Zurich holiday - Conn and Lugano

- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

Switzerland speaks four languages (and English!) We were based in Swiss-German Zurich and visited Biel / Bienne which uses German and French. Today we begin in the canton of Graubünden where they speak Romantsch, and end in Italian-speaking Lugano in the canton of Ticino.

Conn flowers in August
Conn flowers in August

We took the train to Chur. The post bus to Flims stopped in villages for housewives with shopping and school kids and daily life. Our walk circled from Flims to Conn and back. Shades of Heidi in the Alps and Julie Andrews singing the Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music.

Walking from Flims, Graubunden
Walking fom Flims, Graubunden

Easy walking, clearly signposted, with sights to see and an outstanding restaurant for our lunch. Very busy but they found us a table. Salad with fried mixed mushrooms - it has taken decades for South African supermarkets to provide a choice beyond white champignons. For lunch he suggested pear ravioli. Pear?? But the filling was rich and thick like marmalade, made with dried pears, and served in a buttery sauce with good rye bread. Elderflower syrup to drink and meringues to finish.

Conn flowers in August, orchids and rosebay willowherb
Conn flowers in August
Top left the two orchids
Bottom right rosebay willowherb

Flowers along the way. The rosebay willowherb we saw in London. Harebells and buttercups. Two endemic wild orchids.

Landscape around Conn
Landscape around Conn

Our path wound along the houses and out of town. Past a wooden water trough and fountain. Farmhouses which look more like holiday homes for city slickers. I still use the wooden pegs for my washing, once bought in Switzerland as Berghilfe to support Alpine farmers thru the winter months. Each peg has been carefully smoothed off so as not to snag the clothes. Disappointed when we saw Lake Cauma, pay to enter, and HORDES of people.

Spotted burnet moth
Spotted burnet moth

I have seen this spotted burnet moth on English garden blogs ... so I recognised it when we saw one eye to eye.

Rheinschlucht Rhine Gorge
Rheinschlucht

The Rheinschlucht (Ruinaulta in Romantsch) is one of the sites to see. I remained down here, where I could photograph the viewing platform 'Il spir', built in the shape of a common swift with spread wings. He went up for the dizzying view of the Rhine River carving its way through the landscape.

Train to Lugano
Train to Lugano

On the First of August we took the train to Lugano, passing the little church of Wassen three times as train winds up the mountain. Real tea on the train - colour me happy.

Lugano
Lugano

The weather was mixed, some heavy cloud and rain while we were on the train. But Lugano was picture postcard perfect.

Lugano on the First of August
Lugano on the First of August

Campione d'Italia is an Italian enclave seen through the railing. The hillside covered with houses is Monte Bre. My pink hat is below Monte San Salvatore and houses in Paradiso. We walked along the shore of Lake Lugano with the promenaders enjoying the Swiss National Day. For once I had been up early enough to see Zurich in national costumes heading for the parade. Lunch on the train. Home to a supper of cherries, peaches and apricots.

Long drive home along False Bay to our valley in the distance
Long drive home to our valley in the distance

As we flew home we could see Baden Powell Drive along False Bay and our own home in the distant valley.

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Comments

  1. Spectacular scenery and fantastic flowers! It looks as though you squeezed a lot into a single day trip. That spotted moth was unexpected! If you hadn't said otherwise, I'd have thought that someone had painted its wings.

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    1. It was two separate days, blogged together. Many hours in the train - but it is a pleasant way to travel.

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  2. The greenery is almost blinding for someone coming from the middle of Australia. Absolutely stunning scenery and the flowers are wonderful! I suppose they would just spring to life with all the rain and perfect conditions for growing. I also love the spotted Burnet moth, what a beauty! I would love to go there, maybe one day....but thanks for the tour, now I know where to go!

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    1. Hiking in Switzerland is a pleasure. Each intersection is marked - 20 minutes to the train that way - 10 minutes to the bus that way - and an hour to lunch that way. Choices! And culture shock when I first saw that.

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  3. I worked with a teacher from Germany and she and her family do lovely walks in Germany and also in Switzerland and Austria. It seems these countries are really organised for hiking in every way, including regular and straight forward train travel. It is definitely on our bucket list!

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    1. We had to pick one for the time we were there.
      But there would be a solar and alternative energy trail.
      Weg der Schweiz along a shore of Lake Lucerne (we have done one bit)
      Swiss National Park tucked among the mountains.
      Even a naturopathy bare foot trail.

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  4. I haven't been there but I read Heidi as a child so in a way it's quite familiar. The train journey sounds wonderful, my favourite way to travel. It's good that most of the time you were able to avoid the hordes. I love that last photo of your home coast.

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    1. We arrange our lives to avoid hordes, our mountains are peaceful away from the most popular sections, and our beach except on high days and holidays. In Europe we had to be prepared for crowds - but surely didn't expect so many people at the lake!

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  5. A lovely trip amid all those green slopes... :) I get very mildly claustrophobic in mountains these days but would still love to see the Alps!

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    1. When we hiked in the National Park years ago, I felt I was walking along the ridge on a knife edge. Couldn't face turning back, but the second half down was even worse. Had to steel myself and keep going ... and that wasn't even classified as an Alpine trail!

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  6. Gute Reise through a beautiful country with a type of dishes I'd also enjoy...I am also surprised to realize spring is much more advanced as it is here.

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  7. Wonderful pictures of your holiday in Switzerland. It is a wonderful country Heidi was one of my favourite books as a child and I also had another book about school children adventures around Chur and Berne which sadly I have never been able to rediscover. We have taken the train along the same stretch of line, seeing that church time and time again is amazing. The Rheinschlucht looks incredible, something I would love to see.
    It must have be a great end to thew holiday seeing False Bay in the distance from the plane. Sarah x

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    1. When read Heidi as a child, I never imagined I would live in Switzerland, and have a SIL called Heidi.

      Never know quite which path the incoming flight will take, so that view of False Bay and our mountains was a delight.

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  8. The villages in the deep valleys is what I remember most my one time in the mid-70's as a 9 year old. Thanks for showing a greener time of year, just as inviting.

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    1. Welcome back to blogging. Missed you.

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  9. Stunning views. I've always wanted to visit Switzerland, glad you enjoyed it.
    Amalia
    xo

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  10. That all looks beautiful - the air seems so clean and clear up in the mountains.
    I love your pictures, both scenery and flora. I'm sure they will help you to remember you travels with pleasure.
    I was also intrigued by the mention of Romantsch, which I had to look up. I didn't know that one of Switzerland's languages was so closely related to old Latin...
    Best wishes :)

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    Replies
    1. Romantsch in turn is a group of languages, and from valley to valley they communicate in Swiss German.

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