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Grand tour of Switzerland

Text and Photos: Markus Hilzinger | Berlin 2020

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Our Grand Tour starts in Zurich and continues with a train of the SBB, for German standards of unknown punctuality, in the direction of Sankt Gallen.

After a short stage above the enchanting city with its world-famous Abbey Library, a world heritage site, the journey continues towards Ticino.

Past the Principality of Liechtenstein, with a stopover in the spa town of Bad Ragatz and the famous Quellenhof, we cross the San Bernadino Tunnel and reach another, more Italian southern world at the other end of the light. In the Bellevue San Bernadino, the cappuccino seems to be just as enjoyable as in Milan on the Piazza san Babila.

The scenery of the mountains is becoming ever softer and more Mediterranean, the air seems to smell of citrus fruits even here.

Along the Moesa river, past reservoirs, waterfalls and castles on towards Italy, past Bellinzona and Locarno and Ascona, our next stop is Brissago.

Lying on large stones by the lake, jumping into the refreshing coolness of Lake Maggiore and in the evening eating a fantastic cold vegetable soup in the romantic bay below the chapel in Kalea.

Life can be so wonderful. Absolutely worth seeing and probably one of the most romantic places in Switzerland is the Isola di Brissago.

The hotel is so wonderfully located, surrounded by beautiful gardens and views, only the interior alone is so disappointing, what a pity. In general the Lago, the Long Lake, is so enchanting, if the lights around the lake go on at dusk, it gets something magical.

A day trip to the world famous Verzasca Valley is also a must. An impressive dam, an architectural highlight with probably one of the most dangerous bungee jumps in Europe, attracts many onlookers.

Continuing on towards Sognongo, you can enjoy a wonderful swim and the coolness of the Verzasca. In general, this valley is a highlight of Swiss nature and lets our soul forget all stress very quickly.

Our next destination is Interlaken. We crossed the Lepontine Alps on fantastic pass roads with such incredible views and reached the city between the two big lakes.

The luxury hotel Viktoria Jungfrau, Lake Brienz and Lake Thun, and especially the views of the Jungfrau ,Eiger and Mönch ensemble make you something very unique.

We continue through central Switzerland and the Bernese Oberland along the Aare and reach the Swiss capital.

The World Cultural Heritage city of Bern is beautiful, arcades like those in Bologna form the pedestrian streets of the Old Town. Not chains of big brands, but individually decorated shops with great offers, coffee houses like in Vienna or rather French-influenced, invite you to stay, the terraces at the cathedral offer wonderful cozy places and the river is not a river in itself. No, it is a place of longing and belongs to the coolest rivers worldwide.

Entrusting oneself to the strong current of a river, with an incredible emerald green colouring, the swimmer is drawn between medieval arched bridges, always strengthened, into the maelstrom of a completely different city tour.

A swim bag is recommended, because missing the red poles marking the exit can be dangerous. An incredible cooling pleasure in summer.

Now we go back to the starting point and enjoy the Swiss part of Lake Constance between Heiden, the beautiful white Biedermeier town and Rorschach am See.

Switzerland enchants with unbelievable alpine nature, with Mediterranean lakes and fantastic hospitality.

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