Schilthornhütte, Switzerland

A small mountain cabin overlooking the Bluemental valley serves as a restaurant for hikers in the summer and for skiiers in winter. Between seasons, when the restaurant is closed, the spot is a blissfully peaceful point on the mountain, to which only determined walkers come. The Birg mountain station overlooks the scene, and on a summit in the distance, the…

Schilthornhütte, Switzerland

The view that isn’t quite there

Somewhere in the hills which push up the wall of rock on the western end of the Bernese Alps, there is a view. A view of rolling hills, green trees, little farm buildings and forested land. Beyond them, the sparkling turquoise-blue water of the Thunersee, with the impossibly white, impossibly high range of mountains which stand guard over the Jungfrau…

The view that isn’t quite there
Niederhorn, Switzerland

Heaven is this

Sitting, cross-legged, a couple of arms’ length from the edge of a two-and-a-half-thousand foot drop to the valley floor, watching clouds drift across the lake into the distance.

Heaven is this
Wyssebach Falls, Susten, Switzerland

Stunning

There’s a trend these days for people to use the word “stunning”: from tabloid newspapers to t.v. presenters. And their use of the word so often makes everyone else use it. A view of the sea: “stunning”. A fashionable dress: “stunning”. A film star looking average on a red carpet somewhere: “stunning”. I think that use of the word needs a bit more…

Stunning

Waldeggallmi, Switzerland

Ever on the search for “perfect” viewpoints in the Bernese Oberland, I sometimes end up driving up tiny roads in the hope that they’ll lead me to a new photograph. A (luckily tarmaced) single-track road, for which you have to buy an inexpensive day permit at the shop in Waldegg from a machine by the roadside near the Hohwald ski…

Waldeggallmi, Switzerland

Schongütsch, Switzerland

Instead of heading up from the top train station along the tourist track to the summit of the Brienzer Rothorn, turn left instead and follow the clear footpath to Schongütsch. The views are just as spectacular, but the experience is a little less “touristy”.

Schongütsch, Switzerland

Brienzer Rothorn, Switzerland

The Brienzer Rothorn is the tallest mountain on the northern side of Lake Brienz. The peak is accessible – in summer and autumn only – by a cable car from Sörenberg and by an open-sided, oil-powered steam railway from Brienz. The view across to the larger peaks of the Jungfrau Region and down to the lake are quite spectacular,…

Brienzer Rothorn, Switzerland

Pfingstegg, Grindelwald, Switzerland

Pfingstegg, on an elevated ledge amongst the southern cliff faces in the Grindelwald valley, is the starting point for a great hike. The path is less well-trodden than the easier and more popular routes on Männlichen and First, but offers much more dramatic views than the gentler routes in the valley. Once away from the restaurant and summer toboggan run,…

Pfingstegg, Grindelwald, Switzerland

Sigriswil, Switzerland

I’d heard people refer many times to the “Niesenbänkli”, a bench on the slopes above Lake Thun which afforded the absolute best view from its northern side to the Niesen on the opposite shore. As the weather forecast was wonderful, we packed a lunch and took the ship across the lake from our home to Merligen, then hiked…

Sigriswil, Switzerland