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Permanent Tourist

A personal website by Mark Howells-Mead

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Harder to Roteflue

Hiking in the rain along an unexpectedly steep route from the viewpoint above Interlaken.

Airolo, Switzerland

Deep amongst the mountains which form a natural boundary between the northern and southern sides of the Alps, Airolo sits below the old, snaking Gotthard Pass road. The intrepid northern motorway motorist heading south for the sun arrives in Airolo gratefully, often having queued for several hours on busy summer weekends to pass through the Gotthard… (Read More)

Unterbergli, Switzerland

At Unterbergli, on the way to the Sigriswiler Rothorn, there is a large meadow on the privately owned alp. Access is on foot only, and entails a 450m metre ascent of a pretty steep path through the forest. Once there, you reach a haven from the world: whilst I was there, I saw mountain hare,… (Read More)

Spitzi Flue, Switzerland

Spitzi Flue is the very Swiss-German-sounding name of a huge promotory of rock on the “Sigriswilgrat” (or mountain ridge). Although the rock looks a bit small in this photo, it’s actually the tip of a rockface around 500 metres high. (Compare with this photo, in which a climber stands atop the pinnacle.) I hiked up to… (Read More)

Winteregg, Mürren, Switzerland

The mountain station and restaurant at Winteregg, halfway between Grütschalp and Mürren, is a great place to enjoy a sunny lunch on the large terrace and enjoy the terrific, panoramic views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.

Big old hill

One of the most challenging hikes I’ve done: up the steep and winding path through the forest from Beatenberg to the summit of the Niederhorn.

Interlaken Golf Course

I took a walk up through the woods from Heimwehfluh, near Interlaken. The top of the walk, after half an hour or so of wheezing and muscle aching, was high above the end of Lake Thun. Aside from enjoying the walk, having some exercise, and enjoying the view, I also discovered that the golf course… (Read More)

Ballenberg in autumn

Jo and I took a stroll around the Ballenberg open air museum on her birthday weekend a couple of weeks ago. The museum and its buildings are officially open to the public between April and October, but the site, its paths and woodlands are left accessible after the business closes up for the winter. It’s a… (Read More)

I like Austria

I really like Austria (at least, the little I’ve seen of it just recently). We were on the border between Bavaria and Tyrol for our anniversary and it was the first time I’d done more than pass through a narrow sliver of the country on the south-eastern tip of Lake Constance to photograph a wedding.… (Read More)

Major Oak, Sherwood Forest

As I was running ahead of time when returning to the airport after my recent trip to Yorkshire, I decided to take a break in my journey at an interesting spot en route. Seeing the signs from the motorway to Sherwood Forest, I decided to divert to the visitor centre, take a stroll through the… (Read More)