Switzerland
Valais

Here you’ll find travel reports about Valais. Discover travel destinations in Switzerland of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

107 travelers at this place:

  • Day86

    The Top Of Europe! Jungfrau!

    September 11, 2017 in Switzerland

    Such an amazing day! Wonderful weather! Today we drove through green Swiss pastures with beautiful wooden chalets to Grindelwald to catch 2 trains to the 'Top Of Europe' - Jungfraujoch- 3454 metres up- The snow capped peak of Jungfrau is right there! The train travelled almost vertically at times! At the top there is the High Altitude Research Station, the the Ice Palace- ice carvings (freezing) and amazing views including over the glacier. We walked out onto the snow to see breathtaking views. The weather was perfect- apparently such clear views don't happen very often so we were so, so lucky. Problem- altitude sickness! Not pleasant but so worth it!!!!Read more

  • Day98

    Jungfraujoch - Top of Europe

    September 12, 2017 in Switzerland

    Today we made a spontaneous decision to do the Jungfrau Railway's "Top of Europe" trip from Grindelwald to Jungfraujoch, Europe's highest-altitude railway station, at 3454 metres above sea level. What a great time we had. The weather could not have been better. A little altitude sickness stopped Rozzie and me for a bit - a sit down with cake and cuppa solved that! I was out of control with the photo-taking - amazing views from the Sphinx observatory terrace (3571m above sea level) and the ice palace was "cool"! We finished the day with a stroll around Grindelwald. A perfect day!Read more

  • Day90

    Schilthorn

    September 15, 2017 in Switzerland

    Waited 3 days for a clear day to take our trip up the Schilthorn and so pleased that we did. Early start with frost, a little light snow and clear skies! 2 chair lift rides to the top and breathtaking view across the Alps and down into the valley. You have a 360deg view from the lookout and the revolving restaurant 'Piz Gloria' at the top. Freezing cold, predicted ti be -6. Piz Gloria was used in the James Bond Movie 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' and 007 features prominently in all things on Schilthorn! By the time we had reached our halfway cable change on the way down, cloud had started to blow out in.Read more

  • Day91

    Thrill walk- Birg

    September 16, 2017

    On the descent from Schilthorn we stopped at Birg to do the Chain suspension Bridge Walk. At an altitude of 2677 metre the Chain Bridge is suspended over the edge of the cliff! I'm not yet sure just how I managed to get myself to walk the bride! By this stage the cloud had started to set into the valley below. It was a 'thrill' but just a 'tiny' bit scary!

  • Day138

    Champoussin, Switzerland

    September 16 in Switzerland

    We are staying in at a ski resort in the Swiss Alps for a week. It is absolutely gorgeous! The first two pictures are views of our resort area.

    The drive from the valley town of Monthey up to where we are staying is about 30-40 minutes uphill. Our GPS directed us the back way so it was even narrower and we white-knuckled it up here. Then when we checked in we found out there is a better way.

  • Day140

    Champery, Switzerland

    September 18 in Switzerland

    Champery, along with our little village, Champoussin, are two of the 13 resorts in the international ski area, Ports du Soleil. The area straddles the French-Swiss border, and is the second largest ski area in the world. We visited the town because we needed to go to the post office for a Motorway Tax sticker for our windshield, and we were glad we went. It is a beautiful area with a steep-sided canyon wall next to a river.Read more

  • Day8

    The Matterhorn

    September 11 in Switzerland

    Today has been another busy day. I’m currently sitting in the garden on the Alpenrose Hotel in Wengen writing this. It’s 6:30pm and the sun is just disappearing behind a mountain. I can hear cowbells.

    Today was purely set aside for travel from Zermatt to Wengen but when I looked at the travel time (3 hours) and the checkin time (4-7) I realised I had time to look around the Zermatt area. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to do both Gornergrat and Kleine Matterhorn. Gornergrat offered better views but Kleine Matterhorn offered snow to touch (and a different, some say disappointing view of the Matterhorn). I went with the experts on TripAdvisor and took the cog railway to Gornergrat. My cabin on the train was filled with Americans on a National Geographic tour. Fortunately they had a very loud and informative tour guide so I got the info as well.

    It took about half an hour to get up to the top. It’s 3135m at the top and for the first time I notice the thinness of the air. My walking poles came in very handy for the short walks I did at the top. My knees have been giving me a lot of trouble the whole trip but the poles definitely make it easier on my knees.

    The views were spectacular. I can see why the Matterhorn was a challenge to be conquered but (from a distance anyway) it looks like sheer rock. I had a 360 degree view and the photos I took will not do the views justice. I did however finally learn how to take a panoramic photo on my phone. I’ve only had my phone for 2 years.

    On the way back to the hotel I came across the Zermatt graveyard. One section is for graves and memorials to those who have died while climbing in the region. Apparently a group of 7 where the first to get to the top of the Matterhornin 1865. One member slipped on the way down and took three others with him. The rope broke or all would have been killed. The graveyard was quite poignant.

    I had stored my luggage at the hotel while I did this so I returned to the hotel to pick it up and got a lift to the station. Apparently they are only allowed to pick up/drop you off at the station when you check in or out. The station was only a 15 min walk so easy without luggage. As I was waiting for the driver a man came to the desk and was wanting a lift to the station. When it was explained they weren’t allowed to give him one he asked for a taxi. The receptionist said by the time it arrived he could walk there plus it would cost 15-18 Swiss francs. I told him I had just walked it no trouble so he grudgingly decided to walk. I left him demanding instructions on how to get there. Google maps is great!

    I had just over half an hour before my train so I had lunch at an Italian place at the railway station. The wait staff seemed to be speaking Italian so I ordered Gorgonzola gnocchi. It was very nice.

    The trip from Zermatt to Wengen was mainly uneventful. It was quite hot. I’d worn my jacket up to Gornergrat but as soon as I did some walking I took it off and didn’t put it back on again. It was apparently zero degrees at Gornergrat. As I’ve said before the cold is very different to the cold at home.

    I spent most of the trip trying to undo the padlock on my suitcase. I’m travelling with a suitcase, backpack and handbag. To carry my walking sticks I use my backpack to I emptied it and only put in the things I would need today. As I was checking out I put my handbag in my suitcase. Absentmindedly I put my purse with the key for the suitcase lock in my handbag which I only realised once I’d locked my case. The owner of the hotel managed to open the lock with a pair of pliers which made me wonder about the effectiveness of the lock. All good? Yeah it would have been but I tested the lock and it seemed to work so I put it back on my suitcase. I used it again at the train station with no problems. Once on the train I tried to open the lock to get my iPad out and realised it was broken. Of course I did what most people do, kept trying and trying and trying, getting more frustrated in the process. I debated trying to find someone in Interlaken to remove it but I was hot, tired and frustrated so I left it until I got to to the hotel.
    The porter had no problem using his hacksaw to remove the lock. He’s done it before.

    On the train from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen I sat next to a Canadian woman. She heard me call the hotel to ask them to pick me up from the train station and did the same. She is staying at the same hotel as me. We had a lovely chat on the way up. She’s visiting her nephew who lives in Zurich and is just staying two nights.
    We are going to have dinner together shortly as we both have half board (breakfast and dinner). Half board is great. I had it last night in Zermatt and you get a 4 or 5 course meal with only two choices. Last night I was so tired it was lovely to not to have to think too hard about what I wanted to eat. I even chose the tomato soup of the beef carpaccio which normally I would have because it is something different. One of the courses is also salad. Last night they called it a rich salad buffet. I rolled my eyes. It it was rich. They had a prawn salad as well as 7 or 8 other creamy salads plus plain salad veg. I would have been just happy with the salad course.

    Time to go inside as it’s starting to get cold. I’m just waiting for Irene to come down so we can have dinner.

    All the photos except the last are of the Matterhorn.
    Read more

  • Day141

    Great St Bernard Pass

    September 19 in Switzerland

    Dean drove us to the top of the Great St Bernard Pass, which is 8100 ft elevation. It was originally used as a Roman trade route between Italy and Gaul (France and much of mid-Europe). It was crossed by Napoleon and his troops in 1800 as it was the easiest way across the Alps. The pass is also famous for the hospice (refuge) at the top, built by St Bernard in 1049, to provide hospitality to travelers on the very difficult route. The statue of St Bernard shows him slaying the devil (representing the hazards of the trip).

    St. Bernard dogs were bred by the monks in the 1800s to help them find lost travelers. There are some St Bernards at the top of the mountain but of course, they are not used for rescue anymore. They are for photo ops.
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  • Day9

    Jungfraujoch

    September 12 in Switzerland

    Last night after discussion with Irene (the lady I met on the train) and checking the weather we decided to book the train to Jungfraujoch. The Jungfrau is the highest mountain around here.
    We started out by taking the train to Kleine Scheidegg then changed rains to Jungfraujoch. From Wengen it took about an hour, the last 20 minutes or so through a tunnel.

    I was writing this in the lounge of the hotel but then Irene and I started discussing our plans for tomorrow and I got sidetracked. Irene is returning to Zurich tomorrow but as it’s only a two hour and a half hour trip she was trying to decide what to do. I’m hoping to do a circuit on the other side of the Lauterbrunnen valley that involves buses, trains, cable cars, hopefully some walking and waterfalls. Providing the weather cooperates (it is thunderstorming at the moment) and Irene will probably join me.

    Anyway back to today. Jungfraujoch is simply amazing. I don’t have enough superlatives to describe it. There’s a lot to do up there. They have an observation deck that gives you 360 degree views. From there we went to the snow fun. Walking on packed snow in sneakers was not easy. Where are my nailed boots when I need them?
    I made it the two metres or so down the incline to some deck chairs. We sat in them, with cold backsides from the cold coming up from the snow and warm faces and legs from the sun beating down. We couldn’t have asked for better weather. There were people zip lining and well as on donuts, skis and something that looked like a tiny ride on mower with no engine.
    From there we went to the Alpine sensation which was just weird. They had various wood carvings and an alpine display in a dome. We went through much of that on travelaters. Then the ice palace and theat was COLD. The floor was icy but not necessarily ice. There were various ice sculptures throughout. From there it was the Lindt store where I didn’t buy anything but did see how they get the liquid inside the balls. We got a Lindt ball as we left the shop. We had some lunch and then came back don to Wengen. The ticket checker on the train gave everyone a Lindt ball as he checked their tickets. While waiting in line for the toilet the woman in front of me said “I recognise you.” Unfortunately I couldn’t say the same until she reminded me they had sat across the aisle from me for part of the way on the Glacier Express. They are also staying in this hotel but I didn’t see them at dinner.

    Irene and I parted ways, she got off in Wengen and I kept going to Lauterbrunnen. I knew if I went back to the hotel I’d just have a nap and I wanted to make the most of the beautiful day. At Lauterbrunnen I walked to the other end of the village to the Staubbach falls. At nearly 300m are simply stunning. I was there quite a while before returning to the station and back to Wengen.

    Irene is lovely, she Canadian and also a solo traveller so we’ve compared notes on what its like. Fortunately we seem to be interested in the same things so travelled well together. See does seem to regard me as a bit of an expert on all things Wengen and surrounds which is a bit of a worry when all I am is quoting TripAdvisor a lot of the time.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Canton du Valais, Wallis, Valais, Vallese, 발레 주, Vallais

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