It’s a breath of Swiss air to see that things are still running like clockwork in Switzerland despite Covid.
And that our friends in Tobleroneland are working feverishly to get us back to the mountains and valleys again.
No such problems for Swiss cows, of course, who have been jangling their way through the last year, as ever they did.
With the summer promising to bring continental travel again we’ll all be taking to the Great Outdoors to free our spirit.
And where better than Switzerland where you can social distance to your heart’s content and choose who you mix with…
I say the cows.
The cows were my daily (and dairy) companions on my journey around Interlaken and its environs.
They were everywhere even on the balcony of our hotel.
And in pictures on the noticeboard where there were reminders of my own Scary One back home… no, I’m not making it up.
All of which mooanderings around the subject brings me back to what’s happening in Switzerland in advance of our return.
E-bike in the E-Alps
I’d be safer on these (probably) than the Trotti scooters favoured in woodland and the open road.
You can cross Switzerland in one week from north-east to south-west on la route verte, or the green tour.
And run into some Swiss cows on the mountain paths.
And literally too if you overdo it on your stop-offs to meet the various different winegrowers on the way.
You’ll meet friendly farmers too and some country folk only too happy to show you their strange musical instruments.
The tour is 470km long and starts in the German-speaking city of Schaffhausen, and passes through six Swiss Nature Parks, finally ending up in French Geneva.
A good walk
And a hike in the hills is nothing to the Swiss, young and septegenarian young alike, such as yodeller Brigitte who had us eating dust on the way up the peaks.
It wouldn’t surprise me if the Via Francigena was just a weekend stroll to a woman of Brigitte’s phenomenal energies.
As every Bandanino or Bandanette knows from reading these posts over the last couple of years in the year 990 Sigeric, the Archbishop of Rome began the Via Francigena tradition.
Sigeric had returned to England from Rome crossing Switzerland via the Jura and the Alps.
I nibbled into the route from Viterbo in Lazio into the Eternal City, but my 100km feel quite paltry comparative to Sigeric’s labours.
I say 100km, but wanderer that I am I went off-piste and swore I saw some snow-capped mountains in the distance.
I did get back on track eventually and lived (just) to tell my own Francigena tale.
Now you’re durable Swiss is used to staying in huts as they traverse the peaks but you’ll be wanting something a bit plusher, I suspect.
The way of it these days is to go eco so why not try out a Whitepod eco-luxury hotel in Valais?
Saving water, recycling waste and purchasing locally is all part of the strategy to keep their environmental impact as low as possible.
The quirky shape of the pods has not only been an aesthetic choice but also a resource and energy saving one.
Driving Miss Swissy
Swiss trains run like something that you would find on a time dial.
And I’m reminded of the Twentysomething whom I shared control of the train going up the Junfraujoch railway, the highest in Europe.
She did cope rather better with that task than riding the gondola, though let’s put that down to the Swiss beer Hell.
It’s actually heaven unless you drink too much of it watching the football.
There’s probably never a dull day when you’re a Swiss Air pilot flying over the Alps and the lakes and valleys.
And it’s livery is instantly recognisable with its simple, clean and brillaint whtie and white cross on a red background on the tail.
These too-good-to-be-true Swiss are only helping to save the planet too, with our help.
Swiss International Airl Lines is offering its customers the chance to to offset their flights’ C02 emissions.
By donating to climate protection projects and purchasing alternative fuels.
It wil help customers to take resposibility for their actions and contribute to a more sustainable aviation industry.