A beautiful hike to Kronberg in the Appenzell region, under blue skies and with spring-like conditions.
Today I went hiking with a colleague from the University of St. Gallen, about an hour to the east of Zürich. Our goal was the summit of Kronberg, 1662m, with fabulous views of Mount Säntis and the Alpstein region to the south, and deep into the Swiss Alps to the west and the Austrian Alps to the east, as well as to the grand expanse of Lake Constance to the northeast. Read on and check out the gallery.
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Skiing at Flumserberg on a sunny day after an overnight snowfall.
The forecast promised the snow flurries would end around noon, and the clouds would clear to partly-sunny skies for the afternoon. That was good enough for Andy and me! We hopped on a late-morning train along the shores of beautiful lakes Zurichsee and Wallensee, and jumped off in Unterterzen. We walked across the street and climbed on the gondola, which whisked us steeply uphill past verdant green pastures and snug little cottages until the trees were dusted with last night’s snowfall. We arrived at the tiny village of Tannenboden, at the base of the Flumerserberg ski area, right at noon. After renting ski gear in a local shop, we were ready to go… just as the clouds parted and the sun broke through, illuminating the jagged mountain peaks across the valley. Spectacular! and it would only get better. Read on, and check out the gallery.
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A daytrip to Locarno, in the Italian section of Switzerland.
For our second day in the effort to ‘use up’ our Swiss rail pass, we chose Locarno. Not to be confused with Lugano, which we’d visited two weeks earlier, it is nonetheless in Ticino, the Italian section of Switzerland. It was Sunday, so things were pretty quiet, but there were many other families out for a stroll along the lakefront or for a coffee in the cafe. We had lunch in a lakefront restaurant, with a mix of tourists and locals. They have fresh truffle/pasta dishes to die for. The sun was strong, and the lake blue, and the surrounding mountains white capped. What’s not to like? Read on, and check out the photo gallery.
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A beautiful day to visit Lugano, in the Italian part of Switzerland.
The weather is often very different on the opposite side of Switzerland, because the country’s Alpine backbone breaks up the clouds and airflow patterns. On this cloudy day in Zürich we hopped a Eurocity train to Lugano, through the Gottard Base Tunnel (the longest railway tunnel in the world), and popped out into the sunshine on the Italian side of Switzerland. Once in the pretty lakeside city of Lugano, we walked the streets of old town, dined on pasta and pizza, and strolled along the lakeshore. I climbed up to Parco Panoramico, to catch some panoramic views across the lake and the city to the Alps beyond. Read on, and check out the gallery of photos.
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Three days, three visits to Zermatt – with very different views of the Matterhorn.
There are few scenes more glorious than the Matterhorn seen from the ski slopes of Zermatt, under sunny skies the day after a snowstorm. I snapped more than five hundred photos in under three days, and was spoiled by some of the best skiing I’ve ever encountered. Read on and check out the photo gallery for more.
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Another grand sunset above Zurich.
It appeared that another grand sunset was due to grace Zürich, so my father and I took the train to the top of Uetliberg to capture the view of the Alps. Here is one sample – but check out the gallery for my other favorite photos. If you’re interested in current conditions, check out the webcam view.
After an evening event speaking to Dartmouth alumni in Geneva, Mara and I had a day to explore the old town and lakefront area. We were fortunate to have a beautiful sunny day, with the city decorated for the Christmas season. Even with such a short visit I feel Geneva is different than Zurich – a different language on all the signs, of course, but also an even more international feeling. Geneva “hosts the highest number of international organizations in the world”, “including the headquarters of many agencies of the United Nations and the Red Cross.”
We wandered the streets of the old town, climbed the towers of Cathédrale de Saint Pierre, ate lunch in the pop-up Christmas Market in the park at la Promenade des Bastions, passed a memorial statue to the founder of the Red Cross, and walked along the lakeshore to view the iconic Jet d’eau and watch the swans (and swimmers!) at Bains des Paquis. We hopped the train back to Zürich before dark so we could view the Alps across the lake as the trained zipped along its northern shore.
A quick visit, but worthwhile. Will need to return someday!
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