Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Microcosm


Ryder-Walker Guide, Daniel Sundqvist, grabs a bite to eat on the restipass in western Switzerland. This is day one of our Secret Swiss Valleys tour.

The peaks of the Berner Oberland loom above the remote Lötschental in the background. Historians believe that Romans first settled the Lötschen valley nearly two thousand years ago, but the valley's geographic isolation kept it largely cut off from the outside world until the early part of the 1900's. The result- A microcosm of traditional alpine culture.

Tourism is the valley's main economic driver these days, yet hikers rarely venture into this secluded and tranquil corner of the Swiss Alps. It's lucky for us, because the views are stunning and the hikes pass through varied and fascinating terrain. Point of fact: If we could turn the camera a full 180 degrees, we'd see the whole length of the Pennine Alps, the tallest in Europe, spread out before us like waves on a wind tossed sea.

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