Happy Swiss Day!
Every year on August 1st the whole of Switzerland celebrates their National Day and the founding of the of Swiss Confederation in 1291. This was when the three cantons, Uni, Schwyz and Unterwalden, came together and now all the different areas up and down the country celebrate. The Swiss do have a little bit of a reputation for being slightly reserved, but there's a few days a year when they really let their hair down - and Swiss Day is one of them!
We started our day of celebrations in Grindelwald.
The mountains that surround the alpine town are just amazing. Everywhere you turn the views are simply breathtaking and the majestic slopes of the Alps tower over you with a powerful presence. And they're just as magnificent in the summer as they are covered in snow and ice in the winter - I promise!
We jumped on a gondola and headed up to the top.
When we got there we decided to do the slightly terrifying looking Cliff Walk.
This is not one for you if you have a fear of heights. The First Cliff Walk by Tissot hugs the side of the mountain right beside the sheer rocks. The narrow and winding platform twists and turns with the mountain-side and you can get up really close to rock-face, fully immersing yourself in the amazing scenery.
It's a pretty spectacular way to admire the amazing Swiss alpine vista.
Once our legs had stopped shaking we headed for a more relaxing afternoon in Wengen.
The quaint village is transformed into a colourful and patriotic Swiss wonderland. Swiss flags cover every corner of the village with bright bunting standing out in the trees. It's a really relaxed atmosphere as you wander around, but behind the relaxing ambience there's a certain thrill in the air as everyone is feeling excited about the nights festivities.We found a beautiful terrace to relax on and enjoy a glass a glass of wine. The sun was shining, swiss bunting was swaying in the trees and we were surrounded by a beautiful garden with blooming flowers.
We were even treated to an impromptu concert!
A group of locals arrived playing the traditional alphorn. It was amazing to see these ancient instruments being played. They had quite a haunting sound and there was a certain nostalgia to them. They were also really relaxing though as the soft sounds lulled you, transporting you to a bygone world. It was pretty special to hear these instruments being played by the local people in their traditional Swiss outfits. In the past they were used to communicate over the mountains and it was a lovely moment hearing them being played on Swiss Day.
We soon headed back down the mountain on the romantic cog-railway to Lauterbrunnen.
At the end of every Swiss day the skies are filled with fireworks!
Everyone from the village gathers together as darkness falls and someone important in the community will give a speech. Everyone then sings the national anthem - I had to mime this one! A massive bonfire lights up the night as everyone cheers!
Fireworks then explode into the sky, bursting into the darkness with stunning colours. They sound even more impressive as they echo against the cliffs with earth-shattering cracks and booms. It's a real party atmosphere and it felt like a privilege to be involved in the celebrations.
Have I convinced you to head to Switzerland - if so definitely try and tie it in with the Swiss Day celebrations!
x x x