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In the Swiss Alps, Cows Wear Bells

That’s right, you read it: in the Swiss Alps, cows’ wear bells. Not a small dinky bell, very large, very noisy solid bell dangles around their necks. Supposedly, there are even ongoing discussions involving animal cruelty and these bells, but that’s not the topic of this post. The sound of the bell is pleasant at first but after about an hour of sitting on top of a mountain in what should be a peaceful and silent area, the constant noise from the bells becomes something else.

Other highlights from our time in Central Switzerland include:

1. Seeing old friends

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The three of us walking back to the car after our hike

Alexandra and Vanessa are friends I first met over 14 years ago. They both stayed as home-stay students in Vancouver at my mother’s house. Seven years ago, I spent two nights with Vanessa and briefly saw Alex, when I passed through Switzerland; we’ve kept in touch on and off since then. When I messaged both of them that Dan and I would be travelling through their home country, they were excited to meet up again. Alex delightedly offered us a place to stay for as long as we needed and the timing couldn’t have been better as she recently got back from travelling herself and still hasn’t started her new job – giving her lots of time to play tour guide for us.

2. Lucerne

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Kapellbrücke (literally, Chapel Bridge) is a covered wooden footbridge spanning diagonally across the Reuss River erected in the 14th century. Most of the centuries-old bridge was destroyed in a 1993 fire. Subsequently restored, the Kapellbrücke is the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe, as well as the world’s oldest surviving truss bridge.

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Typical Swiss Church with the steeped roofs

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Reuss River

3. Verkehrshaus der Schweiz (Swiss Transport Museum)

Opened in July 1959 and exhibiting all forms of transport including locomotives, automobiles, ships, and aircraft; it is Switzerland’s most popular museum.

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4. Oeschinen Lake

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Regretting wearing long pants on the hike up!

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5. Trying Swiss Food: Züri Gschnetzletes with Rösti and Cheese Fondue


Alex made us Züri Gschnetzletes with Rösti from scratch!


Cheese fondue, dip the bread in Schnapps first

All while enjoying the beautiful view from Alex’s apartment.

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Mount Rigi in the background

6. Rigi Mountain


Recommended time: 4 h 10 m Dan’s time: 2 h 04 m

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Dan coming up the trail hours earlier than I expected!

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View from the top

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View from the top

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It was shocking to us how many planes flew overhead – the sky was constantly streaked with jet streams from all directions.

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The tram

7. Maybe this isn’t quite a highlight, but I had to mention it: they serve wine on tap at the train station!

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Enjoying Swiss beers

2 thoughts on “In the Swiss Alps, Cows Wear Bells

  1. m.korbynn says:

    Your Switzerland trip sounds similar to the one that I did! Did you totally geek out at the museum? I most certainly did. Did you hear about/go up Jungfraujoc? If you didn’t I highly recommend it for next time.

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