First Snow

2019-11-20T15:28:42+01:00

Sigriswil consists of a couple of villages just above lake Thun. It is a great destination for hikes and offers a wonderful view into the mountains and down the valley to lake Thun. A hanging bridge crosses a deep canyon. In summer there is a place offering to wash gold flakes out of a river.

But now in November as the village is on about 800m the snow limit clearly comes down the mountain peaks. During November the weather is growing colder and sunny days are interspersed with days without much sun.

First Snow 2019-11-20T15:28:42+01:00

Lake Murten

2019-02-24T16:00:23+01:00

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+01:00

The Niederhorn

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

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+01:00

Winter

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

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+01:00

The Dishma Valley

2018-11-16T10:05:53+01:00

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+01:00

Biaufond

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

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+01:00

Rigi

2018-09-13T14:32:34+01:00

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+01:00

Indian Summer

2017-10-16T10:29:14+01:00

For the past two week we have just enjoyed the most gorgeous autumn weather: blue sky, sun and a swirl of increasingly beautiful colours. The leaf trees in the forests are gradually changing and turning from green into many different shades of yellow and red. Such a long period of stable beautiful weather after the high summer months is called Indian Summer!

So many people are out whenever they can and just soak in the warmth and the light. The days have grown shorter and in the night it is already quite cool (8°C) but then during the day temperatures rise up to 20°C.

The picture here depicts the oldest part of the city of Berne with the famous bear park on the slope above the Aare river on the right hand. Since the foundation of the city the bear has been the symbol of the city. Bears have been kept in this corner of the city for many centuries.

Indian Summer 2017-10-16T10:29:14+01:00

Yverdon-les-Bains

2017-07-09T11:58:39+01:00

The view here is from the area of St. Croix on the Jura, high above the lake of Neuchâtel. Down below is the city of Yverdon and the fertile midlands. In the background are the alps rising up to 4000m. Yverdon is part of the canton of Vaud.

The canton of Vaud is french speaking. It is the fourth largest canton of Switzerland and joined the Swiss Federation only in 1803. Its main city is Lausanne, sitting on lake Geneva. The famous Lavaux area is also part of this canton. On the other end of the lake Geneva is the city Geneva itself, which forms another, smaller canton.

Yverdon  owns a castle. The counts of Savoy were running the castle from the 13th onwards. In the 15th century the Bernese took over the canton. They also introduced the reformation and protestantism. From 1805 to 1825 the Swiss German Pestalozzi, a famous educator, used the castle of Yeverdon for his purposes of raising delinquent children.

Yverdon has remains dating back to the period of the Romans. Already then the hot sulfur springs were known and used. Yverdon-les-Bain (the “les-Bains” meaning the baths) still points to the long period of the city with the hots springs, even in use still today with beautiful modern facilities.

Yverdon-les-Bains 2017-07-09T11:58:39+01:00

The Island of St. Peter

2017-05-27T13:43:07+01:00

Three beautiful lakes are at the foot of the Jura mountain chains: the lake of Neuchâtel, the lake of Biel and the Lake of Murten. All of these lakes are called according to it’s the biggest city. They are all interconnected through a system of water channels. The wider area of these lakes is culturally interesting since it often switches from Swiss German to French and vice versa. The climate is moderate and on the slopes of the Jura nice vine is produced.

The lake of Biel is split by a peninsula called the Island of St. Peter. Originally there used to be two smaller island. But because of frequent flooding the water level of the lake was lowered artificially by 1891 and so the peninsula came into existence. From the lovely small town of Erlach (in the picture) a leisurely walk of about 5km leads to the St. Peter’s island.

By 1127 the powerful order of Cluny set up a monastery. At the time of the reformation, in 1530 the island was passed on to the patricians of Berne who own it up to the present time. Today the monastery is a nice restaurant serving excellent fish.

Jean Jacques Rousseau, a famous french philosopher and writer from the 18th century lived on the island for a few weeks. He propagated the idea of „back to nature“ and „freedom of man“. His writings had a great influence on the French Revolution and all successive revolutions seeking to bring freedom to man.

The second picture shows the view from the island across the lake of the village of Ligerz.

The Island of St. Peter 2017-05-27T13:43:07+01:00