REVIEW: Chalet Betula, Schwarzenmatt

Today was an absolute scorcher of a day! I couldn’t resist sitting outside with a cuppa, gazing over the mountains, before starting work. I even had a quick browse through the copy of Lonely Planet Switzerland that was sitting in the chalet. I wish I could have sat there all day, but work was beckoning and those bills don’t pay themselves you know.

That view... swoon!
That view… swoon!

At around 4pm we decided to make the most of the last remaining hours of sunshine and drive down to Spiez, which has a gorgeous lake and quite a nice castle. We jumped in the car and drove down off the mountain. Unfortunately the roads round here are very wiggly-woggly. Which is lovely, if you don’t get car sick like I do. I spent most of the journey trying not to be sick, while trying to explain to James why one doesn’t slam on the brakes and speed round corners. Finally we got to our destination, without any vomathons. It was totally stunning!

Spiez Collage

We leave for Italy tomorrow, so I want to quickly tell you a bit more about the amazing guest house we’re staying at, Chalet Betula. I’m not the kind of blogger who goes around asking for freebies. Joy (the chalet owner) has no idea that I even have a blog. We paid full price for our stay. And honestly? We’ve been treated like absolute royalty!

On arrival we found a beautiful bottle of Chianti, and a fridge stocked with local delicacies. And when I say stocked, I mean stocked. Swiss chocolate, local cheese, local charcuterie, local yoghurts, local milk, choccy biscuits, orange juice, and even some home-made jam… I’m probably forgetting something. Oh yeah, fresh bread rolls and sliced bread for toasting.

Basically our every need and whim has been catered for, and Joy is such a lovely woman and made us feel so at home. She has completely given us our own space, but it’s good to know she’s just upstairs in case we need anything. I snapped a few pics of the chalet: excuse the poor lighting! Not pictured are the comfy couch as James is lounging on it, and of course the kitchen.

Betula Collage

If you’re looking for self catering accommodation in the Bernese Oberland I cannot recommend Chalet Betula highly enough. There’s a real log fire for cosy winter evenings… I can just imagine it, all snuggled on the sofa drinking red wine…. ahhh! There’s a telly with Sky too so you don’t even have to miss Strictly. What more could you ask for a pre-Christmas break?

They don’t have a website (!!!) but we found and booked through TripAdvisor. Alternatively you can drop Joy an email. As I said before, we didn’t stay here on a freebie and Joy has no idea I’m a blogger, so I have no ulterior motives in posting this review. I just had a bloody amazing few days here and I’d love to pay it forward!

Walking in a Switzer-wonder-land

By 4pm I had checked enough tasks of my to-do list to go for a bit of a ramble in the countryside. I pulled my walking boots on, grabbed James, and headed out for a spot of adventure.

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View from our chalet, not too shabbeh!

We found a sign that said “Wander Weg“, followed it, and had a really nice 90 minutes of uphills, downhills, squeezing under electric fences, and trying to avoid explosive cow diarrhea which had splattered all over the road. I don’t really have much to say about the situation, so here’s a pretty collage of some photos from today. Sadly for you lot I didn’t get a photo of the cow poo bombs.

SwissCollage

I’ve just watched the sun set over the mountains with a glass of gold medal award winning cremant d’Alsace and a big lump of Chaource. Happy doesn’t even begin to cover it.

3 Countries in One Day

I don’t have much time to spare tonight unfortunately, so it’s just a quick blog post about the highlights of leaving Germany and taking in three countries in one day!

Montage
Some of the sights we saw on our travels

Germany

We said goodbye to our wonderful hosts, Hans and Rita of the fantastic Gastehaus Lenz, and drove off south. We passed through plenty of gorgeous Black Forest towns on our way to the border. We’d heard that the prices in Lidl Switzerland are double that in Germany so thought we should pick up our messages before hitting our next apartment. We spotted an Edeka: I wanted to go in because I love the advert:

*Geil means ‘cool’ in English btw

Unfortunately their prices were more Waitrose than Asda so we just bought some bread, cheese and crisps and had a snack in the car park.

France

Wine Fair

We were getting awfy close to the border and still hadn’t picked up our shopping, so we decided to come off the motorway. At that point we noticed that if we turned right we’d be in France: so we did the wise thing, turned right, and visited the outskirts of the French town of St Louis.

In the supermarket we were dancing around like Jack Skellington, picking up cheeses and grabbing gold medal bottles of wine from the wine fair. We even had a look for compression bags to make more room in our car for a few boxes of wine (to no avail).

Switzerland

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Our first moment in Switzerland was meeting the motorway check-point lady.

“Where are you going?”

“Switzerland!”

*sigh* “Where in Switzerland?”

€40 later and we have a wee sticker on our window that lets us drive on Swiss motorways until January. Woohoo!

After driving through some pretty spectacular scenery, we eventually arrived at our guesthouse. James lost no time in making new friends.

IMG_0367He now wants to go to an expensive Swiss supermarket to buy some tuna for puss-puss: what happened to the tight Irish boyfriend I knew and loved!?