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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.
I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps. See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

You can find Switzerland in the UK

This blog is about family travel around the world without leaving the UK. Impossible? No. This post gives a few tips on how to find Switzerland in Derbyshire and the Lake District - or simply just stick to reading Frankenstein. Words from Nicola Baird (see www.nicolabaird.com for more info about my books and blogs).
Swiss fast food: try making fondue (approx 200g of a cheese like gruyere and emental per person). Serve the Swiss way with small cubes of bread, cooked potatoes and cherry tomatoes.
How could Switzerland with its views of vines on the hills above luminous blue lakes and away to the sublime, often snow-capped mountains ever be mistaken for the UK? I didn't think it was possible until I read Mary Shelley's famous horror story Frankenstein.

Frankenstein - written by Mary in a competition with Lord Byron (and others) to see who could write the best ghost story while both were resident in a very rainy Switzerland - is a really scary book. If you aren't moved by words, then you should jump at the film. I've been woken twice by nightmares since trying to read it ready for my book group's discussion in September. But in Chapter 19 there are suggestions of places in the UK you can go in order to get that Swiss feeling of awe inspiring landscape, with something a little bit dodgy coming up behind you...

Try Matlock in Derbyshire or the Lake District.
"The country in the district of Matlock [when it was a village] resembled the scenery of Switzerland; but everything is on a lower scale and the green hills want the crown of the distant white Alps which always attends on the piny mountains.." There's even a cave similar to ones at Servox and Chamounix." 
"In Cumberland and Westmorland I could almost fancy myself amount the Swiss mountains. The little patches of snow which yet lingered on the northern sides of the mountains, the lakes and the dashing of the rocky streams were all familiar and dear sights to me..."
Both quotes from Frankenstein, chapter 19.

Like the UK Switzerland insists on using its own currency - Swiss Francs - rather than Euros. The landlocked state is also insanely expensive, so being willing to put up with a little less snow on your mountain views in the Lake District could be a wise investment!

Over to you
Let me know where you've been in the UK that's reminded you a little of Switzerland.

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