A trip to Switzerland, touring around with a Swiss friend as my guide.
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  • Day16

    Königsfelden, Windisch

    July 30, 2017 in Switzerland ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    My final day on Sunday in Switzerland was a quick tour around Vindonissa, located in what is today called Windisch. It was an important Roman legion's camp being the only one in Switzerland and probably established in 15AD. A Roman barrack's has been recreated, with actors going through legionnary way of life.

    The monastery church of Königsfelden, which is well known for its unique glass windows (that date back to the 14th century), is located in the middle of these ruins.
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  • Day15

    Basel Zoo

    July 29, 2017 in Switzerland ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Saturday was a lovely day out to Zolli, officially Zoologischer Garten Basel, and is Switzerland's oldest (1874) and largest zoo (by number of animals). It's a huge attraction as it's in the centre of the city.

    The zoo has elephant's, a huge monkey house, Indian rhinoceros, greater flamingo, cheetahs, okapi, pygmy hippopotamuses, and every Somali wild ass (a donkey) in zoos worldwide is related to the population in Basel, where this species' zoological breeding program was started. It has a great breeding record for a lot of animals.Read more

  • Day14

    Grimsel pass

    July 28, 2017 in Switzerland ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    After the Rhonegletscher, it was back down the valley and over the Grimsel Pass at 7100 ft (2164m) on the opposite side of the valley. Nice misty pass at the top, temperature changed from 27.5C to 10.5C in the cloud .

  • Day14

    Rhonegletscher

    July 28, 2017 in Switzerland ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    After the Aletsch glacier it's onwards up the Rhone valley, to where it's very narrow, and very twisty roads. A huge scar shows where the Rhonegletscher ice used to be in very recent history. The Belvedere hotel sits near the glacier and in the 1930's the glacier ice was at the same height as the road to the hotel.

    Dust on the ice absorbs the heat more, increasing the melt. On some parts special white sheets have been laid on the glacier, slowing the ice melt by about 10m height compared with non-protected ice. The sheet covered ice allows it to be stabilised somewhat, enabling access to ice tunnels which are bathed in a blue light. This is the filtered sunlight, and is only observed about 15m below the surface.

    In 1870 the ice reached the bottom of the valley, where the small river almost reaches the twisty road.
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  • Day14

    Aletsch glacier

    July 28, 2017 in Switzerland ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    And at the end of the gondola, what a view. The Aletsch glacier, the largest in the Alps at 23km long, 1km deep at the deepest. Stunning views everywhere and the clouds disappear as we get there.

    Four smaller glaciers converge at Concordia Place. On a very clear day you can see fourteen peaks over 4000m (13,100 ft) . One of those is the Matterhorn way off to the west.Read more

  • Day14

    Fiesch

    July 28, 2017 in Switzerland ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

    Day two in Valais. A night in Sion before heading eastward up the Rhone valley to see two glaciers, the spectacular Aletsch glacier and the Rhonegletscher.

    Both have been affected by global warming, but the rapid decline of the Rhonegletscher is quite staggering, and sobering.

    Gondola from Fiesch up to the viewpoint is a 5700 ft (1730m) ascent.Read more

  • Day13

    Notre-Dame de Montorge

    July 27, 2017 in Switzerland ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Then it was onto Sion. It’s known for 2 hilltop fortifications: the 13th-century Tourbillon Castle ruins and the Valère Castle complex, with a basilica housing an organ over 500 years old. The 15th-century Cathedral of Notre-Dame-du-Glarier and the conical Witches’ Tower are in the old town.

    When we arrived we walked/hiked up to a 792m hilltop overlooking the airport and city. On it was the ruins of an old fort called Notre-Dame de Montorge.
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  • Day13

    Lac Souterrain

    July 27, 2017 in Switzerland ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Once off the train it was down twisty roads to the valley below. We stopped at Lac Souterrain at Saint-Léonard. The subterranean lake is located along the Rhone valley, between Sion and Sierre in the heart of the Swiss Alps.

    With a length of around 300 meters this is the largest natural underground lake in Europe which can be explored by boat.Read more