Switzerland in 24 Hours

Last weekend hubby and son spent their weekend with two dozen other Dads and Kids at their annual retreat. 

I took the opportunity to work on my August Photo Blogging Challenge on "The Written Word". I needed to go visit the LOVE sculpture, and while I was at it, there were a couple of other bucket list items I wanted to go see.

First things first though. They say on road trips you should stop and stretch your legs every hour. I did so at the most scenic rest area (that I know of). 

Colourful cows, gorgeous view, a quiche for lunch - I was doing pretty well!

Can you find your language?

La Gruyère at canton of Fribourg

Next stop Montreux at canton of Vaud, famous for its annual Jazz Festival. Superstars like Phil Collins, Elton John, Sting, ZZ Top, Tom and Quincy Jones and many, many more performed this summer. 

Montreux was also home to Freddie Mercury.

He and his band mates had their recording studio in Montreux. It's where they recorded their album "Jazz". 

At the casino there is a free exhibition called "the Queen Experience" that I visited.

I didn't spend too much time there, but if I did, I could have listened to their songs, read Freddie's hand written lyrics and touched their actual mixing gadgets.

It was a gorgeous Saturday afternoon, and Montreux is also known for its breathtaking lakeside area called "Montreux Riviera", and rightly so. During summer they have artists display their sculptures.

Stratos, "La Douceur d'Aimer" (the sweetness of loving)

Gotta love flamingoes in Lake Geneva

La Grande Envolée by Isabelle Thitgès

That weekend there was also a car meet / race going on. The historic alpine challenge is a rally-ballade for classic cars and GT automobiles. 3-days discovery tour through French speaking Switzerland with start in Villars.

Belle Epoque steamboat fleet - very relaxing.

I don't know of any place that sells fresh churros in all of the German speaking part. Gotta come to the French speaking part!

I had a hard time leaving this place - I have to come back here every time I miss California!

Next stop: medieval Château de Chillon, built in the 12th century, can you even imagine?

Next stop: Martigny at canton of Valais. Roman town and home to the Fondation Pierre Gianadda, art collection and sculptures park. 

Currently they're mainly exhibiting Rodin and Giacometti.

The sculptures live there permanently, though, and the giant letters spelling LOVE were the main goal of my trip! Up to a few years ago I had no clue there was a Robert Indiana LOVE sculpture at my very own country, Switzerland!

Joan Miro's Tête (Head) and Cesar's Pouce (Thumb)

Niki de Saint Phalle's "Les Beigneurs" (the bathing ones)

Jean Arp's "Roué Oriflamme"

I had to wrap it up, though, and be on my way to Täsch, at canton of Valais, I was a bit shocked that this was still a 100+ km (65 miles and change) trip. It got worse when some stretches of the freeway were closed for construction. When I finally made it to the Park and Ride in Täsch, I just about missed my train and had to wait for 20 minutes.

Zermatt, my end destination is completely car-free. The only vehicles you can see on the village streets are horse carriages (as tourist attractions, not for some Amish reasons) and electromobiles. Actually you have to be very careful not to be hit by one, some of them drive like a bat out of hell. 

Anyway. It had begun to rain. I totally didn't expect that. I didn't exactly know where my accommodation was (but I wasn't going to hire a scooter!) so using Google maps and periodically wiping my display dry, I hauled my carry-on through the village.

What the app didn't know was that my place for the night was almost literally under the bridge. The entrance is on your right, where you can see some people walking by the red flowers.

I mean I kinda knew it because the description said "no view", and considering the price I assumed it was a basement room, and I expected the worst. So I was actually positively surprised. The rooms looked newly renovated and were very clean. 

Also the rain had stopped, and after cleaning myself up I made my way to dinner.

Zermatt is a very popular mountain destination, especially for Japanese tourists, but also for Swiss people like me. The downside being it's crowed, expensive, and you practically need a dinner reservation, even if it's "just me"! 

Wow, who knew! Two places - one of which was called "say cheese" sent me away. "Sorry, we're fully booked." 

I was not going to McD! When in the Valais mountains you have to have a Fondue or a Raclette, and that's what I did after some more waking around:

While the crowds were partying the night away, I went to sleep, hoping for the clouds to disappear by morning, and that's what they did.

Sunday morning the village was pretty much empty. The hikers had already left, and the party people were still asleep. So calm and peaceful!

Look at this blue sky! Bye-bye, Matterhorn!

I wasn't gong to drive the same route to get home. There is this thing we call "Autoverladung" - car shuttle train, and it is exactly what the name says: you load your car onto a train. 

It looks like fun as long as you're in broad daylight, but wait till you enter the tunnel. Creeeeepy!

So glad I got out again. Shortly after disembarking, there's this touristy spot we always use to skip - because, touristy, = tacky,  right? But hey, if not today, then when was I going to check out the Blue Lake?

A short hike through the woods alongs some impressive erratic boulders, here it was! The most amazing clear water! I wouldn't exactly call it blue, but hey, let's not split hairs.

The fish you may spot are trouts, they may be the true reason for people stopping here ;-)

This was my 24 hours' trip, I hope you enjoyed traveling with me!


  1. Thanks for the tour of your beautiful country! You visited some fascinating places. The Blue Lake reminds me of the similarly named "Blue Eye" in Albania.

  2. I love the statues and had no idea there were trains were you stayed seated in your car once they were loaded! Pretty scenery.

  3. You live in such a gorgeous country! That car train is the strangest and coolest thing I’ve ever seen! (Rena)

  4. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL images. I love all the sculptures but I especially love 'The Sweetness od Loving'. Thank you for this tour, make me want to go there!

  5. Loved all the pictures and the sculptures - we have the cows here in Australia too - they were a real tourist attraction a few years ago where every town in the Southwest of Western Australia had at least one decorated to their own particular theme.


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