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Published: October 3rd 2006
Switzerland... Land of much beauty with rolling hills of luscious green, spotted with charming Swiss cottages and grazing cows, and set against the backdrop of tall mountains with steep, snowy peaks receding in the distance.
Numerous falls already carve their way through the rocky peaks. Time has marked the passage of water in many places, forming patterns and deep gorges, where in winter it will collect and find its way down the mountain side again. Bridging the gorges and connecting the paths of humans are many long-legged bridges made of this same rock.
Jungfrau Joch, 'joch' meaning the saddle between two mountains. The locals call Jungfrau peak 'the top of Europe'. We arrived there by train, the world's highest train in fact, and from there we had stunning views of a glacier resembling a long icy river, eternally gliding down between the mountains.
Vals is a small charming town somewhere in the Alps. The drive there was spectacular. We made the journey especially for Therme Vals. The building is built on the site of hot mineral springs high in the mountains. Therme Vals is one of the most thrilling and poetic places I've ever encountered. There nature
and architecture are one, forming a poetically rich experience and a place of tectonic harmony. There are many chambers, all with a different theme..... aromatherapeutic baths, hot and cold baths, etc... but the real highlight is the chamber where half-submerged under water one can join in with others in humming, which echoes back in a peculiar deep-cathedral-like sound....
Melanie and I also visited a place called Vitra Design Centre, found near Basel, where we saw Zaha Hadid's fire station and many originals of 'The Chairs' exhibited inside.... Only my Archi friends from Uni would know what I'm talking about.
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