Wallis / Valais

Canton Wallis (the German name) or Valais (the French name) encompasses a long, wide valley and many neighbouring valleys and mountain ranges in the middle of the Swiss Alps.

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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

Breithorn, Zermatt

The valley at Zermatt is surrounded by nearly three dozen peaks with summits higher than 4,000 metres above sea level. The Breithorn is well-known as the “easiest” to ascend: although easiness is, of course, a matter of reference. The number of tiny, ant-like climbers on the slopes leading from the Breithorn Plateau was quite amazing, when Jo and I visited the…

Breithorn, Zermatt
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Die Bergretter – Air Zermatt

Fast anderthalb Stunden in Begleitung der «Rotbiene»: der Rettungsdienst von Air Zermatt rund ums Matterhorn. Wenn ich mit 28 mit mehr Geld im Konto in die Schweiz gekommen wäre, wäre ich Helikopterpilot geworden. Weil meine Geschichte diesen Weg nicht folgte, muss ich mich mit ein paar Touristenflüge pro Jahrzehnt und das Zuschauen von solchen Dokumentarfilmen zurecht finden.

Die Bergretter – Air Zermatt

Aigle, Switzerland

The castle at Aigle, near the western end of the Valais, was originally two fortifications. It’s a picture-book scene, but harks back to serious use in the fifteenth century, when it was already over two hundred years old. Today, it sits peacefully amongst expansive vineyards and welcomes tourists from all over the world.

Aigle, Switzerland

Gries Pass

Attempting to get away from baking temperatures, we headed for the mountains and a hike across summer snow fields to the Gries glacier.

Gries Pass