Showing posts from March, 2012

Day 8 – Lausanne (3)

After visiting the Lausanne Cathedral we walked further up the hill to the Château Saint-Maire.

The Château was built between 1397 and 1406 on bishop's orders to serve as their residence.  Currently is is used as the seat of the cantonal goverment of Vaud. 
Against the Château building is a statue of Major Davel.  He was a rebel who in 1723 called for the end to Bernese domination and to become the 14th canton of Switzerland. Unfortunately he was captured and executed. Then we walked down with the Escaliers du Marché stairs to Place de la Palud.The Escaliers du Marché is acovered flight of steps and was built in the 13th century.  At the Place de la Palud we saw the 17th century Rathaus (Town Hall) and copy of the Fontaine de la Justice (Fountain of Justice).Laurent Perroud and his son Jacques sculpted the column and the statue in 1584-85. The originals are held in the Lausanne History Museum. We walked with cobble stone roads through more of the old town.The buildings are beautiful.…

Day 8 – Lausanne (2) : Cathédrale Notre-Dame

We traveled to Lausanne on a very warm Tuesday (12 July 2011).After lunch we visited the Lausanne's Cathedral(Cathédrale Notre-Dame).The construction of this beautiful gothic cathedral began in 1175 and it was consecrated in 1275.
We entered the cathedral through the Montfalcon Portal.The doorway is named after a 16th century bishop and is decorated with sculptures of biblical figures, saints, bishops and other creatures. We walked down the nave with wonderful columns.The Apse ceiling in the east end with the stained glass windows was beautiful.The pulpit from 1666 is attached to one of the columns in the nave.The cathedral has a beautiful big organ.  We went to the south portal known as the Portail Peint or Painted Portal.It was built between 1225 and 1235 by Jean Cotereel.The portal was the main entrance until the Montfalcon portal was built in 1515-1517.The west side shows prophets and precursors of Christ. The north side is decorated with three scenes glorifying the Virgin. The …

Day 8 – Lausanne (1)

On 12 July 2011 we were up early.At 9:00 we went to the station.The train was about 5 minutes late.We had a connecting train at Spiez and had to organize that our connecting train wait.
We departed from Thun at 9:25 to Spiez.9:36 we arrived at Spiez and hurried to our next train, the Goldenpass train to Zweisimmen.We arrived at Zweisimmen at 10:18 and changed to the Goldenpass Panoramic train.We left at 10:26 and arrived in Montreux at about 12:15.  The Goldenpass Panoramic is another scenic train and has an extra window at the top to give you a great view of the mountains.  We changed trains again and traveled to Lausanne.  From Montreux the last 30 minutes of our journey  was next to Lake Geneva with vine yards on the hills.It was lovely. 

 At about 12:40 we arrived at Lausanne station.We were now in the French speaking part of Switzerland. The station was very busy because of a gymnastic competition.We found the information center and they gave us a map and suggested a route.…

Day 7 : Niesen

At 11:54 we (Me, my mom and sister in law Ariane) left from Thun station by train to Spiez.At Spiez we changed trains and rode to the Mülenen station. From the station it was a short walk to the Niesenbahn office.We bought tickets (for me and mom) to take the Niesenbahn to the top of the mountain while Erik and Ariane decided to walk up.

The Niesen is an interesting mountain because it is shaped in the form of a pyramid. The Niesenbahn funicular was completed in 1910.Next to the funicular is the longest staircase in the world with 11 674 steps.(I only learned of this after returning to South Africa.If I knew I would have taken a better look and maybe a photo.)
At 13:14 the funicular departed.We went up to the middle station, Schwandegg.It took about 14 minutes and we traveled from 693m to 1669m above sea level.At this station we changed to the next funicular and traveled 12 minutes to the top station, Niesen Kulm at 2336m above sea level.
We walked to the viewpoint and at the top of the …

Day 7 : Thun

Monday 11 July 2011 we woke up and relaxed in the house.At about 9:30 we walked with R & V from their apartment to Thun Altstad.We had to climb a lot of stairs to get to the Stadtkirche (City church).The church has a pretty tower and garden.There are graves with beautiful crosses between the plants around the church.Mom was so happy to be able to talk English that she had a long conversation with an American woman outside the church.  We walked to the Thun castle, Schloss Thun.  The Dukes of Zähringen built the castle shortly before 1200. Inside the castle is a museum and our Swiss pass worked again.It was free for us to enter but R & V had to pay CHF 8 each.We walked through the great hall.Then went downstairs to see displays of dolls, clocks and clothing.The towers were used as prison cells and the locks are still on the doors.We also went up some stairs to the military displays.I climbed some more stairs to the top of the towers.There was a beautiful view of Thun, the riv…

Day 6 : Lauchernalp

After a busy week Sunday 10 July 2011 was our rest day.We took our time getting up and had a relaxing morning at the chalet.My mom and I went for a little walk in the villiage and surroundings.We took some photos of the mountains an glacier. Back at the chalet we had to pack and clean before leaving for Thun.

Some photo’s of Lauchernalp:

At 13:10 we walked with all our luggage to the gondola.It was up a hill and we were out of breath when we reached the gondola. We went down to Wiler and from Wiler we took the bus to Goppenstein 14:01 we left on the train from Goppenstein to Thun.Ariane’s stepdad (R) picked us up at the station. After struggeling to fit all the bags in the car, we drove to their apartment.They have a lovely apartment with a very nice view of the Stockhorn mountain. We continued with our rest day.I wrote a postcard and then we watched some Tour de France.It was nice to visit with Ariane’s mom (V) and R but it was difficult with the different languages.
18:00 Ariane…