Europe/South Africa Vacation

The Country Side, Switzerland

Saturday – From Zurich we headed west leaving the city behind and into the country. What scenery! The train wound through the mountains dotted with cute little villages in every valley. The majority of the houses are the old traditional dark wood with bright flowers in their flower boxes clustered in small groups around each train station. All the hill sides are covered with cleared meadows of lush green grass with cows and sheep or goats grazing. These meadows go right up the side of the mountain in small circular sections bordered with trees. So beautiful and restful as we watched the scenery float by from the train. Then through the mountains by tunnels, or switching back and forth seeing the same mountain peak several times from different angles as we made our way up and over. It was amazing to me to see houses so high on the mountain with their little meadow, how did they even get up there? No visible road, isolated on the side of the mountains. What a rugged people they must be to survive during the winter with everything covered in snow!

We passed the village where Beda and Isabelle were married, then stopped in Brig a village of 20,000 or so and toured a castle where the last member of the family still lived until 1955. Today it is government offices, private apartments and a museum. At lunch time we stopped at a cute little village and sat outside the church to eat a lunch of bread and cheese, cherry tomatoes and dried beef with apples and chocolate for desert – the standard picnic lunch around here. All the villages have at least one church, even the smallest village of 60 people. Our last stop was Luzern, a larger city where there is a famous covered bridge. Right in the middle of the bridge is a notorious prison tower, not open to the public, where very few survived their sentence. We are now in the Italian section of Switzerland so we had pizza sitting by the river. So lovely!

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