European Travel Journal 2021 – Post 10

That’s it. After a 10.5 hour flight I am back in South Africa. I will spend a few days in Pretoria and Durban and I will be back at Thanda Safari next Monday: Back to Wildlife Photography.

I hope you have enjoyed this travel (food 😊) journal.

Today’s picture was take from the plane just before landing in Johannesburg..

If you would like to read the complete travel journal with all pictures go to (profile link)

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Picture data: iPhone 12 Pro Max

Underground cable car at Zurich airport.
Swiss Airbus A340 to Johannesburg
I almost bought a cuckoo clock
Zurich airport art
Departing Switzerland
On the plane – I was lucky with an empty seat beside me 😊
On approach …

European Travel Journal 2021 – Post 9

My visit is almost at an end but this weekend I spent some more time with friends and family in Germany.

I enjoyed two more excellent lunches at ‘The Fuchshöhle’ and at the ‘Villa Martini’ in Bad SĂ€ckingen.

Tomorrow I will get a COVID-19 PCR test at the ZĂŒrich Airport and if everything goes well then I will be on a plane back to South Africa tomorrow night.

If you read all my travel post and looked at all the posted pictures then this trip looks a bit like a food tour. But I think that there are few better ways to spend quality time with family and friends then over a good meal.

I had a very enjoyable visit and I am looking forward to be back in April 2022.

Today’s picture is of tall trees in the Black Forest, Southern Germany.

Picture data: iPhone 12 Pro Max

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My niece and her boyfriend were ready for their Halloween party 🎉 (posing as Patrick Bateman and The Black Mamba 🎃)
My mum loved the Proteas, the South African national flower, which I found in a German flower shop.
A very tasty pumpkin risotto!
I love sour-cream ice cream!
An excellent Italian lunch!

European Travel Journal 2021 – Post 8

I had very busy and very enjoyable three days with lunches and dinners, catching up with many more friends in Switzerland and Germany.

And today good friends, who live in Lucerne, took me on a boat ride onto Lake Lucerne ‘VierwaldstĂ€ttersee’. They own a beautiful wooden speed boat and we spent a pleasant autumn afternoon on the water. The day ended with a superb dinner at the Hotel Montana in Lucerne which features an incredible view of the city.

Today’s picture is of misty mountains ‘in blue light’ around Lake Lucerne, Switzerland.

Picture Data: Canon EOS R6 with RF 24-240mm lens.

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A Linzer Torte was the desert to an exceptional dinner with friends in Aarwangen, Switzerland
Switzerland is providing fast charging stations for e-cars at most rest places along the motorways (Autobahns)!
A beef carpaccio is one of my favorite starters. This one I ate at the Fuchshöhle in Bad SÀckingen, Germany.
Sunrise from the ClubGolf restaurant above Sempach before my dinner with friends.
Swiss mountains.
On the speed boat.
Famous German composer Richard Wagner’s house on Lake Lucerne.
Mist and pastel colors.
Dinner at the Montana.
Lucerne at sunset.
Lucerne panorama from the lake.
Ship on Lake Lucerne (VierwaldstÀttersee = Lake on four cantons (~states) with forests)
A ‘must have app’ when visiting Switzerland called PeakFinder (to identify the names of the mountains around you)!

European Travel Journal 2021 – Post 7

Panther Chameleon at the Zurich Zoo

The new ‘Lewa Savanna’ at the ZĂŒrich Zoo is definitely worth a visit. I had a good look at this new exhibit and got a complete tour by the responsible curator.

Seven species (White Rhino, Reticulated Giraffes, Grevy’s Zebras, Scimitar Oryx, Impala, Ostrich and Helmeted Guineafowls) share the large savanna, which is dominated by five large Baobab trees. Spotted Hyenas, African Brush-tailed Porcupines and Meerkats are featured in exhibits around the Savanna. And as always when I visit the Zurich Zoo I spent a bit of time in the Masoala hall (a unique indoor rain forest).

I had a few more great meals with friends and with one of my brothers. I have a feeling that I will be able to count all these excellent lunches and dinners by looking at a scale!

After a visit to good friends at Lake ZĂŒrich I stopped by the Benedictine Abbey of Einsiedeln in Switzerland. It has a most impressive church. Unfortunately I had not enough time to stay for one of the services to listen to the monk’s Gregorian chanting.

Before I returned to my parents home in Germany last night My route to took me to my old ‘home town’ called Zofingen in Switzerland. I lived their from 2000 to 2008. Another delicious lunch with friends!

Today’s picture is of a Panther Chameleon at the Masoala Rainforest Exhibit, ZĂŒrich Zoo, Switzerland.

Picture Data: Canon EOS R6 with RF 24-240mm lens.

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Entrance to the new Lewa Savanna exhibit at the Zurich Zoo
Lewa Savanna
Giraffe at Lewa Savanna
Asian Elephants at the Zurich Zoo
Close-up of a Black Stork at the Zurich Zoo (shot with the iPhone portrait mode)
A Chameleon’s eye
Einsiedeln Abbey
The Abbey Church
A traditional ‘Creme Schnittli’ – delicious 😊
I love this sign of an Italian restaurant where I had dinner with my older brother

European Travel Journal 2021 – Post 6

Another two enjoyable days with lots of excellent food!

A good friend of mine, who I met first over two decades ago, invited me to his 80th birthday party. I had a great time and I stayed up until three in the morning, eating and talking a lot. The venue for this was one of my favorite restaurants/hotels in Switzerland: The ‘Hirschen’ in Obererlinsbach.

Herzlich Willkommen!

Today I had a very good roasted duck lunch at a local Chinese eatery; with my parents, brothers, nephew, nieces and their boyfriends. Only my oldest nephew and his girlfriend are currently in North America and could not join us for this feast.

And I finished off this afternoon with one of my favorite deserts ‘Vermicelle Meringue Glace’ (=Chestnut mouse spaghetti with meringue from the Swiss Emmental, topped with unsweetened, freshly whipped cream).

Today’s picture is of sunflowers on a small field on the edge of the Black Forest, Germany.

Picture Data: Canon EOS R6 with RF 24-240mm lens.

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An incredible birthday dinner!
Driving through the Black Forest.
The Bond Suite at the Hirschen.
The Wine Cellar Suite at the Hirschen.
A Crow on a field.
A Chinese roast duck lunch .

European Travel Journal 2021 – Post 5

Today was a culture day. I went to one of my favorite museums, the Foundation Beyeler in Riehen, Switzerland. They featured a very interesting exhibition of the Spanish painter Francisco José de Goya (1746-1824)

In the evening I had a exquisite dinner at a small restaurant in Germany, called the ‘Voderhus’ (= front house), together with a very good friend of mine, who was my first business partner and colleague. We worked together from the mid 1980s until I moved out of IT in 2008.

Today’s picture is of the front of an old town building (from around 1600) in the town of Bad Saeckingen. It is the entrance to a delicatessen store owned by friends of mine and to a restaurant called ‘The Fuchshöhle’ (the fox hole).

Picture data: iPhone 12 Pro Max

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Der Fuchsladen
GOYA exhibition at the Foundation Beyeler.
Some Goya’s paintings.
A Swiss tradition (for lunch): Servelasalat (sausage salad).

A seasonal salad at the restaurant ‘Voderhus’.

European Travel Journal 2021 – Post 4

The last two days I have spent with my family in the village in which I grew up and around the town where I went to school.

Yesterday evening my brothers and I had an excellent dinner at one of my favorite restaurants called ‘Die Fuchshöhle’ (the fox hole).

Today I went for a walk around a small lake near town. This was a great opportunity to capture the beautiful autumn color and some local wildlife.

And this evening my brothers, a niece, a nephew and I enjoyed visiting a small local fairground (which is called ‘Chilbi’ in Southern Germany). Great fun, especially for the ‘young ones’!

Today’s picture was taken at the ‘Bergsee’ (= lake in the hill) near the town of Bad SĂ€ckingen, Germany.

Picture data: Canon EOS R6 with RF 24-240mm lens.

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An excellent dinner at The Fuchshöhle!
A new fountain in front of my Grammar school.
Bike racks and bike garages at the Bad SĂ€ckingen train station … a great idea!
A walk around the Bergsee.
Autumn …
… colors!
Local wildlife …
My niece and nephew having fun at the fairground!

European Travel Journal 2021 – Post 3

I took a plane from Zurich to Amsterdam to visit a good friend to help him set up his new Canon camera equipment. I configured two Canon EOS R6 with five new lenses from 15mm to 800mm and a lot of accessories.

In the evening we had a superb dinner at a small restaurant called ‘De Lage Vuursche’ near Utrecht with a few other most interesting dinner guests. I had a delicious beef carpaccio and an very tasty roasted duck main course. The restaurant was just next to Drakestein, the residence of Princess Beatrix, the former Queen of The Netherlands.

I stayed overnight at my friends’ house, which is a most beautiful place decorated in Art Deco, filled with incredible artwork including an original Rembrandt, Picassos and a golden clock from the Louis XV period.

And now I am on the way back to Switzerland …

Today’s picture is of a mint tea, as it was presented at ‘De Lage Vuursche’ restaurant.

Picture data: iPhone 12 Pro Max

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Flight to the Netherlands
Wind power farm from the air
What a dinner!
I stayed a this beautiful Art Deco home!
The gate to castle Drakestein
… and my favorite Swiss chocolatier called SprĂŒngli in the duty free area at ZĂŒrich airport

European Travel Journal 2021 – Post 2

My first full day in Germany was a very quiet one. I spent the day with my parents, brothers, nieces, nephew and their friends. We had a ‘local cuisine’ lunch with excellent ‘SpĂ€tzle’ and for supper I had my mum’s German sausage salad.

In the afternoon I took a walk with one of brothers through Bad SĂ€ckingen, the town in which I spent all my high school time.

Today’s picture is of the small local castle with the famous trumpeter statue in front (the trumpeter was the hero from a well known German novel – Der Trompeter von SĂ€ckingen by Victor von Scheffel).

I love the autumn flowers planted in the foreground. It was again a very beautiful sunny autumn day!

Picture data: Canon EOS R6 with RF 24-240mm.

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

Trumpeter statues all over the town.
The catholic church in Bad SĂ€ckingen.
Autumn colors everywhere.
My favorite sweets ‘Mozart Kugeln’ we’re a welcome present from one of nieces and her boyfriend.

European Travel Journal 2021 – Post 1

I have arrived safely at my parents’ place in Germany after a rather pleasant flight, which was only half full. I only needed my test certificate once at check-in, together with a new online registration document for Switzerland at boarding. And no-one wanted to see my vaccination document so far.

I enjoyed my first lunch with my family at a Greek restaurant in Germany and my mum had some ‘MĂŒnchner WeisswĂŒrste’ with sweet mustard and fresh pretzels ready for supper.

Considering that this is the end of autumn going into winter in Europe the weather was very nice with sunshine and pleasant temperatures (above 10 degree Celsius).

Today’s picture was taken during take-off from Johannesburg airport with my iPhone 12 Pro Max.

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On my first train ride in Switzerland from the airport to Frick (where my brother picked me up). PS: I only took the mask off for the picture
Autumn early morning mist through a train window
At Johannesburg airport waiting to board 😊