Friday 11 November - Zurich day 1
Hmmmmmm the prices of everything
just went up about 40%. Reason:
Anyway, back to the train
trip. Notice how the scenery become
breathtaking. Views in all directions.
Lots of tunnels as well!
Passing through the Swiss towns.
Lots of lakes
and the mountains just kept
and mountains and towns in the
and then the snow caps
and more snow caps (and poles)....
well it is hard to take pictures in a train going
Dotted with castles along the
The mountains and snow are
striking. Not like an avalanche but the
scenery really did take your breath away at times.
Look at this!
And this! The snow is
really setting in now. Its going to be cold when we
get out that is for sure.
Where the snowline meets the
To the lake which Zurich is
Another great day train travel and
scenery. We made it.
Saturday 12 November - Zurich day
2 - Fronalpstock
Mountain, the Klosterplatz
Monastery in Einsiedeln, and
the Rabechilbi Parade in
(say that quickly 5 times)
Today, Nina, our friend we made in Iceland, is
picking us up at 9am for a day in the mountains of
beyond! Can't wait!
We arrived downstairs 20 minutes
early to wait for Nina and "SURPRISE" - she was
there earlier and waiting! So fabulous to meet
Nina says "Today is a surprise...
a surprise trip up a mountain - there may be some
snow at the top - lunch at a monastery.... and a
special surprise to end the day".
She drove about an hour past
Schwyz up the Grundstrasse. The snow line creeped
closer and before long there was snow
everywhere. That lovely powdery fresh
snow. We parked at the Stoos. Rug up
time its going to be cold up there.
Our transportation - A funicular
and cog railway up the maintain. We took the
front the first time and the back end coming down.
We were all excited. David
snapped a selfie of us. We look like a bunch
of gnomes. LOL
100 meters - Snow pretty as a
postcard. You can see the peak of a mountain
in the distance.
At the top, we got out and trudged
about 500m through the snow to reach the
chairlift. (The first chairlift)!
The chairlift! And up we
and up - spotting the town below
us. Almost looks like a xmas card.
Note the ski run underneath us...
It was a quiet day.
Then there are the old houses in
places you just don't expect to see houses. This particular one is built in a
traditional shingled way.
We switched chairlifts at Stoos at
1300 meters and went ascended to Fronalpstock at
Don't worry about the snow line
any more we are now above the cloud line LOL.
The mountain peak in the distance looks like an
island in the clouds.
Lucky there was a restaurant there
at the top. How civilised. We had a cup of
hot coffee and chocolate. (Denise is on camera..........Denise
is always on camera.... and yes took a record amount
of photos today!!!!
Here we at the top in awe of the
views as the clouds begin to clear.
"It's a long way to the top if you
wanna rock and roll." The Swiss Alps up close
Notice the icicle coming off the
roof. Gosh is not even winter yet. There
is also a glimpse of the village in the valley
wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy down there..
Spectacular views everywhere we
look. The clouds drifting past....Gee those
trees are teeny weeny.
No we are not in an airplane! We
are on the chairlift. We think this has to be
the most scenic chairlift in the world.
Denise and David - very happy at
the top after playing snowball fights....
The peak from early still trying
to make its grand appearance.
Wowzas! Cross country skiing
Time to leave. It was
sooooooooo hard to drag ourselves away from this
place but Nina had more surprises in
store. This was going to be a hard act
As we descend a picture postcard
shot of the village below.
Nina was not happy going
down. She had an icicle stuck in her nose.
More ideas for Christmas post
cards. The trees so pretty with their dusting
Finally back on the ground and
looking back. Only one word comes to
mind. "Wow!" Speechless.
Next stop Einsiedeln. But
first - We couldn't help but be impressed by the Olympic
sized ski jump. Lots of winter sports here in
Einsiedeln. Now that is much steeper than how
the photo looks.
Next was a town market next to the
monastery pictured below. We had a light lunch
at the market. Lots of traditional food
available. Yum. They even make chips
like Den does for our BBQs are home.
Then a leisurely look around the
monastery. Sorry no pics allowed inside. The
colour scheme was predominantly a sickly pink and
white with the usual floor to ceiling paintings
ornaments and statues. However it was a
cheerful place. It had taken 30 years to
restore the basilica or abbey to its original and
colourful glory. Quite a contrast from its
solemn gray exterior. The town is getting
ready for its special xmas markets which is quite an
attraction each year.
Next stop Richterswil. We
had to fill in a little bit of time so off to
another restaurant for warmth and a cup of
tea. RIchterswill was another 50km away and
this was to be the last surprise of the day.
It was the Rabechilbi Parade. OK! Ummmmm
what is a Rabechilbi Parade? Here is what it
is all about.....
As we strolled down the street all
the houses and buildings (and people for that matter)
were adorned with Rabens in their windows. A
Raben is a turnip. It was the annual turnip
parade - the biggest parade in
Switzerland. It is a parade that symbolically
recognises coming from the dark to the light and its a
bit like Halloween time but they use Rabens instead of
pumpkins. The Rabens were carved in different
patterns and a candle put inside them to show the
pattern off. The line every window sill, balcony
and garden in the whole town. The town
actually turn ALL the street lights out and the starts
and finishes in the dark with the only thing to light
the place are these Rabens
Everyone would carve them out and
put a candle each one. The parade contained
many placards (as seen below) and these were decorated
with the lit Rabens. Then they were also
attached to other wooden objects for effect and
every band and every school aged child were in the
parade carrying their Raben.
As darkness descended, it was time
for the parade. A pretty large crowd gathers
and in a pretty orderly way everyone found their
place on the sides of the road.
A huge fire work goes off in the
sky and at the same time ALL the street lights go
out. About 15 minutes later another fire work
goes off in the sky and the parade begins.
Here are only some of the
displays.... a howling wolf.
The famous Swiss Matterhorn
and David's favourite, an HMV
gramophone that actually had a turntable operating.
There were lots of others such as
a full working aquarium and lots of school children
and the bands kept coming. What a spectacular
night. We were lucky that we were in
Switzerland that day AND that Nina was there to show
us the way.
Thank you Nina for such a