Windows

On a recent hike in the canton of Jura, Switzerland, we ended in the town of St. Ursanne, a medieval walled-in town with a 12 century church.  This unique area is considered the Jewel of the Jura, and a quick visit, it is easy to see why.  Fascinating architecture, set in the midst of the Jura white stone mountains, is almost a step back in time.  Below are the windows of the cloister next to the church.

2017-09-23-StUrs_142e

This post is part of the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Windows

Advertisements

Römerfest MMXVII (2017)

The annual Römerfest takes place in the town of Augst, Switzerland every August.  A short 20 minute bus ride from Basel will get you to the town of Augst, a modern town built on the roman ruins of Augusta Raurica, the oldest known Roman colony on the Rhine river.  Römerfest, is a two day event which provides visitors with much to see and do including family chariot races, concerts, dancing, crafts, war training, history and archeology, and gladiator fights.  It is certainly an interesting event to witness, and if you have ever read the cartoons Asterix and Obelix, then you may find yourself naming the many participants.  A bit of fun in the captions below.  If you are in the Basel area in August, be sure to make your way to this event!

Botanical Macro

The Merian Gärten is perhaps one place in Basel, Switzerland we frequent the most.  All throughout the year, one can find many varieties of flowers, plants and trees.  On a recent visit this August, armed with just a macro lens, we set off to see what we could capture.  The details, textures, and structures are always captivating.  Here is just a sampling from our visit.

This post is part of the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Structure

Bettmeralp

Alestch Glacier, Bettmeralp, More2Explore, More 2 Explore, Glaciers, Swiss AlpsBettmeralp is a tiny, car – free town and nothing short of sweet. Like taking a bite of a deliciously ripe summer fruit, this is a town you wish to absorb and allow the juices to linger a bit longer on the palate.

At first, as we slowly walked through the town, I admired its charm; the church perched perfectly on a grassy hill with impeccable views, the hotel that was beyond perfect and the weather that offered warm days and crisp, cool nights. But the town wasn’t the only thing that made this area perfect, for the magic was high up in the mountains, cascading down the valley.

Alestch Glacier, Bettmeralp, More2Explore, More 2 Explore, Glaciers, Swiss Alps

The Aletsch Glacier (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) fills the valley with (23km) of ice (27 billion tons to be exact) from the Jungfrau area all the way down to the Massa Gorge. This glacier is simultaneously inspirational and heart breaking.

Alestch Glacier, Bettmeralp, More2Explore, More 2 Explore, Glaciers, Swiss Alps

The hikes available in the area were all picturesque pushing walkers to stop, take a deep breath and enjoy the views. On a particular day, we made our way to the top of a peak only to be greeted by views that left us speechless, except for our daughter who turned to me and said, “Mom, this is stunning.” My heart echoed with her sentiment and in that moment, I felt grateful for her ability to “get it” at the innocent age of five and our willingness to push hard through the climbs for the views were a reward worth sweating for.

Alestch Glacier, Bettmeralp, More2Explore, More 2 Explore, Glaciers, Swiss Alps

Descending that mountain on that day left us with a deep sense of melancholy, for the fate of the worlds’ glaciers are volatile at best. We were blessed to be able to witness such immense splendor, yet humbled by the glacial retreat that was ever so present.

Alestch Glacier, Bettmeralp, More2Explore, More 2 Explore, Glaciers, Swiss Alps

More to come on, “Glaciers Will Break Your Heart.”

Is Bettmeralp child – friendly you might ask? Yes, indeed it is.  Our hotel was very accommodating to our needs as a family, some of the hikes were very easy with children, and Bettmersee was a great spot to play and linger.  There was also a fabulous outdoor play area for children and an indoor pool for less than perfect weather.  There is also an Alpmuseum at Hohfluh at the top of the lift, which is free of charge and worth the visit to educate adults and children alike on the world of glaciers.

In the Alps #8

The “Into the Alps” photo series are snapshots from various trips we have taken in the Alps. Although the photos are primarily in black and white, they aim to show the natural beauty of the Alps in areas which may be of interest to others. We hope you enjoy this series and that you follow us to be a part of the updates.

In the Alps, you are at the mercy of the elements in all of its forms, but while in them, you sometimes catch a glimpse of nature’s majestic beauty as we did one evening as the sun set and the mist lifted.  We stayed a few nights at Obersteinberg, a great Alpine Berghaus with expansive views at the end of a quite valley far past the tourist crowds of Lauterbrunen.

Obersteinberg - 2007-08-11 220e

This post is part of the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Elemental