Paragliding over Mürren

2017-08-03T12:14:27+00:00

In the Bernese Oberland (the alps in the canton of Berne) there are several companies offering tandem paragliding. One of the best flights is probably from the village of Mürren across the valley deep below towards the majestic „Wall of the Jungfrau“.

Airtime is a local company with professional pilots who have done a thousand and more flights. The flight from Mürren down to Stechelberg is called The Wall. It takes around 10’ and costs CHF 170.-. These guys are really fun to fly with. It might be best to reserve your flight a day or a few hours before take off.

The start is really quite easy. The pilot helps you get into the gear and then gives you instructions. These are rather simple. At his command run fast down a grassy slope (only about 3-4m) and then you are already airborne. As you sit comfortably you sail across the valley towards the towering wall of the Jungfrau only hearing the noise of the wind. The pilot will take you in circles high above the ground while you are gently loosing heights. The touch down is soft and easy too.

If you want the pilot to record scenes of your flight he will take his go pro along. The set of recording costs another CHF 40.-.

By car the drive from Berne to Stechelberg takes just one hour. From Stechelberg take the thrilling cableway (another 20’) to the very top, the Schilthorn at almost 3000m. On the way down get out in lovely mountain village of Mürren and enjoy and unforgettable flight down to the bottom of valley.

Paragliding over Mürren 2017-08-03T12:14:27+00:00

The Lake of Thun

2016-11-19T20:05:58+00:00

Thun is a beautiful old and compact city at the lower side of the lake. At the other side, where the Aare river enters and mainly feeds the lake lies the village of Interlaken.

The lake of Thun is a mountain lake fed by water flowing down from the partly icy heights of the area. That is why it is also a rather cold lake. Even at the highest point of summer it reaches a maximum of about 22°C. However swimming out in this lake in the midst of a majestic mountain scenery is a most thrilling experience….

The lake is on an altitude of 558m. The Aare river meanders on flowing through Bern that lies another 20km down the river. In summer many people float down the river on rubber boats.

A great way to explore the lake is via boat. There are five different boats that crisscross the lake according to a set schedule stopping at the major villages on both sides of the lake.

In Interlaken it is easy to stroll across to the port for boarding a boat cruising the lake on the other side of Interlaken, called the lake of Brienz.

The Lake of Thun 2016-11-19T20:05:58+00:00

Interlaken

2017-02-27T15:32:36+00:00

The village of Interlaken is situated between the lake of Thun and the lake of Brienz and has steep mountains on two sides. The village consists only of about 15’000 inhabitants. However especially over the winter and summer season there are many more people from all nations spending nights in the place. Many shops not only serve their customers in German, French, English, Italian and Japanese but also in Chinese and some also in Arabic. Especially the latter two languages these days are frequently spoken!

The village itself isn’t as beautiful as the much older Thun or Berne. However it is really a magnet for tourists. Why?

Interlaken is a good starting point for exploring the area. There are more than 45 mountain railways, cable cars and even boats and other means inviting to great excursions.

The nearby Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau are certainly the most famous mountain peaks that dominate the area with the famous Jungrau Joch. However many other less known destinations are certainly worth exploring too such as the Schilthorn, the Schynige Platte, the Niesen, the Stockhorn and the Niederhorn which offer spectacular views as well.

The city of Berne is just a mere 45 minutes car / train ride away.

Interlaken 2017-02-27T15:32:36+00:00

The Lake of Hallwil

2017-08-03T12:14:27+00:00

Two beautiful natural lakes are part of the valley of the lake (Seetal): the lake of Hallwil and the smaller lake of Baldegg. Here in the picture is the lake of Hallwil (Hallwilersee). It is surrounded by soft green hills.

The lake of Hallwil is 8km long and very clean, like almost every lake in this country. The water has virtually drinking water quality.

In spring when the many fruit trees are in full bloom the area looks like in a picture book.

In summer the temperature of the lake reaches easily a comfortable 25°C. The lake offers a very popular and relaxing swimming experience and all sorts of water sports.

Usually in mid October a 21km jogging event takes place leading around the lake.

Occasionally in a very cold winter the whole lake can freeze up. The last time this happened in 1986.

Beinwil am See is the biggest village sitting on the lake and is part of the Canton of Aargau. Quite a few artists have made their home in this charming area.

Opposite of Beinwil am See is the village of Aesch (belonging to the Canton of Lucerne). On the sunny hills of Aesch a great vine is produced by friends of ours. This wine has won several prices for its outstanding quality.

The lake is about 1 1/2 hour away from Berne when taking the slightly longer and very beautiful scenic route via Huttwil.

The Lake of Hallwil 2017-08-03T12:14:27+00:00

August 1: Swiss National Day

2016-08-05T10:48:31+00:00

725 years ago (in 1291) the three cantons Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden swore an oath of Confederation. This was the beginning of Switzerland. Nowadays 26 cantons belong to the Swiss Confederacy.

The Swiss National Day is one of the official public holidays where people are off work.

I attended a celebration in Oberhofen at the lake of Thun. It started at 9 am with Alphorn blowing and swinging of flags. The peak was a speech held by a now retired very high ranking army officer. Mr Faustus Furrer noted how peaceful and blessed Switzerland is the midst of so many conflicts past and present in the world around us. He encouraged the listeners to hold on to the values that shaped our country. At the end the national anthem was sung which gives glory to God, who is blessing the nation.

In the evening many Swiss will enjoy a barbecue with family and friends. There are many fireworks taking place. The one on lake of Thun is famous. At 10pm the five big boats of the lake will pass by the bigger villages, stop and send beautiful fireworks into the sky.

August 1: Swiss National Day 2016-08-05T10:48:31+00:00