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And the adventure begins…

20 Aug 17

Yesterday, I waved good bye to North Leeds Scouts after a fantastic week exploring the stunning Kandersteg.

Until next time!

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However, it’s not over yet as I welcomed Aquila explorers and Leyland scouts; both groups started their adventure with a Sunday flag break and morning meet up games.

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Middlesex East Journey to the Centre of the Earth

19 Aug 17

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Friday morning saw us getting up nice and early, but we didn’t mind given the adventure in store: once more we would be crossing the border for a day and visiting Slovenia!

We passed through passport control no problem (most of us were taking the opportunity to catch up on our sleep!) and we headed for the Postonja caves: the second largest cane system in the country.

Once we arrived, we walked through the cave mouth to find a little station and a train waiting to take us several kilometres underground. It wound through passages and caverns, underneath rocky overhangs and beneath long, dribbly-looking stalactites. One cave even has chandeliers!

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When the train ride ended, we began to explore on foot. We climbed up and down through different areas: the spaghetti cave with long, thin stalactites, through the old part of the cave where we saw stalagmites that were 9m tall and 500 000 years old, and into the white cave where the rock formations were pearly and beautiful. Our guide told us that the stalagmites grow at a rate of between 1 and 10mm in 100 years: the caves were extremely old. We also learned that the caves got electric lighting two years before London did, as they were so spectacular that many people wanted to visit!

We ended our tour by seeing the humanfish; these are flesh-coloured amphibians that like to live in dark caves, but are now endangered. They have lungs and gills and 4 tiny legs, you could buy cuddly humanfish toys everywhere! The real ones weren’t that cuddly though.

We loved seeing the caves and it was fun to go through all the caverns again on our train ride out.

After a picnic lunch, we spend the afternoon at the Lipica stud farm, home to lots of grey Lipizzaner horses. We had a tour of the stables and learned that around 30 foals are born at the farm each year! They are a whole range of colours when born but they go grey as they get older. Then, they are schooled in dressage as they grow up. The mares then breed new horses, and the most intelligent and agile stallions go to the “high school” to learn fancy moves!

The stallions had large stables and we could stroke their noses – although I think we liked seeing the little foals best.

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After our tour we went to the arena to see a performance; the horses and riders were amazing and worked with such precision!
We saw a group of four working together, a carriage pulled by two Lipizzaners doing very precise figures, and a pair of riders, one riding side saddle, riding in formation. The end of the show was pretty spectacular as some of the horses performed flying kicks, bucking their hind legs in mid air, and rearing up to balance on your hind legs.

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It was a great way to end the day and we traveled back to Croatia feeling pretty satisfied with the day.

Our kittens had clearly missed us but we fed them when we returned and they fell asleep in our laps while we played cards.

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Until next time,

Middlesex East Croatia 2017

High Adventure with 23rd Poplar

19 Aug 17

A sandwich of activities this week with the 23rd Poplar Scouts.  An incredible afternoon swinging through the trees and abseiling at Adelboden Adventure Park was a rush and challenge for everyone!

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On the ‘calmer’ days, the group took part in many on site activities at KISC including The Spirit of Scouting and international games.

Making new friends on the Cheesery hike was easy for some members. A challenging walk in the beautiful Swiss Alps offered some incredible views.

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The week finished with a delicious and deserved pizza night before enjoying the International Campfire!!

A massive thanks to 23rd Poplar, an amazing team of people, I hope you had as much fun as I did. See you next time.

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Surbiton and 3rd Poynton chase some waterfalls…

18 Aug 17

It’s nearly time for us to say goodbye to Surbiton and 3rd Poynton Guides, it’s been a blast! The groups have been extremely busy these last few days in and around Adelboden, both spending Wednesday in the village bowling and enjoying the sun at the Panorama Pool (again!).

On Thursday we visited the spectacular Trümmelbach Falls – Europe’s largest subterranean water falls. The collection of 10 glacial falls drains the Eiger, the Mönch and the Jungfrau alone – that’s 20,000 litres of water per second (no wonder it was so noisy!).

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A bird’s eye view of Surbiton Guides!

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3rd Poynton enjoying the Falls

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Next, 3rd Poynton and Surbiton headed up (in cable cars) to the small car-less village of Mürren, which sits at the foot of the Schilthorn (1638 m above the Lauterbrunnen valley).

The girls all took some time to sit with an ice cream and appreciate the scenery, before heading back down to Lauterbrunnen.

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Village of Mürren

The groups’ last day here has been more relaxed. Everyone headed to the Woodcarver’s via Cholerenschlucht Gorge, a 100m long rock gorge with an impressive waterfall!

Afterwards, the girls headed to the Woodcarver’s to collect their handmade woggles. It was then time to hike to Our Chalet in the beautiful sunny weather!

The group reunites with Glacier Walking

17 Aug 17

After a couple of hectic days in Iceland, we were split into two groups, group A and group B for Glacier Walking.

Half of us woke up at 7:00am to have breakfast and to get the coach to the activity, whilst the other half of the scout group had a lie in and a late breakfast.

Whilst we waited for the coach to pick us up from the College of Agriculture in the morning; we were making packed lunches, slowly packing our bags and enjoying some well-deserved rest while the scouts chatted for hours. Meanwhile, group A were somewhere in the mountains on the Glacier having a wicked time.

The coach came to pick us up a little bit later than planned. Some adults shared a first coach with a group of explorers who had also gone out to Iceland in the same week; whilst the rest of the group joined a second coach.  After a 2 hour journey, we reached Solheimajokull; we started by kitting up and putting crampons on, getting ice axes and dressing in helmets and harnesses.
We then walked about 10 minutes up towards the glacier where we were split into a further 3 groups. Our group instructors showed us how to put our crampons on followed by a talk on health and safety while on the mountains –  including walking with feet shoulder width apart with our shoulders back.

Our ascent of the Glacier began and proved very tricky for some of the Scouts and adults alike! The tour guides explained every sight to us on route so that we were educated on where we were walking as well as embracing a once in a lifetime experience.

After an incredible 4 hours Glacier walking, all groups were ready to get back on the coach to the campsite. On arrival, we ate some dinner followed by some much needed showers and then caught up with the other groups.

From 10:30-11:00pm, we had a celebratory party, enjoying some music, party games and a slight downpour towards the end. Despite the weather it was the perfect end to a fantastic day.

Worthing – Making it worth every minute

17 Aug 17

Following a busy day in Utrecht on Monday; Worthing Sea Scouts took it slow on Tuesday biking around the local area and discovered the Netherlands in the Dutch way.

On Tuesday, the Scouts took on Amsterdam, they visited the Rijksmuseum; the NEMO science museum and then enjoyed a cruise along Amsterdam’s famous canals.

To finish the day, the Scouts had a sunset dinner at Butchers Burgers and enjoyed the Dutch tradition of al fresco dining.

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Today, after a sleepy start, the Scouts spent the day on site to take part in laser tag and archery. It was a fun filled day of activity, broken up by use of the on site pizza oven (which was a challenge for everyone!!).

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