Wednesday, June 30, 2010

European Waterfalls Updates Complete

It took a while to get to this point, but I think I've finished posting all the waterfall and related page updates for the Europe region. These are all updated from our latest trip to Greece, Croatia, and Switzerland.

This latest update includes all Swiss waterfalls as well as the Other Attractions page.

Check it out!

More updates to come regarding shake-ups to our Top 10 List.

Waterfall of the Week

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The First Of The Non-Scandinavian European Waterfalls Posted

Among the waterfalls that should now appear on the World of Waterfalls are:
There are still many more waterfalls to post (time permitting) as I have to get through the mountain of work both waterfalls-wise and in the real-world. So bear with me (and the broken links; or if you see typos/bad grammar, please let me know!) as I try to get these out as soon as possible.

Oh, by the way, if you hadn't heard this before (and you hadn't guessed from the list of just published waterfalls), there will be shake-ups to the various Top 10 Lists we have on our website as a result of this latest trip to the Aegean, Adriatic, and the Alps. Stay tuned...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

First Updates Since Coming Back From Europe

It had been a while since the last update made to the World of Waterfalls website, but with computer troubles, lots to do at work, and just getting through the mountain of notes and pictures taken from the last trip, there was only so much that could get done.

Nonetheless, the first updates to the website have been posted. They mostly pertain to the trip diaries for Greece, Croatia, and Switzerland along with accompanying photos.

However, I'm now working on getting the informational pages up-to-date. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Waterfall of the Week

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Heading For Home

Today, we spent the better part of the day visiting the Seerenbach Falls near Walensee about an hour or so's train ride out of Zurich to the southeast. But as feared, the rainy conditions impacted our ability to see the upper tiers of this waterfall. However, its flow was surprisingly wimpy which raised some questions as to whether its watercourse had been adversely affected by human intervention or whether it truly should be counted as a major waterfall. Especially considering that much of Europe has seen much higher than normal rainfall (we experienced some of this firsthand in Croatia), it seems this waterfall (the part under consideration for the tallest waterfalls in the country and possibly the world) would fail the longevity test.

In any case, I guess this was a rather anticlimactic way of ending off the waterfalling (let alone sightseeing) on our Aegean/Adriatic/Alps (AAA) Trip. You win some and you lose some. That's life.

But in looking back at the highlights of the trip, we were certainly glad to have finally visited this part of Europe (my first outside of Scandinavia - Norway and Iceland). For each time we do these things, we always learn something new about the world, about other people, and about ourselves.

We look forward to updating the World of Waterfalls website with these latest waterfalls from Greece, Croatia, and Switzerland as well as including new trip reports, shaking up the Top 10 List, plus continuing with the website overhaul to expand to the international regions. Stay tuned...

Waterfall of the Week

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Last Full Day In Switzerland

After having visited Zurich, the Rhinefall, and the charming Stein am Rhein, we've now got one last day to go waterfalling in Switzerland.

All that's left to do now is to try to reach the Seerenbach Falls, which is no small feat without a car apparently. Since we're using the public transport, we're fully aware that we may have to walk for 4 hours round trip. We're also aware of the foul weather looming so this could be one soggy day (we hope not dangerous), and we also hope the clouds cooperate so we could see supposedly the country's tallest waterfall in full.

Stay tuned...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Moving Beyond Interlaken...

We had spent the last 6 full days based in Interlaken exploring places like Lauterbrunnen Valley, Jungfraujoch, Bern, Meiringen, and even Zermatt. Our latest long day excursion to Zermatt was to try to see the iconic Matterhorn. Unfortunately, the mountain only showed a fraction of itself, and the web cam history on Zermatt's website seemed to indicate that it had been that way for 7 straight days and counting.

Oh well, that's life. But it certainly beat the rainy weather in the Bernese Oberland area, and I thought we maximized our chances of seeing the Matterhorn. It just wasn't meant to be.

Today, we're finally leaving Interlaken and bound for Lucerne (or Luzern). This will be the 2nd to last accommodation we'll be staying at before ending it off in Zurich. I hope my bum ankle will last (there is a 4-hour return hike in there). We'll just have to deal when the situation arises...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Waterfalls and a Waterfalling Break

The last couple of days saw a contrast in our activities while still basing ourselves out of Interlaken.

Two days ago, we visited both the Reichenbach Falls and Giessbach Falls. The winds were very violent and strong resulting in the closure of the funicular for Reichenbach Falls so I had to walk to its top and then to the other side of the funicular. And while the visit to the falls was satisfying, the physical toll it put on my knees wasn't fun (though some of it was on me since I ran down hill to ensure we'd have enough time to catch one of the infrequent boats on Lake Brienz to Giessbach Falls later in the day). But now, my left foot is still in pain and I have to limp whenever I'm walking for a ways.

Then, we eventually managed to visit Giessbach Falls, but it was kind of a rushed excursion. I dunno what it is about excursions involving boats, but they always seem to be rushed. Our experience at the Nachi Waterfall in Japan comes to mind.

Yesterday, we took a break and changed things up a bit with a visit to the Swiss capital of Bern. We felt this place really felt like time stood still where the buildings and cobblestone streets seem almost as they were when Einstein came up with his special theory of relativity here. It was pleasantly surprising to say the least.

Today, after waiting for 6 days, we're finally going to commit to doing the long day trip to Zermatt to hopefully see the Matterhorn. Unfortunately, the forecast doesn't seem to be any different than the previous 6 days and we may have to resign ourselves to not even having a glimpse of this iconic Swiss mountain. But I guess that's how it goes when mountains are involved since mountains are usually cloud magnets.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

On A Heidi High

We've just completed our second full day of sightseeing the Bernese Oberland area right in the heart of the Swiss Alps. And forgive us if we've used this adjective to describe Plitvice in Croatia, but the scenery here is just sick.

Now, we've got skyscraping snowy peaks towering over charming alpine villages both strewn on high altitude meadows and foothills as well as on the valley floor. And especially in the case of Lauterbrunnen Valley, there are heaps of waterfalls coming down on both sides of the steep-walled valley. It's a scene every bit as reminiscent of Yosemite Valley, except here there's a lot of infrastructure to support public transportation (funiculars, cable cars, and trains) as well as people living amongst such Sound of Music or Heidi scenery (where Yosemite is more of a true nature preserve).

We can't wait to share the waterfalling experiences as well as other sights from our trip. So far we've visited the main waterfalls of Lauterbrunnen Valley - Staubbach Falls, Murrenbach Falls, Trummelbach Falls, and even lesser known ones like Agertenbach Falls, and Mullenbach Falls as well as countless other falls that look significant but we have yet to identify names of them (if they exist).

Tomorrow, we're shifting our focus out of the Lauterbrunnen and Jungfrau area and moving to other parts of the Interlaken surrounds. Depending on the weather, we could be waterfalling around the Lake Brienz and Meiringen area, trying our luck at seeing the Matterhorn at Zermatt, or just doing some city touring of Bern and maybe even some sightseeing at Lake Thun along the way. Stay tuned...

Waterfall of the Week

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hrvatska Phase Coming To An End

I'm currently composing this blog entry in the late evening of our last night in Croatia (also known locally as Hrvatska). We spent the last day-and-a-half sightseeing Dubrovnik under perhaps the best weather we've had throughout our weeklong stay in Croatia. We've been taking a break from waterfalling for about three full days as we started this break by visit Split before making the long drive over to Dubrovnik.

Julie and I will fly to Switzerland tomorrow. We hope the good weather continues, but we're realistic about the sour weather plaguing most of Europe even this late into the year, and we'll just have to hope for the best and adapt accordingly.

More waterfalls to come. Stay tuned...

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Split-ing Good Time

We're currently spending our last night in Split. For time being, we were taking a break from waterfalls by reacquainting ourselves with the charming pedestrian walking streets and alleyways that we're beginning to see is very characteristic of Croatian towns and cities. It started in Zagreb, then we saw some more of it in the tiny Skradin town, and now within the historical core of Split.

It wasn't unusual seeing hordes of tour groups snapping photos at every opportunity. Plus, we saw a lot more Americans than we expected. So we knew this must've been one of the prime tourist destinations even though we came to Croatia for the waterfalls. In truth, Split was an accidental base thinking that we could drive to Krka National Park and back, but I'm glad we made the last-minute accommodation changes and devoted a day-and-a-half to see the charming Split.

Next up, we're headed to Dubrovnik to end off the Croatia part of our AAA trip. Then the waterfalling continues (hopefully without too much complications from the strange weather) in Switzerland...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Unexpected Charm

We're currently in the town of Skradin within Krka National Park. This was part of an unexpected stay when we were supposed to have spent a third night in Plitvice National Park. And boy were we glad we made the last minute move...

Skradin was unexpectedly charming with its narrow alleyways and old school buildings. Great place to go for a walk.

Yesterday, we visited the main waterfall network in Krka National Park called Skradinski Buk. It was quite impressive, but the zoo-like atmosphere due to the presence of legions of kiddies running amok and the commercialized Disney-like atmosphere kind of took away from the experience. Otherwise, it would've been seriously considered to be part of our Top 10.

After a brief visit to Krka's other main waterfall Roski Slap, we're heading over to Split.

So far, the weather has been mostly cloudy and threatening rain or dumping its load. The forecast for Split and Dubrovnik shows chances of thundershowers for the remainder of the next five days. I've seen on the news lots of flooding in Croatia. And we're really beginning to wonder if we're in for snow or no chance of seeing peaks and glaciers when we get to Switzerland next week. Not sure what's up with the weather when it's June!?!?

Waterfall of the Week

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Plitvice In Better Weather

The rain relented last night and continued to ease up throughout most of today. So that gave us a chance to see the remainder of the Plitvice Lakes Waterfalls in better weather (including some that we repeated from yesterday). Then it started raining hard again towards late afternoon. Such unstable weather this late in Spring is really making us worried about Switzerland next week.

Anyways, now that we've seen most of the waterfalls in the park (at least the noteworthy ones), we're changing plans.

Originally, we intended to stay in Plitvice for one more night. But instead, we opted to change our bookings and stay near Krka National Park tomorrow night. We figured that ought to allow us to visit more of Croatia's waterfalls without being too rushed.

And as for the Plitvice Waterfalls, we're sticking with our notion that this ought to be #4 on the favorites list after having seen the Upper Lakes.

We'll see how tomorrow plays out since it was so last-minute...