Category Archives: Switzerland

A weekend in the Jura: Day 2 – Saint Ursanne, Switzerland

Previous:  A weekend in the Jura: Day 1 – Ferrette, France

Sunday, 13 March 2016

IMG_9883c

The next day, we drove past the Swiss border to visit the medieval village of Saint Ursanne. This is the border sign of Switzerland (in French)
IMG_9886c

The old border control building in Lucelle, Switzerland. There’s no border guard anymore so anyone can just pass by. (But beware, Swiss border police stopped us on the highway on our way back to France. The usual document checks.)

IMG_9937c

Arrived in the village of Saint Ursanne and this is the first grotesque work of art we saw, the entrance of a bar-restaurant.

IMG_9948c

The village of Saint Ursanne is listed as one of the most beautiful and best preserved villages in Switzerland.
Above is the old wall dated 1403, part of the fortification built around a castle that is no longer in existence.

IMG_9942c

An antique shop located in an old barn. too bad they’re closed on Sundays!

IMG_9945c

 

IMG_9949c

Some Christmas decors are still in place.

IMG_9951c

Fountain with two basins, dated 1667.

IMG_9954c

A shoe gardening idea

IMG_9958c

Don’t throw away your old cups and broken coffeemakers. They can breathe their second life as garden pots.

IMG_9962c

IMG_9988c

.. even your old padlocks, shower tubes, etc can be transformed into a work of art.

IMG_9968c

A 3-month old Saint Bernard playing with 2-year old Charlie

IMG_9972c

A corner building shrine

IMG_9976c

The old houses along the river Doubs

IMG_9978c

Lots of hiking and cycling paths in the Jura.

IMG_9996c

IMG_0002c

This is the ground floor ceiling of the City Hall building dated 1406.

IMG_0005c

Southern door of the Collegiate church built from the 2nd half of the 12th century.

IMG_0008c

The tympanum shows Christ sitting on a throne, with Saint Ursicinus praying (left).

IMG_0207c

Grotesque Images such as this on the capital of the pillars.

 

 

IMG_0262c

Saint Ursicinus and his bear atop a fountain dated 1591.

IMG_0259c

IMG_0251cat

IMG_0247c

IMG_0230c

Bridge over the river Doubs, dated 1728.

IMG_0228c

 

IMG_0215c

16th century building

IMG_0219c

IMG_0221c

IMG_0037c

IMG_0040c

One of the four gates entering the village, dated between the 15th-16th century.

IMG_0041c

Another fountain with two basins dated 1677.

IMG_0107c

We found the way to Saint Ursicinus’ grotto, 190-steps up the hill.

IMG_0116c

That’s the grotto on the right where the hermit saint lived in the year 610.

IMG_0121c

Saint Ursicinus (below) and the Virgin above. The wooden sculpture of a bear was added later. Bear in Latin is “ursus”.

IMG_0141c

Time to go down. .

IMG_0148c

we took the steep route amongst the woods.

IMG_0162c

Arriving back at the corner of the village’s main street, voila, this chest freezer was waiting for us! It says in the paper “A donner. Congelateur fonct.” (To give away. Freezer functioning well.)
Thank you, Saint Ursanne. You are the giver of miracles that we never prayed for. Yes, we’ve been dreaming to have a big freezer in our home. It’s functioning perfectly well, 80L capacity and Made in Denmark.. Whoah!

IMG_0169c

I went inside the Collegiate church to pray and thank Saint Ursanne.

IMG_0177b
Saint Wolfgang on the right.

IMG_0330c

Time to drive back home.  This is my favorite Spring plant, the Aubretia.  (Swiss countryside)

IMG_0278c

IMG_0287swiss

Easter (egg) decoration in the Swiss countryside

IMG_0283swiss

A bus stop in the Swiss countryside

Day 4 – Day trip to St Moritz

It’s the Montecarlo of the Swiss Alps.

Royalties, World leaders, the rich and famous – the vast majority of them have one thing in common: they have gone on a winter skiing holiday in St Moritz!

But believe it or not. you don’t have to be in any of the above categories to experience the world’s most glamorous resort.

A day trip will do, some Swiss Francs for the cable car ride that will take you to a higher spot so you can enjoy the most amazing view of the glaciers, the lakes, the greeneries and the alpine flowers, a bit of window-shopping in the High Street, a slice of Sacher cake and a cup of coffee to complete the package and, voila! you have done St Moritz without digging dip into your pocket.

And with the help of your camera, you could take home a souvenir of that experience in the form of photographs!

Here are some of mine.

Arriving at the train station of St Moritz, you will be greeted by this stunning scenery of glacier mountains!

If you have pre-booked your hotel where you will be picked up by a car as grandiose as this, then you must be rolling in money!

We are not, but we are equally happy taking this bus going to town.  And with our Swiss Pass, it’s just a matter of Hopping On and Hopping Off!

You’d think you are lost in Italy as soon as you see this Italian-looking church tower on the way,
but no worries, St Moritz is close to the Italian border so you can see some influence of its neighbouring country.

 

Even the name of this square – Piazza di Scoula is in Italian. That building is the St Moritz library.

The  St Moritz Protestant Church is a major landmark

 

The town center is also a luxury shopping area

 Clients are assured of comfort in St Moritz

Window-shopping can become an amazing experience in this town of the well-heeled!

 

 

When you are tired window-shopping, you can take the cable car to go up a higher ground.

A mindblowing landscape up there!

I was tempted to sing “The Hills are Alive..” but this is only Switzerland

In the summer, St Moritz is a walker’s paradise..but be careful though as the footpath is very steep!
(As you can see on the right, a lady has already slipped!)

 

And before we said adieu to this glamorous town, we had to taste their pastry and coffee, at least!

 

Day 3 – Amidst the Glacier

Previous:  Day 2 – A view to a Kill

 

 

If you don’t know how to ski, or you are not rich enough to afford a helicopter ride up to the glaciers, don’t fret. Switzerland makes sure that you get the chance to experience that glacier feeling, thanks to the Swiss engineers from the 19th century who built tunnels, railways, funiculars and cable cars that enable milliions of tourists to reach these highest points of the Swiss Alps in this modern day and age.

This is our ride to the 10,000 feet high Schiltorn mountain which was made famous by James Bond’s “On her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

The area is a walker’s paradise. This is a group of Japanese tourists on a Walking Holiday.

 

Up close and personal with the waterfalls, seen from the cable car

Voila, the glacier!

 

 

That is a skiing path that starts from where we are standing.

Postcard snow beauty

The cable car amidst the clouds

View from the revolving restaurant

 

The filming of James Bond on the Schiltorn has made it so famous


The famous terrace of the Bond film

and naturally, everything about James Bond is everywhere in this building.
You can even take home a piece of the 007 phenomenon, like a photo of Bond kissing errr…you, for example.
I took this shot from a TV screen showing the photos of visitors making it with James…

 

Descending to flat land, our hotel is the big one on the corner


Time for a drink

Previous:  Day 2 – A view to a Kill