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-   -   The Great Escape (https://www.englishforum.ch/travel-day-trips-free-time/303151-great-escape.html)

Theoslimm 14.03.2021 20:13

The Great Escape
 
By way of preamble, I live alone and work from home due to Covid. Consequently, I have no companion to keep me sane or drive me nuts (or do anything pleasurable to my nuts for that matter). I’ve noticed serious signs of ‘wear and tear’ on my apartment walls and conclude that either I’ve attained superhero, Paddington stare death-ray eyes or I need some new walls to look at. By way of main-amble, this means “I got to ramble” (blessings to Messrs. Page and Plant and the late Anne Bredon).

I’m obliged to use up my remaining 2 weeks of 2020 hols before the end of this month so (along with the rest of the planet) I’ve been looking at options. My first choice would be back to Blighty but, logistical challenges, restrictions that will still be in place this month and overall bloody aggravation with the current regs means I’m reluctant to do this and want to look elsewhere. (I visited the UK a little while ago but all the testing left me with a nose like a cocaine addict and a throat like a porn-star - likewise, the quarantine isolation at both ends really sucked).

As work has been pants, I decided to tag-on extra days to have 3 weeks off (which I’ve never had before). In the current climate I don’t really want to fly, so Plan A is to drive around Switzerland a few times and wander the hills. However, maybe there are other options if travelling by car – could there be a Plan B (e.g. drive to Spain, or perhaps the moon?). So this is my main question; does anyone have an interesting suggestion for a lone vehicular traveler over Easter?

My moral, ethical and magnetic compasses are not well aligned e.g. ‘just feels wrong to go’ vs. ‘travelling alone in a car and staying alone and going out for a walk alone somewhere else is comparable/low risk to doing the same thing where I am now’ vs. ‘travel would support ailing businesses’ vs. ‘if I don’t get out, I’ll probably just stay in bed for 3 weeks feeling miserable (or worse)’ vs. ‘it still feels wrong’. Therefore, I’m not looking for any judgements on this, just ideas where it could be possible to go by car without quarantine.

Plan C is to stay in the pit of despair, maybe cancel the 3rd week and start wearing out the ceiling instead.

Nocando 14.03.2021 20:25

Re: The Great Escape
 
You write really well - spend the 3 weeks to churn out a bestseller.

DantesDame 14.03.2021 20:47

Re: The Great Escape
 
And here when I read the post title, I had assumed that you had just watched The Great Escape and were contemplating a visit to Füßen to visit all of the filming locations :msncool:

Your dilemma is a real one, and one that I have struggled with when wanting (needing) to get out of the apartment. That's one of the key reasons that Dan and I only spent one week away last fall, and stayed in Switzerland.

Here's my suggestion: Get in your car and drive south. Lugano, Locarno, Bellinzona... somewhere where the weather will be more accepting of outdoor exploration. Find a nice centrally-located hotel and book yourself a week there. Then you can do your solo day trips in a new region without leaving the country. By staying in one place, you're limiting the number of hotel rooms you take up (better not just for viral spread, but also for sheet and towel consumption).

You get a change of scenery, you get to spend a little money on the local economy, but you're still close to home and being sensible.

Those are my two Rappen, FWIW :cool:

runningdeer 14.03.2021 21:15

Re: The Great Escape
 
.... wander the hills

If you really want to wander 'hills' stay low otherwise strap on the skis and skins. Anything like 1,000+ m you will be gliding on the white stuff.
If you are into the winter sports stuff there's still plenty to be had. Book a week in a high mountain resort for example.

hoover1 14.03.2021 21:37

Re: The Great Escape
 
That's what I for last couple weeks - hike - and Jura seems to be perfect for it - with average 1500m there - lot to see , small villages on the way - nothing short of nice time - with daily 40km and 1000 mh ..

however next week weather is going to look ugly - so time to read some good book

Izzt89 14.03.2021 22:08

Re: The Great Escape
 
As the Monty Python would say....
"and now, for something completely different"

-> something that will make you forget the wall paper color in your apartment as you'll be 100% outdoors...and maybe wishing to come back to the wall paper: volunteer in a local farm, and learn how to plant wheat / milk cows / make cheese / grow chicken / etc etc (https://wwoof.ch/ or https://www.worldpackers.com/positions/5267 for example)

-> as you will have saved (like all of us) a pot of money from diners in restaurants, travels abroad and other earth pleasures, that you have to use before the bank charges you negative interest on it: pamper yourself to a spa holiday in Switzerland (before, after, or with no intention of going to the mountains): https://holidaystoswitzerland.com/to...n-switzerland/ If you opt out of the mountains, make sure you have at hand a good array of books. Based on your style, may I suggest J.J. Balard?

-> Follow your instincts - or even better, follow a map, Join one of the multiple activities and outdoor events on (you choose the area) on foxtrailing and orienteering (f. ex. https://www.bikekingdom.ch/en/News/R...rosa_n_4562825 or https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-ch/...trails-search/) There are all types and levels and local organizations

-> France has just 'relaxed' the entry conditions. Profit from it and make some cruises - learning how to, on the way. You might have heard of this organization. It is well known in UK - for the wrong reasons, yet you can actually learn sports from props https://www.ucpa.com/offres/croisiere-voilier

-> and, if everything fails...there is always Tinder :msntongue:

Theoslimm 14.03.2021 22:09

Re: The Great Escape
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by runningdeer (Post 3285584)
.... wander the hills

If you really want to wander 'hills' stay low otherwise strap on the skis and skins. Anything like 1,000+ m you will be gliding on the white stuff.
If you are into the winter sports stuff there's still plenty to be had. Book a week in a high mountain resort for example.

Unfortunately I'm not one of nature's great skiers. A couple of years ago I knackered my ankle on a blue run and it's still not right (I blame the electronic ankle tag for failing to provide the needed support). Hill walking is now fine but less fun staying low.... mind you, after months of waddlesome sloth it's probably all I'm fit for.

Pancakes 14.03.2021 22:23

Re: The Great Escape
 
I'm not sure how worried you are in terms of potentially catching Covid, but there are some really nice wellness resorts / thermal baths throughout Switzerland that appear to still be open (i.e. not closed due to restrictions). One that I really liked is in Vals, called "Vals Therme" at the time, but it appears they have recently changed their name:

https://7132.com/en/therme/thermal-b...d-spa/overview

Their hotel was also quite nice.

Theoslimm 14.03.2021 22:47

Re: The Great Escape
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Izzt89 (Post 3285597)
As the Monty Python would say....
"and now, for something completely different"

-> something that will make you forget the wall paper color in your apartment as you'll be 100% outdoors...and maybe wishing to come back to the wall paper: volunteer in a local farm, and learn how to plant wheat / milk cows / make cheese / grow chicken / etc etc (https://wwoof.ch/ or https://www.worldpackers.com/positions/5267 for example)

-> as you will have saved (like all of us) a pot of money from diners in restaurants, travels abroad and other earth pleasures, that you have to use before the bank charges you negative interest on it: pamper yourself to a spa holiday in Switzerland (before, after, or with no intention of going to the mountains): https://holidaystoswitzerland.com/to...n-switzerland/ If you opt out of the mountains, make sure you have at hand a good array of books. Based on your style, may I suggest J.J. Balard?

-> Follow your instincts - or even better, follow a map, Join one of the multiple activities and outdoor events on (you choose the area) on foxtrailing and orienteering (f. ex. https://www.bikekingdom.ch/en/News/R...rosa_n_4562825 or https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-ch/...trails-search/) There are all types and levels and local organizations

-> France has just 'relaxed' the entry conditions. Profit from it and make some cruises - learning how to, on the way. You might have heard of this organization. It is well known in UK - for the wrong reasons, yet you can actually learn sports from props https://www.ucpa.com/offres/croisiere-voilier

Thanks Izzy, well considered selections: Like the idea of WWoofing (although as I'm sitting here listening to the hammering rain, a few drinks in a pub would feel more organic).

I didn't realise France has relaxed anything, what did I miss? Maybe Easter in St. Tropez?

I checked out the sailing link then realised I'm fractionally too old to register, so thanks for making me more depressed. :msncry:

Thanks also for the Thermal bath link: My first ever trip to Switzerland (back when roads had only just been invented) was to Leukerbad. I was thinking it could be jolly to go back.... but maybe nicer with a spa-ing partner.

Pancakes 14.03.2021 22:55

Re: The Great Escape
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Theoslimm (Post 3285607)
Thanks also for the Thermal bath link: My first ever trip to Switzerland (back when roads had only just been invented) was to Leukerbad. I was thinking it could be jolly to go back.... but maybe nicer with a spa-ing partner.

Maybe there is a special one for "swinging singles." :D :P

ZuriRollt 14.03.2021 22:59

Re: The Great Escape
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DantesDame (Post 3285576)

Those are my two Rappen, FWIW :cool:

Goodness, haven’t heard that for a while - are they contactless?

ZuriRollt 14.03.2021 23:00

Re: The Great Escape
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pancakes (Post 3285602)
I'm not sure how worried you are in terms of potentially catching Covid, but there are some really nice wellness resorts / thermal baths throughout Switzerland that appear to still be open (i.e. not closed due to restrictions). One that I really liked is in Vals, called "Vals Therme" at the time, but it appears they have recently changed their name:

https://7132.com/en/therme/thermal-b...d-spa/overview

Their hotel was also quite nice.

If they are all dressed like you, then I’d feel well there too at the moment;)

robBob 15.03.2021 11:34

Re: The Great Escape
 
This song is for you
https://youtu.be/ZoYbGPO_KKs

terrifisch 15.03.2021 11:48

Re: The Great Escape
 
I would head to Ticino and tour the area. There is a great boutique hotel in the town, Ascona, called "Art Hotel Ripasso" and the owners/family are jazz musicians who play most evenings. My OH and I really enjoyed the food and accommodation as well as the music. There are some really nice hiking trails in the area as well.

Just received an email that the hotel will re-open on the 19th of March...:)

Susie-Q 15.03.2021 12:07

Re: The Great Escape
 
Your post is one of the best I've read on this forum, please feel free to entertain us more with your scribbles ...

I am not sure how things are right now with the pandemic, but you seem like a gentleman who would enjoy Asturias, Spain. One of the few untouched places in the country and full of scenic adventure.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/t...asturias-spain

Treverus 15.03.2021 12:10

Re: The Great Escape
 
I am in a similar situation but don’t have the reservations towards flying. Everyone has to get two tests for KLM by now: a PCR test not older than three days and a rapid test within four hours from boarding. Everyone will have to wear masks and the plane has actually hepa filters in their aircons... Yes, there is a risk left but it seems arguably way less than the risk of going to any Migros.

I will go for a week to a tropical island with COVID numbers so low that even the German RKI could not keep it on the travel warning list... so no quarantine or other restrictions.

DantesDame 15.03.2021 18:11

Re: The Great Escape
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Susie-Q (Post 3285791)
I am not sure how things are right now with the pandemic, but you seem like a gentleman who would enjoy Asturias, Spain. One of the few untouched places in the country and full of scenic adventure.


Oh my. I was touring through northern Spain a couple of years ago and fell in love. The scenery, the people, the food.... the food :msntongue:

It is now at the top of my "when I can travel freely" list to go back, but this time with the motorcycles.

JackieH 15.03.2021 18:43

Re: The Great Escape
 
For now- go, but stay in Switzerland. Plenty to see and huge variety, for now.
Perhaps do The Grand Tour, or go and enjoy the sun in Ticino for a while, and return with a big 'buckle' tour. Great offers for Hôtels and RbnB now. Or a spa resort as a base, like Leukerbad or Ovronnaz - and visit the Valais region.

Brian1985 15.03.2021 19:36

Re: The Great Escape
 
Get ye to Mexico I say! No quarantine requirements on either end and so many attractions from beaches in Cancun to historical sights, not to mention great food and friendly Latin people (a real change from this place haha). You can get cheap flights through Madrid and hotels are cheap at the moment.

Izzt89 16.03.2021 08:56

Re: The Great Escape
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Brian1985 (Post 3285967)
Get ye to Mexico I say! No quarantine requirements on either end and so many attractions from beaches in Cancun to historical sights, not to mention great food and friendly Latin people (a real change from this place haha). You can get cheap flights through Madrid and hotels are cheap at the moment.

just....make sure you don't get the virus while in Mexico...it could be a little bit of an ordeal.... :eek:


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