Valais Alps

Switzerland

Basel - Montreux - Brig/Nauters

Alternatively, we wanted to spend New Year’s Eve in the Alps. There was a risk of cloudy weather, but we should be lucky. Beautiful peaks and views for 4 days. Via Nuremberg, Karlsruhe and along the Black Forest we reached Basel in the early evening. A short walk in still cloudy weather through the beautifully lit city center to the Rhine ended the first day.

The next morning we took a guided tour through Basel. First we went to the cathedral with the beautiful cloisters, where Erasmus of Rotterdam is buried. From the Münsterterterraces you have a wide view over the city and the Rhine. The town hall with its red facade, a beautifully designed courtyard and the tower is an eye-catcher. On the battlements of the front house are the coats of arms of the 12 cantons. In addition, there were many beautiful things to discover, such as the Tinguely fountain with mechanical gimmicks. Economically, the pharmaceutical industry with enormous high-rise buildings determines the well-being of the people here.

Basel is considered the cultural capital of Switzerland, with tens of museums and a large art collection, and has the oldest university in the country, founded in 1460. The big names who taught there read like Who is Who of science: Erasmus of Rotterdam, Paracelsus, Bernoulli, Euler, Nietzsche, Jaspers etc. Around noon we headed towards Lake Geneva, passing Bern and Fribourg. A walk in the spa town of Montreux already had a Mediterranean flair. The promenade on the shores of Lake Geneva was wonderful: Freddie Mercury, who recorded his last tracks here and lots of imaginative garden art 🙂. Elegant hotel, residential buildings and the casino are located here. The latter, by the way, is said to have inspired after a fire Deep Purple's hit Smoke on the Water.

Zermatt - Glacierexpress

Afterwards the way led us past Martigny into the Rhône valley. The French and Valais Alps greeted us with the Alpine Glow in the evening glow and we ended the day in Brig/Naters. Zermatt on the Matterhorn is car-free, so the next day the bus took us through the Mattertal to Täsch and from there the train went to Zermatt. The 4,478m high Mountain of Mountains can already be seen from the village, but better from the Gornergrat. So we took the rack railway 1500 m up to the 3.089m high plateau. We spent some hours there in wonderful weather with a gigantic panorama on more than 20 four-thousanders, among them of course the Matterhorn.

The Dufourspitze, at 4634 m above sea level, is the highest mountain in Switzerland. Passing the mountain hotel with the domes of the observatories, we walk up to the platform at 3130 m above sea level. The view of the majestic mountain, beautiful light reflections and shadow games on the white ridges made us a wonderful day in the mountains. Back in the valley, we walked through Zermatt. Electric carts drive through the streets and many tourists strolled up Bahnhofstrasse. We also, past Nobel hotels and the marmot fountain. Unfortunately, there was no time for the Matterhorn Museum, besides many interesting facts about the mountain and mountain guides, there is also the cracked rope of the much-discussed first ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865.

On New Year’s Eve we indulged in a 5-course menu in the Glacier Express, but the disadvantage was that during the ride in the dark we didn’t see anything of the brilliant scenery that the train was passing through. Compensation for this is that we spent the turn of the year at the fireworks in Zermatt.

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