Thursday, July 29, 2010

A week in St-Luc, Switzerland

This summer my plans were for a five week trip to Switzerland, spending one week each in St-Luc, Evolène, Mürren, Saas Fee and Brig.  The first four are alpine villages, the last is a small town in the Rhône valley.  A frequent hiking companion was going to join me for the first ten days.

By coincidence we booked the same flight from Boston to Zurich, and met at the airport for a pre-flight dinner (departure was at 9:30 PM, so we decided not to wait for dinner on the plane).  The flight was uneventful (as usual I did not get any sleep at all), and we arrived in Zurich a few minutes ahead of schedule.

There is a railroad station inside the airport, and I quickly renewed my half fare card (from 2008) and booked my ticket to St-Luc (train to Visp, second train to Sierre, bus to St-Luc with change at Vissoie).  We had over an hour's wait for the bus in Sierre, so we went food shopping at the station convenience store (expensive!!).

We reached St-Luc at 16:30, and went straight to the real estate office from which I had rented the apartment.  Once the final paperwork was done they kindly gave us a ride to our apartment; it was a short ride but was welcome.

My two previous apartments in St-Luc (2007 and 2008) had a view across the valley to the modest ridge that separates the Val dÁnniviers from the Val d'Hérens (highest peaks just a tad over 3,000 meters):

but limited views up the valley.  This year's apartment had no view across the valley (a building across the road blocked it), but had good views to the south.  First, a bit east of south, there was the ridge of the Pointes de Nava (note the plural; a series of pointy peaks) and the famed Hotel Weisshorn:

Here is a zoomed view of the hotel:

Much more interesting was the view to the south, where for the first time I could see from my apartment the famous "Imperial Crown" of peaks at the end of the valley:

They were even more impressive later that evening when they turned reddish:

Here is the Matterhorn before it goes to sleep:

Early next morning:

A bit later:

The Matterhorn waking up:

And the Obergabelhorn:

Many more photos here!

The village seems to me to consist of three parts.  First there is the original farming village, old buildings crowded together with narrow roads.  Then there is an area of dense "chalet like" apartment buildings, were our apartment was located.  Further out there are more spread out new buildings, some apartment buildings and some chalets.

On one street we saw movable wooden toadstools that could be used to block it off:

One house had a delightful black cat at the top of its chimney:

Another one had an interesting wooden carving:

Here is a closer view:

We had planned to hike Sunday and Monday, then take Tuesday off.  But the weather was excellent on Tuesday, so we decided to do an "easy" hike (turned out a bit more challenging for me than planned).  We definitely planned to take Wednesday off, but the combination of excellent weather and a deteriorating forecast for the rest of the week led us to hike again, four days in a row!  Thursday I went down to the valley (Sierre and Sion) for some errands.  On Friday we spent a delightful day at the Fondation Gianadda in Martigny, I have written a brief report on the trip, and here are the photos.

Finally on Saturday it was time to move.  I took the bus, train and another bus to Evolène, while my friend took the bus to the Lac de Moiry and walked over the Col de Torrent to Evolène.


  1. I LOVE your website! I just recently returned to NH after living in CT for ten years. Since my free time is limited, I like to make the most of my hikes. Your site has helped me to plan the hikes and discover new hikes I might otherwise have tried. I hope you are enjoying your summer in Switzerland! Your photos are beautiful!
    Susan Dipietro

  2. I like to make the most of my hikes. Your site has helped me to plan the hikes and discover new hikes I hope you are enjoying your summer in Switzerland! Your photos are beautiful! ........

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