Saturday, 12 August 2017

Banks of Vistula river

It is a common belief that a river running through a city is one of its greatest assets, both when it comes to transportation and tourism. For years, Warsaw was an exception here. Wisła (Vistula) river was inaccessible to the inhabitants and its shores were a dangerous place, where people would normally not risk wandering. But is has been changing over the last couple of years. And finally, I am happy to take you today for a lazy afternoon by the river to the "Wisła District".


We will start next to the Świętokrzyski bridge.


Here, we need to say 'Hello' to the Warsaw Mermaid, the symbol of the city.


The banks of Wisła are the house for many birds. You can learn a lot about them from the posters located next to the river.


As we move on North, you will surely notice a familiar building in the background.


Yes, the red colour behind the trees belongs to the National Center of Science Kopernik.


Since it was built quite close to the water, on a slope, there is not much place to relax by the river.


But as we move a few hundred meters, the landscape changes completely.


It is maybe not Copacabana but it is the best beach you can get in town. It is large, sandy and well equipped


If the sun shines too bright and it is getting too hot, you can always use one of the beach baskets.


Just beware of sharks! And other large fish.


I hope that you have relaxed a bit. Let's go further North again, towards the Śląsko-Dąbrowski bridge.


On the other side of the street that runs on our left, you will immediately recognise the Old Town of Warsaw, with the Royal Castle.


No more sand in this part of the embankment but we get a nice promenade instead.


Let's climb on the platform to see a bit more.


The place seems surprisingly empty today, it is much more crowded normally.


Maybe all the people are on the boats? Or rather taking the ferry to the other side ...


... and sunbathing on this half-wild beach?


Because Warsaw has a regular "water tramway" service. They even have real tram stops, with a timetable.


Finally, we arrive to the end of our walk for today. This is the Gdański bridge. Called after the city of Gdańsk located on the sea shore, in the North of Poland. It used to be the most Northern bridge in Warsaw, hence the name.


This bridge is quite amazing, because it has two parts, each of which has two levels, to accomodate cars, trams, trains and huge pipes bringing heat to the left side of Warsaw.


But what I like best about the Gdański bridge is this neon sign. "So nice to see you" it says. Welcome to the Wisła District my friends.


Saturday, 5 August 2017

Rigi

When my human family told me that we are going to see the Rigi mountain, I was not excessively happy. After all, we have already been to Mount Pilatus less than two years ago. And Lake Lucerne is not my favourite lake on the planet. But since horse of value always overcome their fears, I decided to spend this lovely summer day with you in the Swiss canton of Schwyz and even get close to what was my most dreadful experience ever. First, we will take a cable car to arrive to Rigi Kaltbad, where people enjoy some mineral water spa with an amazing view.


From here, we will go further up with a cogway train, being the oldest mountain railway in Europe.


As we move up, you can notice this wooden platform. If you thought it is standing here because there will be a dancing party tonight, you definitely know little about the pre-Alpine folklore.



This is a platform prepared for Schwingen, a traditional Swiss wrestling contest. And if you think that Swiss people do not take it seriously because it is "only" folklore, watch that.


Finally, we arrive to the top of the Rigi Kulm.


One of the most amazing things about Rigi is that it is almost entirely surrounded by water. It has three lakes at its feet. The first is Lake Lucerne that we all know too well.


Then come Lake Zug which we have already seen in the city of Zug ...


... and just next to it Lake Lauerz.


Rigi is referred to sometime as the queen of mountains. To improve its status even more, it arranged to become a sister of a goddess. Or more precisely a sacred mountain, Mount Emei.


Let's jump on the train again and move down the Rigi mountain towards the shores of Lake Lucerne.


I love this sign towards sheep and goats.


As we approach the lake, I recalled why I always thought this is one of the nicest areas of Switzerland.


It almost makes me want to get closer. I am not yet ready to be in the lake. But why not trying to be on the lake?


Everyone on board!


Safety first so let's check the lifeboats.


The engines seem to work fine as well.


I am now reassured, we can sit on one of those nice benches.


The nice building in the back is a luxury hotel.


Have you noticed something special on the mountain? Yes! This is a huge Swiss flag over there!


Time to get off the ship and move towards new adventures. I hope that you have enjoyed the time we spent by the Regina montium. If you would like to see more, I truly recommend you to watch the panoramic views available under the link.