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Gotthard Pass

2019-09-10T18:22:52+00:00

Since the middle ages the connection of the North of Europe with the South has gone right through the Swiss mountains across the Gotthard pass. It reaches 2107m and used to be a treacherous small road for traders and pilgrims often traveling in caravans past deep gorges. Due to bad weather every year a number of people didn’t make it.

Today a solid road leads across the pass. It’s great for motorbike rides or people wanting to enjoy the scenery rather than going through the fast tunnel beneath. The road is closed in winter with snow covering the top up to 10m. However the tunnel at the foot of the mountain stays open all year. During summer holidays sometimes the traffic from all over Europa causes traffic queues of several km of cars waiting to enter the tunnel…. A new railway tunnel through the mountain connects Bern to Milano by direct train in only 3h03’.

In the picture our friends look down into the valley on the Ticino side shortly before reaching the very top.

Gotthard Pass 2019-09-10T18:22:52+00:00

Swiss Miniature

2019-08-23T12:22:13+00:00

Swiss Miniature was set up in 1959. It is located in Melide, in the Italian speaking Canton of Ticino. Switzerland’s most important buildings and sites are represented with a scale of 1:25.

Many scenes also represent local customs offering deeper glimpses into the different cultures of our country

There are also model trains (3,5km rails) running between the different locations and cable cars leading up and down the big mountains. 1500 trees and thousands of plants are naturally part of the picture.

Every year about 200’000 visitors make their way to this park, that is also very suitable for families with children.

Swiss Miniature 2019-08-23T12:22:13+00:00

Top of Europe

2019-07-23T17:16:48+00:00

Top of Europe, or Jungfraujoch, is reached by a mountain train either from Grindelwald or from Lauterbrunnen. The journey takes a little more than one hour. A first stop is at the Kleine Scheidegg above 2000m. After changing the train the journey leads through a long tunnel and ends on an altitude of 3454m. At this altitude the mountains are covered by snow all year round. And the temperatures drop correspondingly!

The view from the Jungfraujoch is staggering. On the Spingx observation desk there is a 360° view around. There are three mountain peaks right next to it that are higher than 4000m. The Aletsch glacier below stretches over several km.

A suggested trail leads the stream of visitors from one attraction to another. The tour takes a good 2 1/2 hours. During peak season about 5000 visitors make it to the top. It is recommended to make reservations beforehand.

Top of Europe 2019-07-23T17:16:48+00:00

It’s hot!

2019-06-27T20:07:53+00:00

Finally summer has arrived with full strength. These days the temperature is around 34°-35°C, which for Switzerland is really hot! Most homes have wonderful central heating systems for winter, but no Airconditioning for such hot days!

At the moment people throng into the rivers and lakes and public swimming pools.

This picture focuses on the Aare river. It was taken above the Marzili area in the heart of the city of Berne. On the left people are just sunbathing, in the middle folks are walking up to one of many places where they can enter or jump into the Aare. And finally on the right you can see the people floating down the river.

Aare river swimming is an exhilarating experience. It flows fast, is quite cold (only 20°C at the moment) and also somewhat dangerous. Every year there are a couple of people drowning. So good swimming skills and some instructions are needed before taking a first jump into the clean water.

It’s hot! 2019-06-27T20:07:53+00:00

The Europa Park

2019-05-27T13:27:21+00:00

This fun destination is very popular: around 5.6 million visitors a year flock to one of the biggest theme parks of Europe. On a surface of 950’000m2 you will find a mini Europe: 15 different countries (Switzerland, Germany, France, England, Russia, Greece etc) are represented with their different building styles, foods and attractions. Three different hotels and many restaurants and food stalls cater to the needs of the European customers.

On of the main attractions is the Silver Star roller coaster. It is one of the fastest and highest of Europe. But there are a dozen other roller coasters each with different characteristics.

Also for the smaller kids and elderly folks there are nice areas to hang out, play and enjoy time out with the grand kids.

The Europa Park is only an hour away from Basel, or two hours from Bern. It is across the boarder in Germany and also very close to the border of France. A day card ticket costs €52 for an adult and 44.50 for kids and senior citizens.

The Europa Park 2019-05-27T13:27:21+00:00

The Rose Garden Park

2019-04-23T10:10:01+00:00

High above the old city of Berne, on the other side of the Aare river you will find a beautiful park called Rose Garden. The restaurant with the same name offers a magnificent view of the old city of Bern.

Over the Easter holidays the weather was great and the park was packed with people enjoying the warmth and the view.

The rose garden park is public and free. A big playground for kids is also on the grounds. At the moment spring is reflected in big garden beds of daffodils lighten up the park. In summer those beds will be full of roses.

The Rose Garden Park 2019-04-23T10:10:01+00:00

Early Spring

2019-03-06T11:12:15+00:00

Spring is at hand, but not quite here yet. The trees are still bare but the first buds are already visible. Snow bells are fully out heralding that the winter is soon gone.

Snow can still fall even in the lowlands but it won’t stay anymore. Soon nature awakens fully from its winter sleep and starts blossoming with incredible energy. Spring will bring such a tremendous swirl of colours and fragrances making many hearts happy.

Early Spring 2019-03-06T11:12:15+00:00

Lake Murten

2019-02-24T16:00:23+00:00

In February the water of lake Murten is very clear and cold, as is the air. The snow mountains (the alps) are often visible with the famous three peaks of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau (all over 4000m high).

The lake itself is beautiful in all seasons. It is only 8km long but reaches across language and culture boundaries: Swiss German to French speaking.

There are three lakes in this area that are all connected through a canal system: lake of Neuchâtel, lake of Murten and lake of Biel. The tree lakes area is great for outings, exploring and in the right season for water sports as well.

Lake Murten 2019-02-24T16:00:23+00:00

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