Summer in Switzerland, part 1

Winter is almost over… So it’s a good time to rush up a bit to get rid of my “blog debt” for the last year :) Meet the majestic Central Switzerland in all its summer glory!

Brunnen – Sisikon

It was my fist hike since I moved to Switzerland. OMG, everything was a bit surreal, like those mountains in the foreground.

By that time I already have read the book “Swiss Watching” and made my mind to hike Weg der Schweiz. I have to say that I managed to walk at that day only around 20% of it (it’s a 2 full days hike) and not the most important one, so I’ll tell about Weg der Schweiz some time later, ok?

For now I just stepped out of the train and went to search the lake…

It took me many months to learn how to spell the lake’s name properly (it’s Vierwaldstättersee in German). It has quite an irregular shape, so there are many nice spots to explore.

Everyone was eating something by the lake and soon I joined the gang :)

The whole scenery looks like a render from a computer game. And it’s just one hour from Zurich by train. One hour from my home. How else to call it than dreams coming true?

The trails starts on the foot of the small hill, just behind the houses. The altitude isn’t crazy at all, so I’d categorize it as a rather easy walk.

The day was hot and sunny.

The not-so-long ascend is rewarded with this viewpoint.

Weg der Schweiz starts on that side, which is less populated and apparently more demanding to hike. It’s in my TODO list anyway ;)

Soon I passed through the village Morschach.

Swiss like to do things in their own way. The country is not uniform at all, with some rather important rules differing sometimes even from one commune to another, not speaking of cantons. This makes me wonder how it’s possible that at least something is the same for the whole country? One example are those maps. The outlook is standard and there are two types of it – one for the summer and one for the winter. Such maps could be seen almost in any region. They are on the stands, in the brochures, on the websites. A little miracle ;)

Oh, and those houses with a view! I can imagine the prices (and how boring the life in a small village might be), but they look great nevertheless.

Soon the village is over and the way goes a bit like in the skies and then over the lovely meadows.

I was rather surprised to learn that fire shelters are quite common in Switzerland. Unlike their Finnish counterparts, they are not designed for an overnight stay however.

That’s my end point for the day – Sisikon. Looks to be close, but of course it’s not that fast to walk all the way down there.

Since I fell in love with the mountains, the nimble goats became one of my favorite animals. And that’s even before I read “Heidi”! ;)

Not a bad place for mountain biking as well.

“Do not stop” sign in mountains means that you have to take it seriously.

The golden hour is here!

I tried to swim, but the water was rather cold even in the middle of June.

Soon the sun hid over the mountains, it became chilly and dark everywhere.

Time to catch a train and go home! ;)

* * *


One month later I was again on the way to the Vierwaldstättersee, now in a wonderful company!

A stretch of the road was closed, so the bus had to drop everyone off earlier, but who minds a little extra walk in this scenery?

The ascend is not super hard, but a bit steep in the very beginning. Everyone is rewarded with even more breathtaking views after it ;)

In some places you can see virtually all the Switzerland until the border with Germany. And of course the beautiful lake is all around!

Another thing, which will tell you in the every corner of Switzerland that you are here, nowhere else – those yellow hiking route signs. Simple, very informative, just brilliant!

While walking, it’s hard at times to decide which side to admire – this one…

…or that one?

The well-deserved lunch waited us at the top :)

And one very unexpected thing too! How that’s possible? An elevator in the middle of nowhere!

The answer is quite logical, if you think about it. The elevator was built by hotel and railway businessman Franz Josef Bucher just to attract tourists and provide them with an easy access to the trail. By the time it was opened (1905) there were already funiculars and mountain railways, but the elevator was something very original (which still holds true).

Being less lazy and having better dress for hiking than tourists back in 1905 we didn’t use the elevator and went by foot instead. The Bürgenstock trail is excavated in the rather steep northern slope of the hill. Nevertheless, it’s really easy to walk and there is even a light in the tunnel!

Along the trail there are numerous places to stop and admire…

…to sunbath a bit…

…or just to sit together on the bench and to discuss the numerous other plans for the summer. Why it always feels so long, but passes so fast? Summer…

The way back to the bus stop is quite spectacular as well.

Dinner on the lakeside (in Stansstad) and it’s time to go home.

What could be better than a fast, comfortable and spacious train?

  1. KS says:

    I remember having just this similar feeling of being surrounded by something unreal during my first in life visit to the Alps. That area feels almost like a large national park, and settlements there – at least in certain areas – like a recreational site there… I cannot really imagine living there. Should be a fantastic feeling :-)

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