Blog posts about Switzerland

Switzerland, a quadrilingual country in the middle of Europe, has been my home since 2001.

As far as the barrier, and beyond

I love the alpine Susten Pass road and the mountain scenery there, particularly the area around the Steingletscher glacier and nearby hotel. It’s been a long time since I’ve visited in spring – before the upper reaches of the road have been cleared of snow – so Jo and I took a drive and walked there yesterday, in summer…

As far as the barrier, and beyond
Grindelwald, Switzerland

Grindelwald, December 2017

The best time to visit the mountain villages near our home is between the tourist seasons, when many hotels are closed and the valleys, cable cars and mountain cableways are much quieter. We drove up to Grindelwald shortly before Christmas, to visit the mountain restaurant at Schreckfeld, where deep snow and temperatures as low as -12°C greeted us.

Grindelwald, December 2017

A cold, cold afternoon

It had been a beautifully sunny start to the day, but by the time we’d driven up to Grindelwald, the clouds had taken over and the temperature had plummeted. We had to use a plastic loyalty card to scrape the ice from the inside of the cable car window, and the fondue at the mountain restaurant, for which…

A cold, cold afternoon
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The flying rubbish truck

The rubbish collection service at Bettmeralp – a car-free village in the mountains of upper canton Valais – must be unique in the world. In the absence of any road connection to the village, a 7.5-tonne lorry is carried up and down the mountain by cable-car.

The flying rubbish truck
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Forever young

We’re incredibly lucky to live in such a beautiful place, and incredibly lucky to be able to enjoy the sight of the Blümlisalp paddle steamer, which passes our home every day in summer, hooting loudly as it arrives at the landing quay in the village a few hundred metres away.

Forever young

Roads of the Gotthard

We took a drive through the Alps last weekend, to photograph the famous curves of the old cobbled pass road at Tremola. The serpentine route leads up to the Gotthard Pass from Airolo and provides cyclists and driving enthusiasts with a slow but memorable experience. If visitors haven’t had enough of being jolted around on the many cobbles, which were…

Roads of the Gotthard

Firsts of August

1st August is Switzerland’s Bundestag (or federal day), so Jo and I usually take advantage of the day off work to celebrate our adopted home. Here are some photographic mementoes of the day trips we’ve made. Interlaken, 2006 Brienzer Rothorn, 2007 Bachalp, Grindelwald, 2010 Mattehubel, Reutigen, 2012 Glacier 3000, 2013 Oberberghorn, 2014 Hardergrat, 2015…

Firsts of August

Sundlauenen to Merligen

Catching the ship from Faulensee to Sundlauenen, hiking through the forest past St. Beatus Caves to Merligen, and then home by paddle steamer. Approaching Sundlauenen by ship St. Beatus Caves, Beatenberg Sundlauenen quarry The funicular from Beatenbucht to Beatenberg Traditional house in Merligen “Blümlisalp” paddle steamer in Faulensee…

Sundlauenen to Merligen

A yellow field, somewhere

There is a yellow field, nestling in a small valley, which sways gently in the breeze. It is surrounded by deep green trees and amongst them, a thatched cottage sits with an elevated view across the scene. I haven’t found it yet, but I have found many picturesque alternatives on my travels. Like this one, in canton Fribourg.

A yellow field, somewhere