Swiss Sunday and relax

It’s Swiss Sunday again. A time to breathe and relax.

Often we would arrive in Switzerland on a Saturday. Completely stressed out with families, work, money, life. But on that train heading towards Spiez the holiday has started. Two Swiss Beers and it’s time to forget the world for a few days. You can feel the stress levels ebbing away as the mountain scenery passes by.

Sunday was the day of Total Relaxation. No busy shops. No frustrations. No anger. Just the peaceful sound of water lapping on the shore. Cow bells in the distance. The occasional ring of church bells. A time to just stroll and take in the views.

Then a leisurely trip to Interlaken. This really is the correct pace for life.

The train could get you there within 10 minutes. But what’s the hurry. Sit on the boat and just relax for 90 minutes.

Interlaken has a wonderful little Japanese Garden. The Garden of Friendship. Another chance for peace and tranquility.

In a world where stress levels are so high. We need places like Switzerland on a Sunday. Now breathe.

Swiss Water

It’s Swiss Sunday. Which means it’s Sunday and it’s time to indulge in a bit of Switzerland.

When my partner first took me to Switzerland I’m not sure what I was expecting. Mountains definitely. A beautiful country definitely. Brilliant transport without a doubt. Chocolate. Much Swiss cheese – probably. Yodelling – hopefully. Hardly any water – surely as it’s landlocked.

Now I can confirm it is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places on the planet. It has mountains – lots of them. The transport is beyond precise. It is Chocolate Heaven. Swiss Cheese is very nice. Yodelling does happen but Swiss Culture is so varied and puts our culture to shame. It’s still treasured.

But I was hideously wrong on the water assumption.

If water is your thing then Switzerland is perfect. Waterfalls, Lakes, Rivers, Rapids, Streams. All stunning. All with a unique Alpine Colour and Sound.

Lakes and mountains are the perfect combination.

One warning. The alpine water can be on the chilly side. Brace yourself.

Swiss Sunday with a hint of Bond.

It’s Swiss Sunday. It’s time to be shaken not stirred.

We start again from the stunning mountain village of Murren and we are heading up to the top of the Schilthorn. A world famous mountain standing at 9744ft.

Only two ways to the top. A series of Cable Car rides. Not for the faint hearted. Once it was the longest aerial cable car in the world.

The other way is to try the gruelling 5 hour trek up a narrow mountain dirt path.

The mountain was featured in the 1969 James Bond movie – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. At the top you can visit the Bond Museum. It even has a cinema. The photo below is one of the mountains promo stills.

The Schilthorn has a wonderful revolving restaurant. It slowly turns and completes a full rotation in just under one hour. It’s a tremendous experience sat having lunch and gazing out of the window as the stunning mountain scenery moves slowly round.

There is a third way down but it’s not for me…

Suspect my butt would need a bigger chute.

Apparently you can see over 200 different summits from here. I remember son telling me

Close down the cable car and this would be the perfect place to live.

It really would be. A little chilly during winter but those views. You would never tire of them.

To Lauterbrunnen

It’s Sunday which means it’s Switzerland.

We left last week in Murren – the stunning Swiss Mountain Village. It’s time to head down into the valley and towards Lauterbrunnen. You only have three options. Train, cableway or walk it. The easy option is easy. 42 trains a day running to legendary Swiss punctuality. The walk is 5.8km and takes just under 3 hours. But it’s all downhill.

It takes you through alpine Forests with frequent stunning views of the Eiger, Moench and the Jungfrau. You cross multiple streams and are never too far away from the towering waterfalls.

Lauterbrunnen is the home to the Stabbauch Falls which is Europe’s highest free falling waterfall. A drop of 297 metres. If you like waterfalls you need to pay this place a visit. I remember being told that you can visit over 70 of them here.

Next week I think it’s time for a bit of Bond and Blofeld.

Murren

Switzerland does spectacularly beautiful mountain villages probably none more so than Murren. It sits at 5374ft above sea level with stunning views of some of the worlds finest mountains.

We ventured here a few times. The photos are taken from an Easter visit when an early heat wave cleared out the village snow. For some reason it’s the only place in Switzerland we came across a fully grown St Bernard. Now that was a big fella.

It is one of Switzerland’s most popular tourist destinations. The village has just over 400 residents so you might expect limited facilities. It has 10 hotels with 2000 hotel beds, 11 restaurants and 2 bars. It is also home to The Inferno, the worlds longest Amateur Downhill Ski Race. Unbelievably it’s about 5 times the length of an Olympic Downhill. That must be some tight buttocks at the end of that.

It’s a car free place – that’s right no double parking here. The village cannot be reached by public road. You can only get here by mountain train or cable car.

Next Sunday lets hopefully enjoy a glorious walk down from Murren to Lauterbrunnen or maybe we will head upwards towards a bit of James Bond…

Breathe

It’s Sunday so it’s time for a bit of Switzerland.

The Alps are one of the worlds greatest mountain ranges. Certainly not the tallest but they are big enough. Especially when you get close up to them.

But what they do have is a magic. A special atmosphere.

A place where it’s still possible to feel small. Humble in the face of nature.

A place where you feel a million miles from our vast urban sprawls.

Somewhere you can reconnect and just breathe.

Eiger Sanction

Now that is a serious location for a hotel. One day hopefully we will stay there. Kleine Scheidegg, Switzerland. It means minor watershed and stands at 2060m. You get the deepest blue skies here. But when the weather closes in it is magnificent and moody – almost sinister. So many climbers have been taken from us here. You can only get here via the cog railway or by foot. The Hotel is where the Clint Eastwood movie The Eiger Sanction was filmed. Can you believe the movie is now 44 years old. 1975….

1975 that’s the year

  • Home Video tape systems are developed
  • Vietnam War ends
  • Iron Maiden was formed
  • The first portable mobile phone was patented
  • Microsoft was founded
  • First disposable razor was launched

And Britain had been in the European Union for just two years. How times change.

What is reassuring is that in all those years of change this Swiss View will not have changed in the slightest. Hopefully it never will.

Drink it in

Swiss Sunday is here again. Still no free Toblerone from the Swiss Tourist Board – maybe one day.

My partner was super organised. She would book the trip so many months ahead. She would even find my passport with months to go – not sure she appreciated my just looking for the passport minutes before the taxi arrived strategy. However one of her first tasks would always be to book the hotel room. Always the same room. Why?

Every morning opening up the the curtains and this is the view you are greeted with. Get the coffee fix and sit on the balcony and drink this in. It’s truly glorious.

It always made me smile that because of the wonders of Switzerland’s Transport system you could finish your room coffee and hour later you can be sat at the restaurant on top of that mountain having your next drink. In the UK that trip would take days.

Then you could spice things up and look in the other direction.

Simply stunning.

Train journey to the Ogre

It’s Sunday and it’s Switzerland time….

Switzerland is a spectacular country which means its train journeys are often just off the scale. No need to read a book here. Just look out the window and drink the views in.

The trip from from Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg is one such experience.

The train goes on further up through the Eiger Tunnel to the JungFrauJoch. Known as the Top of Europe. But that was just too expensive. One day maybe… So we got off at the stop where a short walk takes you to the base of the famous North Face of the Eiger.

On the trip up I remember looking out of the train window in awe with our son repeatedly saying

Mum can you tell me the story about the legend of the three mountains AGAIN”

The legend is that a beautiful young girl (The Jungfrau) is in danger from an evil Ogre (The Eiger). Only a brave Monk (The Mönch) can protect her. They forever stand next to each other in an eternal struggle.

Son loved this story and his mum loved telling him it. On this trip she must have retold it at least 30 times. Another smiley memory. Happy Days and my love keep telling that story.

The view

Looking out into the distance.

Dad that’s a top View. Unbeatable.”

It is. Completely fogged out. Can’t see more than 5 yards in front of us. See kids with Aspergers can do irony.

The garden could be beautifully cut and looking like a football pitch before a major cup final. Wonderfully straight stripes.”

Now he is in full irony mode. It’s more like a cow field at present.

Since we don’t have a view to look at we have license to make our own one up. I’m seeing Whitby Habour on a stormy day.

Dad I’m seeing one image. Do you remember that day when I stood on top of the world. I loved that.”

I so do. He was about 5 and we ventured onto his first mountain. A beautiful Swiss one. Glorious blue skies. Fresh alpine air. Surrounded by dream like peaks. The two of us having a crazy snowball fight. My partner and her mum happily sat in the mountain top restaurant having hot chocolate.

A beautiful moment.

This can be such a wonderful life if we only just give it a chance.