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Permanent Tourist

A personal website by Mark Howells-Mead

Sundlauenen to Merligen

Catching the ship from Faulensee to Sundlauenen, hiking through the forest past St. Beatus Caves to Merligen, and then home by paddle steamer.

Die neue Landeskarte der Schweiz

Video preview image for Die neue Landeskarte der Schweiz

Einblicke in die neueste Technik der Aufbereitung und Speicherung topografischer Daten und deren Nutzung in der heutigen digitalen Welt. Der Film gibt ausserdem einen interessanten Überblick über die neue Grafik der Schweizer Landeskarte.

Pounding London’s streets

Photos from a wet night-time walk from Tate Modern to Southwark, via London Bridge and Tower Bridge, in 2014.

Petite Camargue alsacienne

The Petite Camargue Alsacienne is a French nature reserve along the Rhine, just north of the border with Switzerland. It was founded in 1982 as a protected habitat by the French government and is named for the huge nature reserve seven hundred kilometres away, on the shores of the Mediterranean. We visited a couple of… (Read More)

A yellow field, somewhere

There is a yellow field, nestling in a small valley, which sways gently in the breeze. It is surrounded by deep green trees and amongst them, a thatched cottage sits with an elevated view across the scene. I haven’t found it yet, but I have found many picturesque alternatives on my travels. Like this one,… (Read More)

Birg to Mürren… with a detour

Beginning a hike from Birg station to the Schilthorn revolving restaurant, before changing my plans and walking down the very steep path to Allmendhubel and Mürren.

Schilthornhütte, Switzerland

A small mountain cabin overlooking the Bluemental valley serves as a restaurant for hikers in the summer and for skiiers in winter. Between seasons, when the restaurant is closed, the spot is a blissfully peaceful point on the mountain, to which only determined walkers come. The Birg mountain station overlooks the scene, and on a… (Read More)

My England

My England is green and pleasant. In my mind’s eye, the countryside is green and rolling, with occasional villages surrounding leafy, oaked cricket pitches or busy duck ponds. The lanes of my youth lead past scattering pheasants and floral hedgerows which echo the sound of a slightly ropey semi-classic British sports car. Towns are timbered and… (Read More)

The boy on a pogo stick

Roses wave gently in the breeze, and a wood pigeon coos from a tree, unseen. A cyclist glides silently by and a muffled, childish swear word echoes quietly from a nearby football pitch. Bees buzz, breezes waft, and a boy bounces past on a pogo stick.

The view that isn’t quite there

Somewhere in the hills which push up the wall of rock on the western end of the Bernese Alps, there is a view. A view of rolling hills, green trees, little farm buildings and forested land. Beyond them, the sparkling turquoise-blue water of the Thunersee, with the impossibly white, impossibly high range of mountains which… (Read More)