Switzerland

If you see mountainous landscapes and green valleys on Instagram, more often than not the picture would have been of Switzerland. The walks between green hills are almost too perfect and are accompanied by a soundtrack of cowbells ringing in the distance. Visit intimate Art galleries housing private collections of works by Picasso, Paul Klee, Giacometti to name just a few. I recommend:

Rosengarten, Lucern 

Sammlung Oskar Reinhart, Winterthur 

Each of the larger Cantons also has their own Museum of Modern Arts. Bern’s has the best Picasso gallery I have ever been to, with hundreds of paintings. Although I was more impressed by Giacometti’s work housed downstairs in the same gallery. Zurich’s Kunst House also has a fine and varied collection with many very familiar works that I have only seen before through reproductions. It was exciting to stand in front of so many famous works without the queues of people that we experience in the UK.

During the winter, the skiing and views are incredible. Skiing was not my parent’s thing so we went mountain walking and then single ski sledged all the way down, brilliant!

 

Azores

Walk in Azores’ strange volcanic landscape and you will find hot springs, vast views and subtropical forests. The only place I know where you can swim in volcanic craters while watching floating rocks. Alternatively, sail out into the ocean to see the biggest living animals, the blue whales.

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Walking the Old Man of Coniston

Got it! At last a break from persistent rain. It wasn’t looking promising and the girl in the YHA said she hadn’t known it to be so wet and grey. It’s been tipping it down so hard that every time I needed to look at the sat nav on my phone, I had to lean over to create a body umbrella. However, as you can see, the views up the Old Man and along the ridge were well worth the journey.

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