Building and Dome (Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin)
The front of the Reichstag Building. Shot with GoPro Hero 4 Silver, Flat Mount.
Historical, beautiful and unique.
The Reichstag Building was severely damaged after it was set on fire in 1933. After years of non use, repairs and restoration, the Bundestag was born after its completion in 1999.
To enter the Reichstag you must book in advance, please click this link for details. Once inside, you’ll be taken through the entrance of the huge pillared front section, and into a lift. Once you walk outside you’ll see the magnificent Dome. The Dome has two spiraling walk ways to the top, ensure you grabbed a walking tour head set, they are free and explain the history and views from the Reichstag rooftop and Dome.
The core of the Dome is awesome. The mirrored cone is like nothing I’ve seen before.
This landmark signifies the reunification of Germany. A real must see, like most things in Berlin really!
Remember the Reichstag MUST be booked in advance via their website. You cannot turn up and try to enter the building..
The Brandenburg Gate (Pariser Platz, 10117 Berlin)
Another magnificent landmark. The Brandenburg Gate. Arguably one of the best known landmarks on Berlin.
The Brandenburg Gate has always held major historical events, but is seen as a sign of peace and unity. The gate was heavily used as part of the Nazi party’s ‘symbol’. I always remember history lessons with images of Hitler walking through the Brandenburg Gate. The gate survived World War 2 and was one of the only parts of Pariser Platz still standing..
I was lucky enough to be in Berlin during the Euro 2016 tournament, the site was used as a Fan Zone. A massive screen under the gate was installed and it was rumored that 10,000 watched the match that night! In true German fashion I had a few helpings of currywurst, several beers and watched Germany win. An amazing atmosphere to be apart of.
The Berlin Wall / East Side Gallery (Mühlenstraße, 10243 Berlin)
Head for Warschauer Straße – U1 train.
For me, this place needs no introduction. It’s known across the world as a symbol of division, and subsequently change. I spent hours here looking at what is now hundreds of works of art.. Head over to my Instagram page for a Timelapse video of the whole Berlin Wall..
Absolutely unique. Do NOT miss this.
Checkpoint Charlie, (Friedrichstraße 43-45)
One for the Historians and War buffs..
Checkpoint Charlie was the name of the gate given by Western Allies during the Cold War.
Things to know about this historic place:
Only foreigners could use this gate
It sat just a few feet away from a huge German checkpoint..
Many East Germans tried to escape through here
An infamous showdown occurred here between the Soviets and USA
The Checkpoint is now heavily commercialised. From the photos I mentioned, to a Macdonalds behind the original Checkpoint. I loved the history of it but it’s also sad to see how it’s used as a tourist trap. Very busy, but very cool for me. If possible, join in with a walking tour.
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117 Berlin)
This place must be visited to understand the sheer volume of lives lost during the Holocaust. There are 2,711 concrete slabs or ‘stelae’. The place of information also holds the names of 3 million Jewish holocaust victims. The memorial itself is magnificent, it covers over 4.5 Acres of space.. It is massive. The concrete slabs vary in size, from around 0.2m to 4.7m high.
You really can’t appreciate it until you have been here. Must see. I walked with a free walking tour which started at Potsdamerplatz and finished up here.
Potsdamerplatz (10785 Berlin)
The famous Potsdamerplatz, although you may not know why from the surface when you arrive there. There are lots of Berlin Wall relics dotted around the area. Since the German reunification, Potsdamerplatz has been the site of major redevelopment projects and is home to some superb architecture.
During World War 2 Potsdamerplatz was heavily used by the Nazi party and even had a Gestapo secret prison, interrogation and torture rooms on the upper floors of Coloumbushaus. On a lighter note the 1936 Olympic Games was organized here..
Other places which are worth a look:
Topography of Terror – the former HQ of the Gestapo and a look into Nazism. So much history and information to take in here. There are walking tours available.
Victory Column – 67m high column commemorating the victory in the Prussian-Danish war. Views from the top deck are very good..
Gendarmenmarkt – home to Berlin’s Christmas market, seasonal markets and beautiful architecture. There’s also a great deal of restaurants in and around this area.
Monument to the Soviet Soldiers (Tiergarten)
About 10 mins walked from the Brandenburg Gate towards Victory column, and on your right you’ll see the huge memorial to the Soviets.
White Trash Fast Food (Am Flutgraben 2, 12435 Berlin)
Click this link for the menu – must be visited and tried. Worth the trek out of central Berlin.. A €8-10 Uber from Alexanderplatz makes this an easy location to get to. I walked for miles, don’t make the same mistake I did!
I walked through Museum Island everyday, it had some beautiful architecture, and of courses museums. In fact it boasts 5 museums and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Saturday morning, I walked into a mini market / car boot sale. Absolutely anything can and is sold here.. Lots of German War relics and medals – whether they were genuine or not I don’t know..
Stand Up Club SUP Berlin (Eichenstraße 4, 12435 Berlin)
Absolutely gutted I had injured my leg a few days before I couldn’t get out on the river. The complex is cool, if it’s a warm.. What better way to enjoy the sun?! For details click here
As a snap tourists guide, I think I’ve covered everything I can in the city.. I’m sure there are more secrets of the city but the 3 days I spent in Berlin taking in it’s culture and history were so cool. This trip I won’t ever forget.
And that’s that.. I already had my next trip lined up – Prague, Czech Republic.
Want tips or help with travel? Contact me!
°All photos shot with GoPro Hero 4 Silver, with use of a Sandmarc Metal Edition pole, and various mounts.