Blog posts about Switzerland

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

Sulzibiel, Switzerland

The lake at Bachalp, around 45 minutes’ walk from the First mountain restaurant above Grindelwald, is well-known from tourist photographs, given that its refection on a calm day contains some of the highest and most striking peaks in the region. But nearby, an unnamed pond on a part of the mountain called Sulzibiel is just as good at reflecting: from this…

Sulzibiel, Switzerland
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The Great Escape

A lovely idea from Graubünden Tourism. Set up an interactive video advertisement in Zürich’s main station, showing what a beautiful part of the Alps you could end up in by just getting on a train. Then invite passers-by to join you by printing them a free ticket on the spot. (And wait for the initiative to spread across the internet like wildfire.)…

The Great Escape

Blow-up boating on Lake Thun

Jo found that because we’d saved so many points on our supermarket card, that we could “afford” a kayak using points alone. A few days later, and a large and heavy cardboard box arrived on the post woman’s scooter trailer and we had our dinghy: an Intex Challenger K2.

Blow-up boating on Lake Thun

Melchsee Frutt, Switzerland

The Melchsee is a lake in the mountains,  tucked away in the lee of a range of peaks between Meiringen and Engelberg. Nearby, the smaller stretch of water called Blauseeli (little blue lake) is a haven for frogs after the snows melt, and the edges of the pool are lined with frog spawn at this time of year.

Melchsee Frutt, Switzerland

Airolo, Switzerland

Deep amongst the mountains which form a natural boundary between the northern and southern sides of the Alps, Airolo sits below the old, snaking Gotthard Pass road. The intrepid northern motorway motorist heading south for the sun arrives in Airolo gratefully, often having queued for several hours on busy summer weekends to pass through the Gotthard Road Tunnel, which emerges here…

Airolo, Switzerland

Faulensee, Switzerland

It’s always good to be near water when there is a special sunset going on. Here, a partially cloudy day ended with a drawn-out bang as the sun poked beneath the clouds. Tthe misty glow to the left of the village in the middle of the picture is driving, misty rain being back-lit by the sunset. I hurried home from the…

Faulensee, Switzerland

Glarus Overthrust, Switzerland

There are magnificent landscapes in Switzerland, to be sure. But amongst the mountain peaks and valleys, there are still some exceptional sites. This one, known as the Glarus Overthrust, is a geological wonder on the borders of canton Glarus and Graubünden, above Flims. Reaching the plateau by cable car to the Cassonsgrat ridge, you’re treated to this panoramic view of a…

Glarus Overthrust, Switzerland

Grimsel Reservoir, Switzerland

This view may look like winter or spring, but the photograph was taken in June 2012. The Swiss alpine passes – here at Grimsel – are largely between 1,500 and 2,500 metres above sea level, and their location in the depths of the alpine chain means that they get wintery weather all year round. The snow fall is so prevalent that…

Grimsel Reservoir, Switzerland

Niesen, Switzerland

The pyramidal peak of the Niesen, in the Bernese Oberland of Switzerland, towers over the surrounding countryside. It heads a range of mountains leading from Adelboden and Lenk and is the “Hausberg” (home mountain) of Spiez and the Lower Simmen Valley, facing out over Lake Thun. There are folklore sayings about the mountain being a kind of barometer…

Niesen, Switzerland

Aeschiried to Greberegg

The hill above Aeschiried has been calling to me ever since we moved to Faulensee. It’s immediately obvious, when looking up the hill, that the views across the lake must be great. There are a few houses dotted across the hillside, and the sharp-eyed will notice a small ski lift leading up into the trees. Looking at the area on…

Aeschiried to Greberegg

Rigi Kulm, Switzerland

The hotel, station and television transmission relay tower on top of the Rigi mountain in central Switzerland. I love how this turned out: it looks like a model railway, but is, in fact, a real mountain peak.

Rigi Kulm, Switzerland

Untertorbrücke, Bern

The Untertorbrücke is one of the oldest bridges in Bern, crossing the river Aare. The first bridge was built of wood on this site and opened in 1256, and was replaced in 1489 by a more substantial, fortified stone version. It was Bern’s only bridge until 1834 and has stood in its current form since the 18th century, when the fortifications…

Untertorbrücke, Bern

Zürich, Switzerland

Paradeplatz in Zürich is a central tram stop, where several lines come together under the watchful eyes of bank headquarters. Here, fresh rain and the addition of Christmas lighting lit up the square to provide a festive scene.

Zürich, Switzerland

Puidoux, Switzerland

The views from the immense vineyards along the northern shore of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) are pretty spectacular, no matter what time of day. At dusk, in early summer, the lights of the town of Vevey and Montreux twinkle in the distance, while the lanes amongst the vines are all but deserted.

Puidoux, Switzerland

Matthorn, Switzerland

Helicopters are a common sight in Switzerland, in particular when you’re hiking on the higher peaks of the alpine region. Here, a tourist helicopter passes in front of the Matthorn peak, near the summit of Pilatus.

Matthorn, Switzerland

Brunnialp, Switzerland

The Brunnihütte sits beneath the heights of the Morgenberghorn, overlooking the forests above Aeschi and Suldtal. We decided to hike there on a hot late summer day, but due to leaving home late, this viewpoint is as far as we got before having to turn back. Next time, we’ll leave earlier and make it all the way.

Brunnialp, Switzerland