Category Archives: Switzerland

A little slice of heaven in the Swiss mountains


Flüeli-RanftJust two hours south of Zürich a charming, tiny mountain village of Flüeli-Ranft sits high above lake Sarnen at the entrance of the Great Melch Valley. This is Switzerland as idyllic and picturesque as it gets: wooden houses with bright window shutters scattered on green slopes, colorful patches of wildflowers clinging to rocky paths, and distant sounds of cow wells carrying through the valley. In the morning the air is sharp and fresh, and dense fog envelops the surrounding mountain peaks. Warm noon sunlight magnifies the glow of the white-walled 17th century St. Karl Borromäus Chapel centrally perched upon a hill. And the evening stretches elongated tree shadows across the valley, and reflects crimson sun rays in the windows of the magnificent Hotel Paxmontana, the Art Nouveau masterpiece that has been the local hallmark since 1896. Read the rest of this entry


Polish connection in Rapperswil



Old Town Rapperswil

As a ferry slides along the glistening blue crescent of Lake Zurich, steeples of Grossmünster and Fraumünster churches, and the arch of Quaibrücke slowly fade away in the distance… On both shores, sweet grapes are ripening in sun-drenched vineyards surrounding the idyllic villages with names like Mönchhof or Thalwil. Small motorboats dart from private quays of ridiculously expensive waterfront houses. And the sky above is as blue as the water below – a perfect day for a day trip from Zurich! About two-thirds of the way along the lake the shores narrow and the lake is spanned by a bridge between two peninsulas. On the eastern end of the bridge the town of Rapperswil juts into the lake, anchored by an impressive silhouette of its 13th century castle, Schloss Rapperswil.

Surrounded on three sides by Lake Zurich, the castle is a view to behold. Built in the shape of a triangle, each corner is defended by a mighty tower. Perched on a high hill, it rises above the medieval Old Town – an ancient beacon on the lake. Over the centuries, the castle had many owners as the tides of history changed. It also had a stint as a military base and prison before falling into disrepair in the 1800s. And that is when the Polish connection happened. Read the rest of this entry