2000 08 Switzerland (2)

Schauffhausen & Stein-am-Rhein

An easy day trip from Zurich, so much so that many of us delayed this trip until we had visitors. An hour-long train journey from Zurich followed by a short bus ride and it’s the Rhinefalls. Europe’s largest waterfall is not very tall but it’s wide. Another short train ride is Stein-am-Rhein, a car-free village still retaining its medieval buildings.

Rhinefalls thundering falls
stein houses stein window

St Gallen
St Gallen has a cathedral, library, museums and cobbled streets. But I went there to visit the olma, an agricultural fair with farm exhibits, produces, a fair and of course the major attraction – the pig race. I kid you not.

out of the gate checkered flag

Luzern

Probably the most touristy town in Switzerland, it’s harder to get away from the crowds so it’s better to become one of them. Obviously the must see is the Kapellbrücke, the oldest road bridge in Europe. In 1993 the bridge caught fire and was destroyed, the bridge as we see it now is a restored version.

Kapellbrücke and houses
kapellbrucke typical housing
Vierwaldstättesee
the bestest of them all

Lauterbrunnen, Mürren & Jungfrau

The Lauterbrunnen valley has been described as the most stunning valley in Europe and it’s so easy to see why. The deepest U-shaped valley in the world, cliffs either side and 72 waterfalls. Took a steep vernicular followed by rickety train to car-free Mürren, a hamlet set on a shelf on the cliffs, the perfect stepping stone for summer walking or winter skiing.

We spent Christmas in a self-catering apartment in Mürren. Brought a goose from Zurich and cooked it for 4 hours. It was fabulous. Boxing Day we had breakfast at the revolving restaurant up on the Schilthorn. Skiing in Mürren side was great but the better skiing was on the other side, at Wengen and Kleine Scheidegg. Kleine Scheidegg is essentially a cluster of four buildings with restaurants and sports shop, and a train station where passengers change for the train up the Jungfraujoch, at 3454m the highest train station in Europe. On a good day the view is spectacular.

Lauterbrunnen valley and Mürren
beautiful valley nice house

views from Jungfraujoch
peaks and soup of cloud glacier