Summer in the Swiss Alps Episode IV - Central Switzerland


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July 18th 2020
Published: July 26th 2020
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Our next stop in Switzerland was the center of the country, more precisely the town of Brunnen, which lies at the Eastern end of the lake of Lucerne. Central Switzerland is known for its beautiful lakes (like lake of Lucerne, lake of Zug, etc) and its low taxes. But what many people do not know it is also the cradle of the Swiss nation. Switzerland of today has existed as a state in its present form since the adoption of the Swiss Federal Constitution in 1848. The precursors of Switzerland however was established as a protective alliance at the end of the 13th century (1291), forming a loose confederation of states which persisted for centuries. In 1291, so the legend goes, farmers communities from the three central cantons Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden swore an alliance at a place near Brunnen called Ruetli, to protect each other against any attempts by the Hapsburg Empire to reconquer the territory they have lost to a farmers revolt by precisely these communities.

It was also a trip down memory lane, as Nenad spent 4 years between 1973 to 1977 in a boarding school in Schwyz, only 5km away from Brunnen. This time however it was not the hiking that was in the forefront of activities. Our aim was to visit the area by bicycle and shame on us with an ordinary car! Nenad could not resist to give Nui a run down on early Swiss history, visiting with her the Wilhelm Tell (a legendary Swiss hero figure from the 13th century) statue in Altdorf, the Swiss National Museum in Schwyz and the Ruetli fields, where every year on August 1, the Swiss National Day celebrations take place.

Nui never rode a bicycle with 18 gears and mountain bike design before. So getting used to the changing of gears at the appropriate moment up and down the hills and mountains was at first not easy, making her tired very quickly. But as so often she surprised how quickly she could catch up learning this technique of riding, enjoying the bike experience as well. The first day was a ride on the roads around the lake of Lauerz and Zug. Especially the central part of Switzerland has a very well developed bicycle lane network, allowing the riders to move around un-hassled by the traffic. The second day was dedicated to an off road ride along the river called Muota in Muotathal, a remote valley near the town of Schwyz, with stunning beauty. The Muotathal also became famous under cave enthusiasts. Its Hoelloch (hell hole) is the second largest cave system of Europe with over 200km of discovered labyrinths of tunnels and caves.

As they say an off road bike ride is not complete if you don't plant yourself at least once. Well Nenad did just that....... painful, fortunately no graver issues.

We could not miss after our bicycle ride to jump into the Lake of Lucerne. With 19 degrees water temperature it was a refreshing feeling. For Nui who never in her life swam in such cool conditions a special moment.


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View of ImmenseeView of Immensee
View of Immensee

where Nenad used to live
the mountain Rigithe mountain Rigi
the mountain Rigi

The Queen of mountains they say
break timebreak time
break time

especially for the legs



poor legspoor legs
poor legs

need a massage





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