Footloose in Switzerland
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- included in the DVD are not just the trails, but interviews and special features
FLOWERS, LACE AND STEAMSHIPS
Footloose in Switzerland
~ 2 films on one DVD
Part one~Lauterbrunnental and
Kleine Scheidegg, THE DETAILS...
The village of Lauterbrunnen, with Wengen and Mürren, situated in the picture-perfect glacial valley set among lofty snowcapped peaks, mountain meadows and over 60 waterfalls, is the base for two spectacular walks.
The first is an easy walk along the Lauterbrunnen glacial valley floor, past wonderful flower-decked Swiss houses, farms and a host of amazing waterfalls. Eventually you reach the mighty and extremely noisy Trummelbach falls which are actually inside the rock. Give your ears a break and visit the teashop here before continuing up the pretty valley which ends at Stechelburg... there is a bus service to take you back to charming Lauterbrunnen. A cable car en route can take you much higher to the Schilthorn - Piz Gloria for spectacular mountain 360° views.
The second recommended walk is high in the Bernese Oberland where stunning alpine flowers grow in abundance, and is served by the delightful electric cog railways. Firstly it's rail up to the winter ski resort of Wengen, where you board a cable car. This takes you much higher to a series of perfectly kept footpaths, all with excellent waymarking at Männlichen. Our walk is spectacular but with a low gradient and not at all strenuous to Kleine Scheidegg, a famous Swiss railway junction in the saddle between the mountains Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. This is where you can take the amazing (and expensive) train ride to the Jungfraujoch - "Top of Europe". Here you can see the Sphinx observatory building, the Ice Palace, Husky sled rides, and the plateau for walks in eternal snow.
Then under the shadow of the mighty Eiger you can take the walk the long way down 1000 metres to Grindelwald with superb views of glaciers and valleys that make this area so special. A little train gets you back to Lauterbrunnen.
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Part two~Discovering Lucerne, THE DETAILS...
Lucerne lies at the geographical heart of Switzerland; medieval bridges span the river Reuss and palaces, churches and spires fill the skyline. There is a simple trail to be made through the ancient streets and along the city walls. The best place to start is at the Kappellbrüke, the ancient wooden bridge over the river Reuss, known for its paintings inside its roof. Then along the riverside past the pristine churches, chapels and museums to Spreuerbrüke, the mill bridge, with more paintings and a chapel in the middle. Then up you go to the old city wall, built in 1400. As well as some superb views, the wall-walk has a number of different towers along it, each with its own history.
Walking down to the old city there are picture-perfect painted houses everywhere you look and a number of squares with cafes and bars, all clean and perfectly restored Swiss-style. Walking out of the old part you can find the most unusual Glacier garden. The weird rock formations were discovered whilst digging foundations for a wine cellar in 1872. Other unusual tourist attractions close by are the Dying Lion Monument and the giant Bourbaki Panorama... remains of the 19th century tourism boom in Lucerne. Queen Victoria was known to have loved the area, and made many visits.
One of the main attractions of Lucerne is the famous Swiss Transport Museum nearby. You can walk by the lake or take a short bus ride there. A complete history of steam and electric trains, cable cars, ships, aeroplanes, classic cars and much more make for a world- class display.
No visit to this beautiful city is complete without a nostalgic steamship cruise on its wide blue lake, cradled by magnificent mountain scenery. You can spend all day on a hop-on hop-off tour visiting the little lakeside villages en route. The best view of all is the approach back to Lucerne with its twin-spired cathedral dominating the skyline.
MORE IN DEBRA'S DIARY
|East European Cities|
|Classic Tour Scotland|
|London II Unusual|
|Italy III Campania|
|Italy IV TuscanyRome|
|Italy V South&Sicily|
|England Lake District|
|Oxford & York|
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information & links:
Climate ~ Bernese Oberland
Our Lauterbrunnen trails plotted on Google maps
Jungfrau region map with webcams
http://www.myjungfrau.ch Really good site with accommodation options.
Our Lucerne walking trail plotted on Google maps
Swiss Transport Museum
www.swisstravelsystem.ch all you need to know about the trains, boats and buses and their times.
We recommend hotel bookings by www.expedia.co.uk
Swiss Francs are the currency. Like the UK they didn't take the Euro option!
Lauterbrunnen's nearest Airport is Berne, which is small, and there are no direct flights from the UK. Other larger Swiss airports with a rail connection might give more choice. Although Lucerne does not have an airport, the proximity of Zurich International Airport makes flying there the best option. Train travel is also convenient, with services arriving from all over Europe. Lucerne is also at the centre of a major motorway convergence and driving across France is generally straightforward, while buses offer the cheapest option for getting there.
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