Atop Mount Rigi, Switzerland

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Couple of weekends ago the weather forecast for our region was pretty gloomy, but we got ourselves high above the rain clouds and hung out in the sun. This was the spectacular view from the top of Mount Rigi that day. It was perfect.

I didn’t think I’ll ever say this, but it’s the truth. I really loved getting up early to go hiking in the snow.

I’ll always love New Zealand, don’t get me wrong. I’m just slowly falling for Switzerland too, and I’m feeling alright.

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Castle Chillon in Veytaux, Switzerland

I’ve seen a lot of castles on top of hills and mountains while travelling on the train in Switzerland, but this particular castle intrigued me the most because it was located at the edge of a lake. I first noticed it on our way to Vevey at the beginning of the year, and we finally made it there a couple of weekends ago.

For a tiny entrance fee, castle Chillon (château de Chillon) is open to the public to explore at their own pace. S and I aren’t fans of guided tours, so we skipped the history lesson and dove right into exploring this magnificent lakeside castle in Veytaux near Montreux by ourselves.

It took us about three hours to view the entire place, but I’m sure it can be done a lot quicker if need it be. Hardly anything was fenced off or locked, so we really took our time to take in all the beauty of the stone walls before our feet called it quits.

It’s a very well-preserved and maintained castle for people of all ages to enjoy. Children can play dress-up and pretend to be dragons, knights, princes, and princesses, while adults can be all fancy and sip on wine if they so wish.

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Murten: An Underrated Lakeside Town of Switzerland

Last Sunday S and I discovered the beautiful lakeside town of Murten in Canton of Fribourg, Switzerland, by pure chance. When our plan to go on a cycle tour around lake Murten fell through, we decided to take a stroll around town anyway and were quickly intrigued by what we found.

Just a few streets down from the Murten train station, the historic defence tower and wall still stands strong and intact around the town’s periphery.

Murten Switzerland

Past the gate, we found a staircase leading up on to the defence wall for the public to access for free. 

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So we walked along the wall to find yet another set of stairs leading up to the defence tower. 

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So, we climbed up the stairs to find this magnificent view of the town and the lake. 

Anchor it down - Murten Switzerland

I was particularly fascinated by their chimney pots. Just look at these things!

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 Then we slowly made our way across the crowd of people at the Sunday market and eventually ended up at the lake.  The beautiful narrow streets were lined with rows of magnificently preserved buildings, but there were too many people and market stalls to take a photo that would justify the beauty of this place.

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It was quite windy by the lake, so there were windsurfers and people out on yachts doing their thing on the water while kids were flying kites on dry land. I guess there will be a lot of people on the paddle boats too during summer.

I love the fact that both locals or tourists can enjoy strolling around Murten without feeling overwhelmed by each other. There is a continuous concrete walkway along the edge of the water which is wide enough for joggers, skaters and the like to share and enjoy the waterfront with walkers too. Always a big plus point for any lakeside town. Plus, there are free clean public toilets every where, particularly along the lake. 

I could not have been more pleased that our cycling tour got postponed that day. It would not have crossed my mind to stop and take a look around otherwise. I found Murten to be a very charming place that is definitely worth a second visit with a pair of roller blades next time.

Picnicking in Bern’s Matte District

I used to commute to Bern everyday for the last couple of years, but I never really explored the city properly until now. Besides the main tourist attractions and my usual travel routes, I was absolutely clueless. I naively thought that I knew the place pretty well because of how often I was there, but in reality I actually spent most of my time cooped up inside buildings full of books and typing until my fingers felt numb. Luckily, I’m no longer deskbound so I geared myself up with a picnic mat, sunnies and a backpack full of food, and met S in town to go picnicking by the riverside in Matte, Bern.

It was my first time going down to the river in Bern. I’ve always admired the Aare river from afar – particularly from the elevated lookout located behind the Parliament building – so it was really nice to hangout right next to the river this time.

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We went down a set of zigzag stairs located right before the Kirchenfeld bridge (Kirchenfeldbrücke), which led us out of the hustle and bustle of the city and into a noticeably quieter place. As we walked through the little streets of old town Bern, I was absolutely gobsmacked at how well the old buildings and houses were preserved. I was especially impressed with the rowhouses on Mühlenplatz. 

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We ended up on the other side of the river with an ample view towards the Bear park (BärenPark), so we had to stop and wave hello to Mr Bear, of course. We then continued our walk along the Aare river and found a nice grass patch to have our picnic before heading back home again.

We really loved exploring this beautifully tranquil side of Bern. Since it’s located just a few minutes away from the inner city and is easily accessible by foot, I imagine us spending more evenings here when summer rolls around.