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Snowboarding The Jungfrau

This was not my first rodeo. I’ve headed out to the Jungfrau region for a snowboarding holiday a couple of times before in the past handful of years, but something about this year felt a bit different. Maybe it was the weather, maybe the town we stay in, Wengen, is not as quaint as I remember it, maybe it’s just that I’m getting used to the place so it feels less interesting or exotic… I don’t know.

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the cute Wengernalpbahn, the fourth and final train to get to Wengen

All that aside, Wengen is a charming little village, accessible only via a rack and pinion railway (the world’s longest) from either Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald. Of course that’s after three other trains: Zurich to Bern; transfer in Bern to Interlaken Ost; transfer in Interlaken Ost to Lauterbrunnen where this final train finally gets to you Wengen (or all the way up to Kleine Scheidegg should you desire). But once you get into the village of Wengen, it’s pleasantly car-free. With the exception of the hotels’ electric cars, which seem to have seriously multiplied since my last visit. A “pedestrianized” town loses some of its charm when you still have to keep an eye out for vehicles when walking down the village streets.

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a snowy day hinders the visibility towards Kleine Scheidegg (taken from the Arven lift, I think?)

Snowboarding was a bit of a mixed bag this year and I think that’s where I felt the biggest difference, with the weather playing a significant role.  Continue reading

Fujairah – Al Hayl castle…& a small serving of other things

A new road opened up recently that cuts through the Hajar mountains and provides a more direct route to/from Dubai and Fujairah (yay!). This is excellent news, considering Fujairah is pretty much my favorite place in all of the UAE and it now only takes an hour to get there; previously it was about  1 hr 45 minutes I think?

This weekend, we tested the new road out and took a little detour to peek at Al Hayl castle. Located just a short drive away from Fujairah city, the (pretty quaint) castle is about 250 years old in a gorgeous location surrounded by mountains and date palm farms. Continue reading

Wengen, Switzerland

the eiger

Switching it up from my more usually planned trips to places where snow and warm layers are never any consideration (I generally hate the stuff), I found myself excited about  a trip to Switzerland.  Cold weather may not sit well with me (it literally causes me pain, like my body just wants to cramp up all over) but I am willing to go through some suffering to get a good bit of snowboarding in.

After spending a good portion of my life skiing (started when I was 11-ish) and snowboarding (started in my early 20’s) in the not-so-glamorous state of Pennsylvania, I was totally beside myself with excitement to finally get the chance to hit the slopes on the Swiss Alps – in the Jungfrau region of the Berner Oberland, to be exact. Continue reading