Monday, October 4, 2010


Now that we have toured Lucerne and Bern we are off to the Swiss Alps. My husband has hiked the Swiss Alps and says it is one of the most beautiful areas in the world. He told me stories of how friendly the Swiss were during his visit. They are a very kind and hospitable country. The Swiss Alps is a terrific destination to explore.

The Swiss Alps covers 65% of Switzerland. That's 2/3 of the country. Now imagine if 3% was covered in glaciers. That's very impressive. The countries that border this magnificent mountain range are France, Italy, Austria, and Liechtenstein.

The Alps are referred to in two main parts, the Western Alps and the Eastern Alps, they are divided along the Rhine from Lake Constance to the Spl├╝gen Pass. The western ranges make up the greatest part of Switzerland.

The Swiss Alps drains into the Rhine and Inn River (which is part of the Danube basin). The south side is mainly drained by the Ticino River (Po basin). Switzerland possesses 6% of Europe's fresh water supply. Switzerland has been called the, "water tower of Europe."

The highest summit in the Swiss Alps is Monte Rosa (15,202 ft). You can find this summit near the Swiss-Italian border. I had the opportunity to fly over the Monte Rosa on my way to Italy. How I wish I had been able to see Monte Rosa from the base. Although, it was still quite impressive from the sky.

The Matterhorn is located between Switzerland and Italy. Its peak is 14,692 ft.!!! It is one of the highest peaks in the Swiss Alps. The Matterhorn towers over the town of Zermatt (canton of Valais). It has become an iconic emblem of the Swiss Alps and attracts tourists and climbers from all over the world.

Not only tourists have been drawn to the beauty of the Swiss Alps but Hollywood too. Did you know that James Bond was filmed in Switzerland not for only one but two movies? And that there is a James Bond Mountain tour? Yes, you can find this tour in the village of Zermatt. They will take you on location where On Her Majesty's Secret Service was filmed. My husband and I are huge 007 fans and so this would be a real treat. I think I've seen this movie a zillion and one times as George Lazenby's rips through the powder in his wooden skis. Now the evil hide out has turned into a swanky restaurant. You can enjoy the scenery over a James Bond breakfast or lunch.

Another famous Bond movie Gold Finger (starring Sean Connery) was filmed in Switzerland. The aircraft factory was located just outside of Lucerne. Here's a fun clip of Bond in Switzerland.

My favorite part is at the very end of this youtube clip, "Never eject a Swiss."

I just had to include one of my favorite books from my childhood. Heidi was my favorite story as a little girl. I would spend countless hours studying the illustrations of Heidi, her goat herder friend, Peter, and the Swiss Alps. It was always the book I selected for story time before bed. My grandmother gave me the movie Heidi (starring Shirley Temple) as a Christmas gift one year.

I hope you all had fun touring the Swiss Alps with me


Zondra Art said...

beautiful post!!!

GamecockQueen said...

I've always wanted to go to Gstaad. I had never heard of it until I read about it in a W Magazine a few years ago and since then it's been on my "dream trip" list. I've never been skiing either and I'm dying too!!

Pretty pics!!

susan said...

This is such a beautiful and informative post! I have never had the pleasure of visiting, but have always thought it sounded like such an idyllic place. Heidi was one of my favorite books too. Thanks for your sweet comments on my tablescape. I agree with you.

Gordon said...

Wonderful pictures that makes me want to visit again... I was lucky enough to visit Montreux some years ago. Please do tell what is the location of the town in the picture fourth down from the top.