A Travellerspoint blog

Still in Thun

The cold makes me slow

I've never had good experiences with downhill sports so when Charlotte wanted to bring me out skiing and to teach me to ski, i was really excited but also quite worried.

Again the ski slopes had really nice views of the mountains and it was a perfectly sunny day :)

After awhile i started learning skiing slowly, but my sprain ankle really restricted my progress alot. Every attempt to maneuver was greeted with tingling pain and soon enough the pain was increasing regardless of the precautions i took.
Young kids and old ladies were skiing around me, making me super jealous of their ability...Skiing looked so fun if you could haha...

Soon enough it was time to break for lunch
Nicole loving the sun :)

It was one of the most expensive lunches i ever had. A 1.5 liter bottle of soft drinks costed 12 francs ( crazy ! wahnsinn ! )
Over lunch, i was screaming in silence everytime my ankle was turning or even when i had to stand up. This was a signal for me to take it easy for the rest of the day...( It was really a waste as the day was almost perfect for skiing) Oh well....another time it is....
Professional and patient ski teacher charlotte and me :)

I had the great privilege of spending Hans( mischu's fathers) birthday with Therese and Mischu. We started the day walking to Gstaad. It was a nice long walk through the snow. The walk again was a testament to how fit the swiss people were regardless of their age.
Mischu parents were older than my parents and throughout the walk even as i was starting to get tired. The both of them were still going strong !!! ( my fitness has gone with the wind :( )

We soon arrived in Gwatt and had a delicious lunch

Soon after we went back to Thun where Mischu and i had a short lepak session in the house and than we were off again to Hans and Therese's house for a birthday dinner with their good friend Mr Tu and his wife ( a vietnamese couple who had spent a long time living in switzerland) It was really amazing to meet them and speak some of my broken chinese haha and just hear first hand the culture differences they had learnt to adapt to haha.
Also it was a relief finally having someone who could understand the things and perception issues i was going through.

There was one common issue everyone agreed on regardless.
Therese's legendary culinary skills !!!

Absolutely amazing food. Among the best in my life :)

Posted by shawnified 04:24 Tagged lee shawn hsien chieh shawn_lee_hsien_chieh Comments (0)

Thun...continued... visiting old friends :)

Camping in the moonlight !

To conclude the busy week...We were to go camping in a Hut in the mountains :)

Initially i wasnt keen on the prospects of leaving the warmth and comfort of the bed but than it hit me...
Camping with friends !!! Yay !!!!

It was a short walk in deep snow

We soon arrived at the hut our timing was really just nice as it was getting dark and cold....
We entered the Hut and i was so excited i nearly died an early death from the prospects of us staying there that night.
( unfortunately again, i was too cold and also too dark to take any good pictures) haha

The Hut belonged to the farmer who would use it in the summer but in the cold lonely winters where it was unoccupied, people would rent it for a camping trip.
There was a kitchen with a wooden stove to cook and bake,a living room where we could all sit and have dinner as well as a bed room consisting of two levels of beds where 10 people could sleep side by side on each level.
Like ants in a nest we all set to do the required task to have a good dinner and warmth. A fire was started to heat the cheese fondue, beer was placed outside the door to be chilled by the cold wind, firewood was chopped for the stove and fireplace, candles were lit to provide light and some warmth and the sleeping area was cleared.
Bettina preparing the cheesefondue :)

All these while i was running around excitedly being a camera man...haha

Almost too soon, it was time for dinner...Käsefondue with a glass of Moscato :)

There were the 5 of us. Yuri, Nicole, Bettina, Mischu and me....
Another perfect evening with great food and even greater friends :) Simply a luxury

Soon the fatigues of the day drew us to the bed.
We were really blessed to have the entire hut totally to ourselves ( Mischu and bettina often had to share it with many strangers)
I settled down quickly taking up the space of 2 beds...It was pitch black, you open your eyes and stare in to total darkness wondering if your eyes were opened or closed...One couldnt even see his own outstretched arm
But... No time for thinking only time for sleeping

I awoke to a beautiful view the next morning
Incredible mountains hiding behind a thick mysterious mist which slowly faded as the sun slowly rose.

A nice peaceful breakfast for a lazy saturday ahead haha :)

Posted by shawnified 09:45 Tagged lee shawn hsien chieh shawn_lee_hsien_chieh Comments (0)

Thun - Always good to be back

Auf alten Pfannen lernt man kochen-

I couldnt afford the train ticket but i could afford the time ;)

I departed from meiringen with my bag and this sign in my hand and started on my first hitch this trip to Thun. IMAG0222.jpg

It was quite cold and i had woken up a little late and missed the morning traffic on purpose and started thumbing around 9am.
There werent as many cars and i started to think if it was a wise decision to miss the rush hour as i was really starting to freeze but soon enough a nice VW with and even nicer old lady picked me up :) She wasnt going to Thun but interlaken ( and it was good enough for me to get out of the cold)
I hoped on and immediately the warmth air of the car and the lady's smile erased all memory of the wait.
I managed the entire journey with my poor german and was glad that i could at least last the journey but was irritated that i hadnt been learning my german consistently as i could have said so much more. I was dropped off at Interlaken and i had totally no idea which part it was but as i saw the nearest entrance was into the highway in the right direction i took out my sign and with excitement in my heart started again :)

This stop had at least triple the number of cars passing through but so many more "rejections"
A police car passed by and instantly out came my beaming smile holding the sign (as if in a toothpaste advertisement) They smiled and drove off
A bus driver drove past giving a smile and signalling regret he couldnt pick me up ( i was laughing so hard ! )
A long wait it was...but in times like this...humming a tune and smiling to myself was all i needed to tide through :) Soon enough, a young man picked me up and said he would pass by Thun and drop me off somewhere

:) JACKPOT !!! :)

On board the car, whilst conversing in german, i noticed immediately that his accent was strange and asked him where he was from.
me: Ah..Italia !!!
I than said, of all the places i travelled, i felt the most beautiful ladies were from Croatia and following closely at second place were the Italians....
He (repeating my statement): Croatian ???
me: Yes, croatian but italians are second !
He:my wife is from croatia
Both of us: screaming like excited little girls entering a shopping center

I was dropped off at Thun south and thank him profusely....The home stretch ( I knew thun quite well and could walk home easily)

Soon i arrived home and was surprised to see Bettina home also :)
I checked the time and realised that my little adventure was actually faster than taking the train !!!
Yay !!!!

As Mischu said: "feels good to be in a familiar place ha"
Feels good...Feels good :)

Posted by shawnified 09:03 Comments (0)

Meiringen :)

Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19.21


I stumbled upon meiringen( a small alpine village) last year as i wanted to triftbrücke visit in Switzerland. However i didnt have the time nor opportunity.
This year i found myself in a position to finally visit this beautiful place. However, not everything always flows with you unless you are always going down haha.

I had the opportunity of meeting and staying with a lovely couple KC and Kathleen.
They were both very spiritual, healthy and respectable. Through my short stay i had the pleasure of witnessing how Kathleen made yoghurt and KC baking bread.

I realised after awhile that the triftbrücke was closed and i couldnt visit what i came to meiringen for....so i used the time to go for many walks alone in the forest

I also spent sometime talking to KC and Kathleen whenever they were not busy from work and
I found that i had alot to learn from this very wise couple and wished i had more time to talk with them.
The view in meiringen was stunning nonetheless, but my hands were often too cold to take pictures haha


Well...this marks an end to the short stay in meiringen, hopefully i can come back again in the summer and go camping at triftbrücke ! :)

Next up....hitchhiking

Destination : Thun :))

Posted by shawnified 08:23 Comments (0)

My two addictions...

Auf alten Pfannen lernt man kochen

It has been a really great stay with Hilmar and Manuela so far :)

Our delicious Bavarian breakfast with weisswurst and pretzels.

The 3rd member of the house Lazy Lucky....He was sleeping in this position.. haha

In the evening we attended a house warming party of his friend (Christoff)...It was a nice new apartment but the party had so many people there wasnt anyehere to sit and as i haven fullly

Now after, not climbing for a really long time. My fingers were suffering. The wonderful solution was : Hilmar was a climber too, and after a long breakfast we went climbing in Heavensgate climbing gym.
It was my first time bouldering in cold weather and because my fingers were so cold it was hard to grab all the tiles the way that i was used to haha.
After our climbing sessionm it was our last dinner together...I was quite sad that the next morning i would leave but also relieved at the same time i was coming back to munich haha.

In retrospect, i had a great time with Manu and Hilmar...Many nice thoughtful talks as well as a great climbing day with Hilmar...I hope to see them soon...
The next morning Switzerland ! haha

Posted by shawnified 13:58 Tagged lee shawn hsien chieh shawn_lee_hsien_chieh Comments (0)

Europe 2013 :)

Its not cool to be cold :)

snow -5 °C

Had a really good start with my fanily and good friends sending me of before i flew.

The flight nonetheless was a real pain :(

As soon as i arrived in munich, i was blown away. It was one thing seeing snow in pictures and small pockets of it in the mountains from my previous trips but it was totally different seeing the entire landscape engulfed with snow. White planes extending as far as the eyes could see and everything, from cars, bicycles, trees just decked with an entire layer of snow...

Weeks before this, Mischu und Bettina had already been sending me pictures of how much snow there was and often warning me of the current weather but i arrived with just my hoodie, my climbing pants and a pair of sanuks without socks ( in the 1st picture but with a hoodie) haha, I was walking for a quite awhile and going to see where my first host house was and the whole time, i was feeling strong haha.
After awhile i suddenly realised that my feet were numb and i was starting to shiver, i was walking too slowly cause of my sprained ankle and was getting colder and colder. Soon enough, i threw in the white tower, took out my windbreaker and some socks and suited up haha.

I spent the entire day walking around but it was really super cold and had to constantly retreat into a random shopping centre or building to find comfort in the magic of internal heating. haha

My host Hilmar and Manu were a lovely fun loving couple. Along with this, Hilmar was a climber and if not for my sprained ankle and tight budget, we would have been climbing alot by now haha.

I spent the rest of my time walking around several places of munich and going to viktualienmarkt.

In the night, Hilmar suggested going to Olympiapark and to ride down the slope with the sled....Honestly i wasnt very keen to go out into the cold again after coming into the warm confortable house. Also, ive never been on a sled and after my numerous unpleasant with gravity driven vehicles i was a little afraid....

Now, on hindsight and with all limbs intact. It was the most fun i had in a long time ! Maybe the most fun i would have in Munich since winter is ending soon...

Posted by shawnified 12:19 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Domodossola-Shopping excursion for the uncle

Rest for the weary

It was decided for a day i would go to domodossola and back through a very long route ensuring i made the best of my train pass as well as seeing more of switzerland :)

Domodossola is a place just across the Italian swiss border, it is already located in Italy, but many Swiss train are still allowed to go there so :)))

I set off early in the morning and arrived really fresh. As soon as i arrived, i could immediately sense the different atmosphere. Its hard to describe exactly, but the atmosphere was derived from people, area and even the weather.
I was walking around for a long time and could not find a single person who spoke any english or could help me with my shopping list.
I than had to resort to the universal language...Sign language, unfortunately i had no idea what sign could possibly signify daily ingredients such as garlic and oil...The pursuit was useless, i than suddenly thought, why not try german, since they were just across the border.
Nope didnt work either...hahah

Arriving at Domodossola( unfortunately the market was only open on the weekend) , most of the shops had an entrance like this

The plan was to spend 2 hours in Domodossola and catch the train at 11 and go to my next destination, however within 10 mins, i knew i wasnt going to catch that train or the train after that ! haha, Domodossola is the kind of town i throughly enjoy. Almost 0 tourist ( some ppl from swiss coming to buy groceries) small, local shops, many many locals, morning markets and more...
I spent the entire day wandering, and observing locals as they bought meat at the butchers and cheese and vegetables, and most of all bread !!! It was really fun, just wondering around and watching as the people went about their daily lives...

After a few rounds of recceing, i started to buy most of the things i wanted, and thankfully the butcher i was at had a young assistant who spoke some english haha !

I went to check the train timings, and decided, why rush back to the swiss, enjoy this oasis of "cheap prices" a little longer haha !
I walked back into the city and suddenly the busy bustling town was transformed into a Post-apocalyptic, zombie town...I was all alone and was starting to wonder where did everyone went ! The markets were gone and all the shops were closed, i felt like an jim carrey in the truman show.
Than i saw the opening hours of one of the shops...9-12.30, 3-6

A 2.5 hours lunch break....As someone said ( i wont say who ;) ) "the italians really know how to live life, and have Siesta, and than they wonder why their economy is in such shape" Haha !

So unfortunately since i had already missed the train, i continued wondering the deserted streets...I than saw a lonely italian lady selling ice cream...Than i knew in my heart that it was time to try the famous italian gelato again...
Cool tomatoes... I might have overused many words like best, great, epic, but really...this ice cream was probably the best i ever recall having. Enough said

Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.
C. S. Lewis

Never let the world change your smile, but instead change the world, with your smile...

James 1:26-27 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world

Posted by shawnified 04:15 Archived in Italy Tagged lee shawn hsien chieh shawn_lee_hsien_chieh Comments (1)

Free time is but a luxury

People say i have a small stomach...actually i just have a big body ;)

It was wednesday. Bettina's free day !!! We ( more she than me) prepared a flammkuchen!!! for branch :)))
I had no idea what it was initially and thought it was an ordinary pizza. Lo and behold, when it was out of the oven and into my mouth.
I was shocked that this tiny thing could taste so good and immediately i was certain it was one of the best "pizzas" i had ever eaten.
I know it looks simple, but it packs a punch :)

Bettina than went out to the dentist for a routine check. I was thinking where i could visit next and than I recalled a beautiful castle (while sitting on the river cruise ) where Flavi was going to sign his wedding papers. I figured i should do a ground recce before hand haha ( not really)

The castle was extremely beautiful and probably now my 2nd option to where i could get married ( haha)
Situated in front of the beautiful Thunersee with a big green lawn, the environment was entirely serene. Perfect for almost all occassion, people were sunbathing on the lawn, playing soccer and just enjoying the idyllic environment.

I had a nice long afternoon chilling there haha...

After coming home i received a message inviting me to dinner at Bettina's Mother house !
Mischu's mother was there also and i felt a little awkward as i couldnt really address any of them as "auntie" as people usually just call each other by their first name. I just couldnt bring myself to call someone so senior without any title haha...
During dinner, one of the topic of discussion was where i should travel to the next day...( i have many day left on my train pass and all of us felt i should utilise it fully)
I felt abit embarassed but very touched at the same time that so many people were so concerned about me and my plans. Had a really nice time talking to Liliane ( Bettina's older sis ) :)

I think i have said this time and time again, but one of the things i enjoy most in life is the companionship of people, good food and in a pleasant setting.
Most of my memories from my travels were my time spent with my friends chilling together and just talking and taking it easy.
I believe one of my love langages is Quality time, and spending quality time with my friends are really what this entire trip has been about so far :)

Posted by shawnified 14:14 Archived in Switzerland Tagged shawn_lee Comments (0)

The coldest i have ever been

If everything's relative than why the emptiness in our souls- August burns red

When jason knew i was visting Mischu and Bettina, he immediately said there was one thing i had to do for him.
Jump into the Aare river.... we couldnt do so last time as, we didnt have enough time ( and probably would have died from the cold)

The day arrived well and good. Mischu was done with work and we went beside the river to a grass patch and put our stuff down.
I finally met another of his good friends Toemu and than the stage was set.
We all jumped into together into the freezing water and as the current was very strong were "swept" away immediately...It was really a shock to the system and every moment i was worried if my body would shut down or if my legs would get cramp...I soon threw away the unnecessary worry and started to enjoy myself as there were many other people who were swimming happily haha. We swam for awhile and went back to the shore for a short break.
Soon it was time for the real deal, unfortunately i dont have any pictures now but we walked alot further towards the city where there was another bigger and higher bridge (3m) at least ! haha, and as i climbed over the railing, the same panic swept over me again.
I had jumped from a higher point in the army, however this was totally different, the water was flowing very fast ( Only michael phelps can swim backwards) and it was very cold ! Soon, i summoned all guts and some confidence from Mischu and Toemu and we jumped in together :)
It was super fun and we just had to stay afloat as the water brought us to the "rest point"
All was well and good :) However, when we were resting, i couldnt stop shivering for 20 mins...haha Mischu and Bettina were a lttle worried but all is well and looking forward to doing it again ! haha :)

Posted by shawnified 08:16 Archived in Switzerland Tagged lee shawn hsien chieh shawn_lee_hsien_chieh Comments (0)

Klettern mit Chris und Monica

One of the coolest couples fulfilling one of my childhood dreams


Chris and monica are a really nice couple who are living the comfort of their home and going for a one year trip (with alot of climbing involved) in their caravan !
I had the privillege of being introduced to Mischu and Bettina's good friends ( living just across the street !) Chris and Monica and they were both climbers ! :)
Being depraved of climbing for so long i asked them if it was ok if i crashed their next climbing session ! haha, and they said yes ! :))
So on sunday, i met them at their house and went down to their basement to help with the packing. Boy oh boy did they had alot of equippment. I dont have any friends who have their own basements needless to say basement with so much climbing gear so it was quite exciting for me.

It was a quick drive to Interlaken (where the walls were) and than a short hike up.
When we arrived i was blown away, there were tons of routes there at least 20 or more on 1 face. From really short and easy ones for beginners to the really hard ones like 9a...This was only 1 wall, the entire dairy farm could not even hold a candle to that single wall.haha

We spent alot of the day climbing and it was my first time leading outside. I hadnt climbed for a really long time and fell a few times...
Hopefully i ll get to go back once more before leaving :))

After climbing, it was back to the lake for chilling and dinner :)
While driving back, Michu took us to a special place where we had a serene view of the city and Schloss Thun while the sun was setting :)

A nice ending to a exciting day :)

Posted by shawnified 04:37 Archived in Switzerland Comments (0)

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