I've just returned from spending 10 days in Switzerland. The weather was perfect during my visit. Cloudless, sunny days had temperatures ranging from 32 degrees to 36 degrees which encouraged us to have long days out. I was staying in the hills outside St. Gallen, Eastern Switzerland and our first outing was by train to Lucerne, two or more hours away. When tourists visit Lucerne they inevitably go up to the top of the Rigi mountain that, at 1,790m, offers a panoramic view of 150kms over Swiss mountains, lakes and towns.
From the town of Goldau we took this little train up to the top of the Rigi.
As soon as we reached the summit clouds materialized out of nowhere so we had limited, and misty, views
We had lunch at the Kulm hotel before starting our walk down the mountain.
At a certain point, on our way down the mountain, we got tired and hopped on a train!
Vitznau was the end of the line. We waited for the ferry to take us to Lucerne.
Vitznau is a small, quiet and pretty town on the shores of Lake Lucerne. A ferry from here to Lucerne takes about an hour. I was thrilled that we went close to the lake side and were able to see lots of villas, hotels and villages on the banks. Here is a link you'll enjoy reading: www.myswitzerland.com/en/infra.cfm/rkey/782
There are seagulls on the lakes in Switzerland and, like everything else, even the waters are clean.....
When we passed this Vitznau hotel I thought it would be an ideal choice for honeymooners!
Ohhhhhh, Spindrift ~~ delightful! I love the way you took us up, then back down the mountain.
The very first "big" book I read by myself was Heidi, which greatly affected me (I began drinking my milk out of a bowl, instead of a glass). I would imagine myself up on the high pastures. This is even more beautiful than what I imagined.
Thanks, Lola.... Imec - there's a lot more to come. I spent a day walking down from the top of a mountain in the Santis alps.
Bixa - Especially whilst walking in the Santis range I thought of Heidi. As you will see, I passed lots of little Heidi huts! and outside one of them I was able to buy a glass of creamy fresh milk straight from the cows on the alp. It tasted so deliciously different from packaged commercial milk.
Deyana - it's interesting that some of the Swiss scenery looks like Canada.
Spindrift, a beautiful region of Québec that somewhat resembles your Swiss pictures is the Charlevoix downstream (and thus northeast of) Québec City. The high hills or low mountains aren't as impressive as the truly high Alps though - what is beautiful about Charlevoix is the high hills overlooking the St. Lawrence, which is very wide at that point. There are also nice old villages (old by North American standards, of course) where you can see the Norman and other northwestern French architecture as adapeted to the New World setting.
I love the little red train. And the pretty cows, of course. Bixa, I should try to find Heidi (in German, of course) as I enjoyed it as a child as well.
Lagatta - I am particularly intereted in the St. Lawrence river and Quebec. I have been told that my father ran away from his home in Bristol when he was only 14 yrs old to stowaway on a ship sailing to Canada. He reached the St. Lawrence river and never forgot it.
When I decided that I wanted to move to Europe to live my adult life, my first choice was Switzerland. Unfortunately, that was a little too complicated with incorrect passports, so I followed the easy route and settled on Paris (sigh).
But I have always been certain that I would have loved it in Switzerland, and I try to go there as often as possible. Damn, that's not really true, because I have an extremely nice free apartment at my disposal whenever I want to go to Zürich (a close friend moves in with his girlfriend nearby whenever I want to come), but unfortunately 1) Zürich does not appeal to me as a destination even though it is really nice and 2) obviously I must follow whatever agenda my friends have concocted when I go there, although I would prefer to be able to wander free and at random, even though my command of German is rather ridiculous.
Anyway, your photos are wonderful, Spindrift, and that is exactly what I want to see when I go to Switzerland!
I understand your wish to live in Switzerland. I feel the same way myself. I don't know the French-speaking part of the country but for thirty years I've annually visited the country around Scaffhausen, Stein am Rhine and St. Gallen with side visits to other towns, Zermatt for skiing, Interlaken and the Tessin. Although I fly into Zurich I know nothing of the city. Underneath Zurich airport is a marvellous train station from where I am whisked in an hour to St. Gallen which is almost on the Austrian border. I do not speak German or Swiss German but know enough words to be able to order in restaurants. Indeed, my friends have suggested that I move in with them for 2/3months to enable me to learn the language and join in with their family. This would be fun. However I fancy that Swiss German grates on my ear quite unlike any other language
Beautiful pictures, Spindrift. totally understand your remark about swissgerman not being the softest of languages Funnily enough, if I try to speak German these days, I hear a strong swiss accent in my voice. Oberwalliser has to be the worst dialect.
Dans les grandes choses, les hommes se montrent comme il leur convient de se montrer; dans les petites, ils se montrent comme ils sont.
Annie - I'm glad you're seeing my holiday thread and you'll be able to pick up that I love your country -
To continue - the local newspaper informed us that there was a competition at Rorschach on Lake Constance where artists from all over Europe were submitting designs made out of sand.
On the lakeside at Rorschach
Here is the entry that won the first prize. It represents Procreation - a man and woman who are embracing are leaning on a round sphere that represents a female egg (ovum) within which is a foetus...and all around the egg are sperms and would-be babies....
Brilliant, Spindrift. Thank you so much for taking the time to post all those pix of your visit. It is gorgeous. We normally go to Switzerland in August to visit friends (ateach52 of TT and TTR). Alas, we had to cancewl our visit this year because of house moving. Your illustrated diary just shows what we missed.
This looks utterly wonderful. I've only briefly been to French-speaking Switzerland but now I have German-speaking friends in Basel. They do speak standard German to me though - if they aren't speaking French, Engslish or Italian.
spindrift, quite a few Europeans stoes away or stayed on in Québec after the Second World War. Some of the best "Continental" restaurants were opened by Italians who served a menu based on both Italian and French food.
You might think that Québec (City) would be of no interest to those familiar with la vieille France, but the views are spectacular.
(I think it's past somebody's bedtime) Brilliant,generous photos spindrift! Feel like I was there. Love the shots of the ferry ride,that gorgeous ancient bridge. How old might that be.?The idea of adorning a bridge with flowers,I've never seen before,just gorgeous. I can understand why you would want to spend more time there. Ten days just seems like such a tease. I would just be settling in. What a beautiful country,everything so clean and clear and crisp. Thank you for taking the time to share all of this with us.
Post by happytraveller on Aug 25, 2009 5:41:25 GMT
Spindrift, it seems you need to plan your stays in Switzerland a few days longer in the future... and come and visit me so I can introduce you to the beautiful Canton Bern and plus, we are so close to the french speaking part, I could show you around there too (My parents own a small holiday house at the lakeside of Lake Neuchâtel so we could plan to stay there and explore the lake area and the Jura mountains )
Annie, I looove Walliser Tiitsch !
"When life gives you lemons, ask for Tequila and salt and give me a call."
I always tell my Swiss gf that she lives in Paradise. England being so overcrowded and impossible these days, I am constantly surprised to find that in Switzerland there are no queues in the post office, not a lot of traffic on the motorways, no queues at supermarket checkouts, an unhurried way of life, polite people, easy access to surrounding countries such as Germany, Austria, France and Italy, everything clean, food invariably deliciious, local wines so good there is no need to spend a lot of money, transport system second to none, trains sparkling clean and comfortable...and so on.....
K2 - so they use hairspray on the sculptures....?
Bixa - that old bridge at Lucerne is very famous. It dates back to the 15th century as far as I remember...perhaps before that. It has ancient paintings inside the arches of the roof. Some of them were destroyed by fire but most are still visible. I can't think why I didn't take pictures of them...perhaps I thought my gf was getting fed up with me constantly taking pictures and lagging behind!