Traditions and culture give character to a place. Personally, delving into the history, food and customs is the most fascinating aspect of travel; even if it's returning to my home country with my two boys for a weeks skiing. Raising the boys abroad means they miss out on many Swiss traditions throughout the year. In February, the biggest celebration in the Kanton of Fribourg is the Carnaval de Broc.Read More
Imagine a paradise where massive mountains, glacial peaks and enormous plains dominate a landscape that has more trails than roads.
Every year my sister, her family and mine meet up at our parents and share a few weeks of our holiday time; hiking the area we called home as children. Most of my childhood memories in this particular area entail snow, skiing, crystal clear skies, magical white christmas celebrations and fun filled days outside during the wintertime. Living in Dubai however, my kids spend a large amount of their summer holidays in Switzerland in the summer and are more familiar with the lush green plains, wildflowers, grazing cows and the ice cold lakes.
One of the more spectacular hikes this year was the Trutg dil Flem, which translates to Water Trail in Romansch, the 4th language spoken in Switzerland.
We started at the Segnesboden, a cauldron-shaped alluvial plain know as Plaun Segnas Sut. It lies in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sardona and has some fabulous views of the Martinsloch and the nine peaks of the Tschingelhörner. Can you believe that twice a year, for a few minutes in March and October, the sun shines through the 22 meter high, 19 meter wide opening in the rocks onto the church steeple in Elm? How cool is that?
We hiked through the valley, down the mountain, following the river Flem all the way back to the town centre of Flims, crossing seven bridges altogher.
The highlight for the children was that my brother in law flew his drone that day. I must say even for us adults it was pretty amusing to watch it hover over us, darting under the bridges as it flew and took pictures.
The trail lead us back and forth along both sides of the gorge, which we crossed three times. The hike is just over 14km long with an elevation descent of 1000m, which requires a little endurance, but as you can see by the photos, the children hiked much faster than the adults!
It's mostly immaculatly groomed which makes it easy to enjoy your surroundings while you move through. The trail alternates between epic views of the mountains, to more mundane but still pleasant forest scenes.
The photos tell the story....
The Flower Path
The Flower Path, where signs indicate fascinating information about plants including medical use as well as mythological significance, is definitely something to try if you are in the Toggenburger region of Switzerland.
The Chäserrugg, the highest of the seven Churfirsten, can be reached by a historic red funicular and then a cable car.
Once at the summit, we were rewarded by spectacular views reaching six countries (Liechtenstein, Germany, Austria, Italy and France) and over five hundred mountain peaks on this clear day! The almost perpendicular drop of 1800 meters to the shores of the Walensee is breathtaking.
The lush, green pastures filled with wildflowers, dramatic cliffs as well as the spectacular view kept us motivated on the trail. There was plenty of exciting climbing as well as building stone towers for the kids on the way! While we weren't as lucky this year, it is common to spot Alipne ibex escalating the rocky mountain! The highlight of the children (remember, they live in Dubai) was finding a patch of snow in the month of July and starting a snowball fight!
For those who appreciate architecture, the stunning restaurant at the summit, designed by Herzog & de Meuron is definitely not your typical mountain hut!
The hike down needed a little endurance, but if you fancy something a little more thrilliing, watch the video below and see how Jeb Corliss gets down the mountain!