During the 2014 holidays I circled around Switzerland. The route was as follows: a night train to Basel, from there over the Jura ridges, around Lake Neuchâtel, second time over the Jura to France, just under the Fort de Joux border fortress, back to Switzerland around Lake Joux. From there downhill and towards Fribourg, around the lakes of Interlaken, over the Brünig Pass and through valleys of several successive lakes, including the Vierwaldstättersee and the Zurich see, then around Rhine to the Bodensee. And then just via Memmingen, Augsburg, Regensburg and Domažlice straight home.
The beginning was not entirely as planned: I left the sunny homeland, just have a start of rain already the first night I was on the train. In Basel, I waited a while under a roof, to see if the weather is going to change its mind – it did, but only three days later. Especially in the watchmakers’ valley around Lac de Joux, all the time above 1000 m, I was in vain searching through the rain and cold to find the hot summer which the calendar promissed. But it was definitely compensated by the landscape, all the lakes, and the oh-so-overly-tidy villages sunk between the mountains – all of which, of course, looked still better when bathing in a sunshine the following days.
Following the trip experience, besides the beautiful valleys, lakes and mountain views, I can add a few less traditional reasons to go around Switzerland:
- a record in the number of countries traveled in 10 days (Switzerland, in Basel a look over the river to France and Germany, France, Switzerland, then speeding up: Liechtenstein – within a few hours traveled all the way through, including tourist stops, Austria, for the last time Switzerland, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bavaria, the Czech Republic);
- when crossing the border to France or Germany, you want to enjoy this posh feeling of “what a poor and untreated region I have just entered”;
- an interesting Swiss approach to defense: behind the village barn a military airport wedged just between the barn and a nearby mountain slope, at the town’s crossroad a traffic sign advising “give way to tanks”, between the houses nuclear shelters;
- after the Czech training: unbelievably decent drivers and truckers on unbelievably high-quality, bike-ready roads;
- and did anyone mention yet those valleys, lakes and mountains?
Uf Wiederluege / Au revoir.