Friday, February 24, 2017

Here We Go Skiers...The Best Place...Switzerland!

Okay skiers.  I've done this for you.  I have put up links that I found to help you ski almost anywhere in Switzerland.  Here's why  I love Switzerland.  Hands down it's one of the most beautiful countries in the world and every chance I get I go there.  From Lake Geneva to the Matterhorn, to the lakes to the eastern border with Liechtenstein.  It's gorgeous.  So, while I don't care whether Alpine Skiing was born in Murren or in St. Moritz; I guarantee that it was created in Switzerland.  And as I always say, why not go to the source?  Is skiing better there?  I don't know.  I don't ski, but they have 154 different ski resorts there in that tiny country.  That tells me that the skiing is probably pretty good.

There are several areas famous for their skiing.  I already mentioned St. Moritz in the south of the country along the Italian border.  There is also Gstaad north of Lake Geneva and all the resorts around there.  There is another area around Bern in the center of the country.  There is all of the Bernese Oberland deep in the Alps around Interlaken.  There is also a huge area of famous ski resorts in the east along the border with Liechtenstein.  Face it, whether you're along the Rhone, Lake Geneva or in the Lauterbrunnen Valley; there's some great skiing in Switzerland.

The only thing that I can say for sure is that when you ski in Switzerland, you have to travel there; and for that I have some advice.  First, take the train.  Especially in the winter driving can be an issue and you will probably have some large gear to take on a car too.  You can run around on the trains with a Swiss Pass or a Eurorail Pass and take your skis with you.  There may be a baggage charge in some areas, but it's still pretty convenient.  They have one of the best train systems in the world.  Use it.  Then you just have to get a shuttle in most cases to the resort where you are staying or the hotel.  Train passes can also be used to help with the cost of cog railways and gondolas to reach the more remote areas, so it's worth the investment.

Other things that you should know about traveling in Switzerland.  They still use Swiss Francs.  You can spend Euros and they will be happy to accept them, but your change will be in Swiss Francs.  Also, there are ATM's all over the country where you can get money with most times a small fee from your bank back at home.  Most places take all kinds of credit cards and debit cards. Hopefully you made sure that your credit cards had no fees for international use.  Switzerland is extremely convenient for travel and that's only one of the many reasons why I am so fond of traveling there.

Where's my favorite spot?  Lauterbrunnen Valley beyond a shadow of a doubt.  Interlaken is close by for all your needs.  Lauterbrunnen is where you will get your classic Swiss experience with the small towns and the towns on the cliffs and so on.  Murren is one of the places that claims to have created Alpine Skiing and they have some great skiing up there and all over the Schilthorn.  The Schilthorn has the distinction of also having Piz Gloria, the rotating restaurant that was used in the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service on it's peak.  From the gondolas to the cog railways to the James Bond World Museum to the top of Europe on Jungfrau; Lauterbrunnen Valley is my favorite spot on Earth.

There are some other reasons why I enjoy the Bernese Oberland and Lauterbrunnen so much.  The atmosphere is just great, as well as the scenery.  There are little cliff towns everywhere above on the cliffs.  It's exotic, but unlike some areas of Switzerland; most people speak English.  If you visit some of the areas in the west you will find out really quickly that although these are the areas that have English versions of their websites, they don't like to speak anything but French.  That can make it hard to get around.  You can run into similar problems throughout the country seeing as Switzerland is a country made up of several cantons and there are five different languages spoken throughout this tiny country.  Lauterbrunnen Valley has relied on tourism for a very long time and British folks were their original clientele.  English is spoken widely there and just gives you one last thing to worry about.

So, if you want to ski; I mean really want to ski, then go to Switzerland.  I've done the best I can to link you to some good information on traveling through Switzerland to ski.  I hope you find something that suits you.  Look at price too though.  Switzerland is expensive and some areas more than others.  Enjoy!

We're going alphabetically on this one.  That is by resort name.  So check the On The Snow website at the bottom and find what you like from there.  There's a lot.























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