The light in Switzerland is really like none other I’ve experienced. The air is so clean and clear in those glorious Heidi-like mountain villages. Occasionally, a light mist hangs and does special effects for your camera. The landscape, dotted with sheep, is some of the most beautiful in the world, but the rural culture and the people are memorable as well and you will always long to return.
Switzerland’s shops and village stores, both quaint and trendy side by side, are a treat for the senses. Window shopping is amazing! They have a strong national identity in their dress, both men and women. Isn’t it fun to see what is done in other cultures?
The Swiss love embroidery and details. Colors are vibrant and skillfully used. The arts and love of beauty are held in high regard. There are no billboards or gaudy neon signs.
This is in the heart of ski country, but autumn is off-season. The villages were really peaceful and not touristy at all, which was to our liking.
Switzerland is known for its rural charm and fresh air, the hardy citizens, sustainable agriculture, its military prowess, its wonderful cheeses and pastries, its neutrality and its banks, skiing, and now the ban on GMOs. Every male citizen is required to train in the militia reserves from age 20 – 30. Each such individual is required to keep his army-issued personal weapon and ammunition at home to use in case of invasion. Crime is very low.
Early in the morning and late afternoon you would hear a distant clanging of dairy cows wending their way to be milked at the village dairy. It made you think maybe someone was beating pots and pans in a kitchen nearby.
They not only walk the side roads, but stop cars and buses for long distances coming and going to show and to milk their gentle Brown Swiss cows in co-operative dairies.
The region is known for rural customs and traditions such as the ceremonial descent of the cattle in autumn and cultural events such as folk music and rustic dances, as well as hiking and biking.
The Swiss are very fit; it is common to see many people out long distances with their walking sticks. This couple was undoubtedly cutting and raking grass for their herd.
We spent most of our time in Interlaken, considered to be the adventure capital of Switzerland with its more than 45 mountain railways, cable cars, chair lifts and ski lifts lead the adventurous to 150 miles of slopes and a dense network of hiking trails. Every day in the winter season, visitors benefit from the city’s central location by being able to choose from several different area ski regions.
Interlaken, in Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland Region between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, is presided over by the three mighty mountains: the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.
Our sons took a whole day making it to the top of the smaller Schwarzhorn (Grindelwald).
The following photos were taken by our sons on the way up Schwarzhorn! Above the tree line…
View of the Eiger (higher still at 13025 ft.) from their path.
Atop the Schwarzhorn (relatively low at 9606 ft.) overlooking an adjacent clouded-over valley. A good day’s hike…they were very tired when they returned! Where we were the sun was shining with few clouds.
Wait, there is more; this is just a lead-up to tomorrow’s post on Heaven, and it is not just someone’s vacation pictures!
“The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it…
Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD?
Who may stand in his holy place?
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not trust in an idol
or swear by a false god.” ~Psalm 24: 1-4
Thanks for reading!