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The Niederhorn

2019-01-27T19:16:21+00:00

In winter it is a great pleasure to go up on a snow mountain and look down into the valleys filled with fog. The view of the mountain scenery on eye level is also exhilarating.

Recently we took a wonderful group from China up to the Niederhorn. This mountain rises up to 1950m above lake Thun. To get to the top one can take a cable car starting from the lake Thun level at Beatenbucht. The other option is to drive up to the village of Beatenberg (1200m) and take the cable car from the village to the very top.

Even in winter the Niederhorn is a trip worth. You can learn how to ski, or rent a sledge or even join a tandem paraglider down into the valley.

The Niederhorn 2019-01-27T19:16:21+00:00

Winter

2019-01-18T18:24:17+00:00

In Switzerland this January we have had a lot of snow. Especially in the eastern parts and far into Austria there has been abundant snow.

The ski resorts are thrilled about the great weather conditions. Skiing and snowboarding are still very popular. It’s just wonderful to go up on a mountain peak while often down below there is a layer of fog.

All the snow has also its downsides. The cities and villages put a lot of work into clearing the road system from snow so that the traffic isn’t hindered too much. Depending on the weather conditions there are also more road accidents happening and sometimes delays are inevitable.

Winter 2019-01-18T18:24:17+00:00

Christmas Market

2018-12-21T11:05:11+00:00

Christmas markets are hugely popular in Europe! Some are really famous but most have become commercialised and lost authenticity.

For years in Bern we have already had two Christmas markets. This year a third was opened that everybody raves about.

This new Christmas Market is also very central and in a park next to the houses of parliament. It is really beautiful and has a much more authentic feel. The stalls are set up for about three weeks before Christmas. But they are beautiful and lovingly designed. There are lot’s of food opportunities but also sweets and many possible Christmas gifts available. A lot of atmosphere pervades this newly created but temporary space well worth checking out.

Christmas Market 2018-12-21T11:05:11+00:00

Advent

2018-12-14T14:15:00+00:00

Now in December outside it’s often really cold. But inside our homes it is warm and beautiful. Typical Christmas cookies are baked. And the kids are getting excited for Christmas when finally they get their long anticipated gifts.

In Switzerland and Germany the four weeks leading up to Christmas are called Advent (latin: arrival – celebrating the arrival or birth of Jesus Christ). On the first Sunday of Advent (either end of November or beginning of December) a first candle is lit on an advent wreath. By then the house also gets decorated for Christmas. On each consecutive Sunday another candle is lit. When the fourth candle is lit Christmas is just around the corner.

Advent 2018-12-14T14:15:00+00:00

The Zillis Church

2018-11-27T08:12:53+00:00

The Romans had already settled in the village of Zillis. The first village church dates back to about the 6th century. The church at the mouth of the forbidding Viamala gorge (Canton of Graubünden) was there to provide spiritual and physical relief for the brave travellers daring to cross the alps.

The ceiling of the church was painted between 1109 to 1114 and consist of 153 wooden panels. An unknown artist painted the panels with a very interesting Christian perspective of the world. The panels are still vibrant with colours and interesting motifs.

Basically the gospel is presented such as the birth of Christ, his temptation, his baptism, his life and his death on the cross. However there is no hint of his resurrection. If ever we have a chance we would love to explain to you some of stories of panels above.

The Zillis Church 2018-11-27T08:12:53+00:00

The Dishma Valley

2018-11-16T10:05:53+00:00

The village of Davos (on 1560m) is famous for it’s yearly event of the WEF. That is when the heads of many countries flock together for their summit. Davos is then turned into a fortress.

The village itself isn’t exactly a beauty. But the area around Davos is famous for it’s many skiing tracks in winter and hiking trails for the other seasons.

There are several valleys branching off from Davos. One of the nicest and quite undiscovered is the Dischma valley. By public bus or with your own car you can make it to the bottom of the valley and then hike further up or even hike back down to Davos.

As you enjoy the view the only sound you hear is that of rushing water from the creek and occasionally the shout of bird of prey or the whistle of a marmot.

The Dishma Valley 2018-11-16T10:05:53+00:00

Spiez

2018-10-22T11:46:50+00:00

The village of Spiez is embedded in a bay on lake Thun. The castle is big and dates back to the 10th century. From the top of the castle (see picture) the view is of the 1000 years old church down below, the small harbour and across the lake.

The castle itself houses one of the most beautiful castle museums of Switzerland. It documents the change from a medieval life style to a patrician one.

Spiez produces a nice vine. The vineyard rises up on a hill close to the castle and adds color, especially in autumn! The restaurant down at the pier has nice fish and other foods too.

Many like to stroll along the lake and then board a boat taking them across the lake.

Spiez 2018-10-22T11:46:50+00:00

Biaufond

2018-11-09T14:01:04+00:00

In late fall the trees dress up. The beautiful colours are a feast to the eyes.

During this season I love to travel into the hills of the Jura, especially in the canton of Neuchâtel. The mountains in that area are glowing with colours.

This canton has a lake and across rolling hills the beautiful river Doubs. France starts on the other side of the river. On of the nicest destinations is called Biaufond. A bridge leads across the river to France.

In Biaufond it’s great to stop and enjoy a drink in the only house there, which happens to be a restaurant, called Maison Biaufond.

The river Doubs originates in France near the border of Switzerland and later flows into the Rhône, which eventually flows into the Mediterranean near Marseilles in France.

Biaufond 2018-11-09T14:01:04+00:00

Cow Competitions

2018-09-28T09:58:28+00:00

Early autumn the farming communities in our country hold cow competitions. Some are really big and drawing quite some crowds. This one here is of a smaller community in the Emmental and would hardly get noticed anywhere. We just stumbled into it.

The farmers from one area drive all their cows to a specific location. The cows are presented at their best. A judge and expert will look at each cow starting from the head following the topline, main body and ribs, the udders, the legs and going all the way to the tail. The most beautiful cow wins. The farmer of the winning cow gets a lot of prestige in the village.

After the show the cows get walked back to their farm. The best cows are decorated too. Traffic on these smaller roads has to accommodate to the cattle getting walked home.

Cow Competitions 2018-09-28T09:58:28+00:00

Rigi

2018-09-13T14:32:34+00:00

On the 2nd weekend in September I joined a group of friends for an outing to the Rigi also called „the Queen of Mountains“.
The Rigi is a group of five mountain peaks between the lakes of Zug and Lucerne. Situated so close to Lucerne the Rigi was right from the beginnings of tourism one of the favourite destinations. 1871 the first mountain train of Europe was built on its slopes.

Many hiking trails lead travellers to splendid vistas of the Alps, the lakes and the rolling midland hills. There were trails for each taste and energy level of our group.

Rigi Kulm is the top peak and also a sister moutain to E Mei Mountain in China. Up on the top we enjoyed refreshments. Then we took the famous rack railway down the steep decent to Viznau. An hour long boat trip on the sparkling Lake Lucerne led us back to the middle age City of Lucerne.

Rigi 2018-09-13T14:32:34+00:00