Showing posts from March, 2012

Day 8 – Lausanne (3)

After visiting the Lausanne Cathedral we walked further up the hill to the Ch âteau Saint-Maire. The Ch âteau 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.  Ch âteau Saint-Maire Ch âteau Saint-Maire Against the Ch âteau 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 14 th canton of Switzerland. Unfortunately he was captured and executed. Major Davel Then we walked down with the Escaliers du Marché stairs to Place de la Palud.   The Escaliers du Marché is a   covered flight of steps and was built in the 13 th century.   At the Place de la Palud  we saw the 17 th 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 Hist

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 16 th century bishop and is decorated with sculptures of biblical figures, saints, bishops and other creatures. Montfalcon Portal Montfalcon Portal 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. Nave  Columns Pulpit Apse ceiling and high altar 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 Montfal

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.   Mom in the Goldenpass Panoramic train 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.  Vine yards next to lake Geneve  Lake Geneve  At about 12:40 we arrived at Lausanne station.   We were now in the French speaking

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. Mulenen Station 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.) Inside Nieselbahn 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 a

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.  Schloss Thun Stadtkirche 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 s

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:  Chalet  Gondola coming up to Lauchernalp Langgletscher Bietschhorn 3934m high 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.   View of mountains in Thun We continued with our rest day.   I wrote