Adventures must be done!

A Review of Four Months Geocaching in Central Europe

Just for those of you not knowing it: geocaching is some form of modern treasure hunt involving GPS devices. Cx out for more info.

First we must consider the question if geocaching is an activity worth mentioning on a dedicated adventuring site. Surely, geocaching cannot easily beat any of the grand tramps, mountaineering or canyoning trips, canoeing expeditions and other magnificent endeavours. However, after having almost broken my neck while biking to a cache, bled from numerous scratches, attracted ticks, crossed streams and suffered from strong muscle ache, I must conclude that geocaching offers quite a bit of adventure. The probably best feature of geocaching is however that it gets you to places you’d never consider at the slightest otherwise!

I’ve started caching around my parents place, slowly expanding the area of involvement. This led to longer and longer bike trips to get to the caches. On one peculiar day I managed to ride around 64km horizontal and about 1200m ascent. Those Swiss lowlands are not really flat! I’ve seen places near the village where I grew up I’d never ever seen before, like this one:

Some old quarry near the ‘Felsenklause’ cache

Other trips brought me to places I already knew but regard them now with enhanced interest. An example is the ‘Bettlerstein’ (beggar’s stone) that a mate of mine and myself visited while caching. Some say these rocks are glacial remains while some argue that they were placed there by man and form part of some religious monument comparable with Stonehenge and other stone layings.

Marcel and myself at the ‘Bettlerstein’

It also gets out and about and with some luck you’re there at the right moment to get that cool shot!

Evening sun illuminating a coloured forest in late autumn.

Long exposure in a canyon near the cache ‘Das Tal des Grauens’ (‘The dreadful valley’)

View towards the Swiss Alps with the first snow of the season topping the peaks.

You also happen to come across some man made features, lets start with artwork found along the trail.

Scythes in front of the Swiss Alps (near the ‘Philo Cache’)

So simple and still so interesting ….

And then you get those caches in cities. That adds some new dimensions to it: (a) there are heaps of people, thus it is always hard to search for caches without everyone watching and (b) there are lots of interesting buildings and artwork to be found. Here’s my hint for you dudes: should you ever happen to have spare day in a city try and do some geocaching! There is usually some sightseeing cache in every bigger city. I’ve found it’s the best and cheapest way to see all the important stuff like churches, towers, bridges, parks, etc, etc, and while you do the walking you might stumble into a pub, nothing wrong with tasting the local beer ;-)

So far I’ve tried caching in Zurich (Switzerland) and Frankfurt (Germany).

One of Zurich’s churches

Clock tower built in 1732 (Zurich)

Panorama shot from the Grossmuenster tower (Zurich).

Business towers in Frankfurt. The curvature is an artefact of the lens, viewing angle and photo merging procedure!