Blogs from South-West, Switzerland, Europe


Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Nyon August 5th 2020

First our apologies for the long silence. We are still on track going through the various things we want to do, but are getting a bit lazy writing. So our story continues .... After the wonderful and challenging mountain project in Zermatt, getting our feet out from the heavy hiking boots was indeed a nice feeling. It was time, after all our Alpine adventures, which happened in the German and Romansh language speaking areas of Switzerland, to introduce Nui to the French Swiss part, called La Romandie.We decided to do this with our bicycles; actually a combination of riding the bicycle and taking the train. Swiss trains are equipped to accommodate passengers who want to take their bicycles ... read more
Nui likes country
Murten where the French got hammered
Some of the vineyards roads are steeper than expected

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Zermatt July 26th 2020

The absolute highlight of our "Tour the Swiss Mountains" was the visit of the internationally renowned, much famous village of Zermatt. It lies on the Southern side of the Rhone valley in the canton of Wallis. This Swiss canton (State) is home to two of the four national languages of Switzerland, German and French. Zermatt is situated in the German part, although in the village you can normally hear languages from visiting tourists from all over the world. Normally..... This Covid year however everything is different. No overseas tourists to be found, and few visitors from European countries from the Shengen zone. Nevertheless the town was fully booked, with mostly guests from Switzerland itself. Everyone from the locals wanted to profit from the fact that being in Zermatt and its mountains this year you do not ... read more
Monte Rosa Glacier
View from Gornergrat
the legendary train to 3100m

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Interlaken November 7th 2019

Today the countryside is blanketed in fresh snow. At the train station there is a vending machine full of wooden animal figures and selling for 20-25 francs. The train glides past the Olympic bobsled, and numerous ski hills. Many homes have either horses, sheep or cows right in their backyards. Each bovine has a large brass bell suspended from their neck. Must be annoying for them, and the neighbours. Our ears have been popping constantly as we descend from 2,253 meters. Four different train rides and into the Swiss town of Interlaken which means ‘between the lakes’ of Brienz and Thun. This charming village is like a fairytale setting with pastel coloured houses nestled in the Swiss Alps. Chris takes the Jungfraujoch cog train to the Top of Europe and I stay back to nurse my ... read more
Old town - Interlaken West
The Quest - Get up the Famous Jungfraujoch!
Passed through Wengen

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Zermatt October 29th 2019

We have travelled around the world - but we have not travelled to some places where the whole world travels to. One of these places is the Gornergrat in Zermatt. Nearly all travellers say that one has to visit this special place once. It was somehow on our bucket list, but definitely not in summer when you probably tramp on the tourists. We wanted to go there in off season when it is less crowded and cheaper. When Markus had to work on a project at the entrance of the Mattertal, the valley that leads to Zermatt, by the end of october, we checked the weatherforecast and it was a quick decision. We could organise the work on a friday, we booked a hotel room for a night and I (Nina) came with Markus. Basically, it ... read more
Markus taking in the views on Gornergrat
beautiful chapel on Moosalp
Matterhorn and Riffelsee - the instagram shot

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Interlaken October 25th 2019

After our excessive hike the day before, we planned to take it a bit easier and visit some local towns and planned our first stop at Interlaken. Actually, our first stop was the Gondola station, which we used every time we could for its excellent wifi; our cabin's was soooo slooooow.... Interlaken We had no real destination in mind to visit in town, so we pretty much parked at the first place we saw once we got into the area of town that seemed the most happening. Walking along the park, we saw lots of Chinese tourists and paragliders. We visited a couple of souvenir shops and Dana and I were both in awe of the cuckoo clocks. There were so many to choose from, and all were made either in Germany or Switzerland. The LÖtscher ... read more
Oberhofen Castle
Oberhofen gardens
Oberhofen gardens, Thunersee

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Lauterbrunnen October 24th 2019

Hiking was one of the goals of this trip and this was our planned day for a bit longer of a hike, up higher in the mountains above Grindelwald. Initially, we planned a hike to an area in the glacial valley called Chilchbaum, which was supposed to be about 4.5 miles round trip. Then maybe a smaller hike later nearby. So, we packed our stuff for the day, including thermals beneath our clothes and Dana made and packed us a lunch of hard boiled eggs, cheese, jerky, and leftover vegetables. Chilchbaum We made our way to the edge of Gimmelwald and along a trail to the valley, south and then west of town. The hike was relatively easy, mostly along a road during the early parts. Then we started to gradually climb uphill, along a swift ... read more
The Hike - basically the top
The Hike - steep climb, happy faces
The Hike - the start

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Lauterbrunnen October 21st 2019

After leaving Lucerne, we headed towards our cabin for the week. We drove through many more tunnels and made a stop in Interlaken, where we stocked up on supplies (expensive of course). This would be the largest grocery market around, so we figured to get as much as we could here, which included, bread, pasta, meat, fruit, veggies, and drinks. Gimmelwald We then drove through the Lauterbrunnen valley, past the quaint Swiss villages and towering waterfalls, on the way to Stechelberg, where we were to ride the gondola up to Gimmelwald. After finding the parking area (expensive), we found a nice lady at the gondola ticket booth who recommended a pass of 6 rides for each of us for 30 euros. Dana and Lindsey were a little nervous about the gondola, but I was excited! It ... read more
Hike #1
Hike #1
Hike #2 - Trümmelbachfalle

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Versoix October 9th 2019

Some of you have wondered WHY this three month trip....well, in part, it is because Bill and I are not getting any younger!! That’s a fact. In particular, I was/am hoping to recapture some of the excitement and clarity-of-thought that we both remember from our year-long 1994 excursion. Until climbing the mountain, I wasn’t sure if we could accomplish that. However, while walking in weather-turning-to-snow, and being afraid because we might have taken the wrong path, I concentrated on putting one foot in front of another, in front of another, in front of another, and focused on NOT falling down the mountainside. I thought about not panicking, and not getting mad because I didn’t know what was coming up... I won’t kid you. There have been some moments in the last month when I have been ... read more

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Versoix October 4th 2019

Well, this was an interesting SERVAS stay...when I emailed, I mentioned our two preferred nights, and they replied, well, come for one night, and we will see about the next...turns out that this young couple (with a three-year-old) had just joined SERVAS...apparently, the interviewer blabbed on and on about how great it was to get someone young and never really mentioned how it works. As in...the expected stay is for two nights. The host, not the traveller, can suggest additional nights. So we got out the SERVAS list from France and showed them that French very often indicate that one night is NOT OKAY. We explained that the first night is not really for visiting. One New Zealand host summed it up nicely as she turned us down, stating, “I am only here for one of ... read more

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Zermatt August 31st 2019

I get up early as I want to have a short walk to watch the sun rise. It is a beautiful morning. I have been watching the forecast for these last few days since I started the trip. It had shown rain consistently for weeks so I was delighted when this changed a couple of days before arriving in St Moritz. Both staying this high up on the Muottas Muragl and doing the Glacier Express trip are bound to be much nicer if the weather is kind, and I have been truly lucky with the weather throughout this trip. This early walk is the only time so far that I have put on my fleece, and that is only because it is so early. I only had rain one evening in Nürnberg and the thunderstorm in ... read more
Path Obstruction
Sun hitting Piz Bernina

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