Switzerland is magnificent, Switzerland is clean, Switzerland is neutral… Yes, but still? What if we got out of the clichés and the beaten track to visit and do some really original stuff? Between nature and curiosities, Switzerland is a country that has a lot to offer adventurers…
1. Visit the HR Giger Museum
It is in the Château Saint-Germain in Gruyères (beware of the holes) that the museum is entirely devoted to HR Giger, the artist known worldwide for having designed the Xenomorph from the film Alien. We also owe him the design of the ship. He also worked in music, creating album covers (for Deborah Harry in particular) and the microphone stand of Jonathan Davis, the singer of Korn. And inevitably, his museum is in his image: as unique as it is brilliant, exciting and a little scary. To do absolutely.
2. Cross the suspension bridge
It is above an arm of Lake Triftsee, in the Swiss Alps, that we find this beautiful vertiginous suspension bridge. A bridge that looks a bit like the one in the movie Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, except that everything is very secure here. With a length of 170 meters, it crosses a chasm 90 meters deep.
3. Admire the Lion of Lucerne
A superb sculpture representing a dying lion, carved out of the rock, in Lucerne. A monument that commemorates the death of the 300 soldiers of the Swiss Guards Regiment in the service of Louis XVI during the attack by the Revolutionaries on the Tuileries Palace in 1793 in Paris.
4. Take the Niesenbahn
One of the most spectacular funiculars in the world. A machine inaugurated in 1910 which travels 3.5 km (1.6 km of elevation gain). The train connects Mülenen to the top of the Niesen mountain. Those who want to put their calves to the test can also take the longest staircase in the world (and its 11,674 steps), which runs along the way of the funicular.
5. The Toblerone Line
We have the Maginot Line, the Swiss have the Toblerone Line. Neutral but still a little concerned to see troops land overnight on their land during the Second World War, the Swiss decided to build this succession of blocks in order to stop the advance of tanks. Fortunately, no one decided to try it and what was called the Promenthouse Line became, in reference to the Swiss chocolate bar, the Toblerone Line. It runs from the Jura to Lake Geneva and can be visited while hiking thanks to accommodation.
6. Visit Villa Diodati
1816. Lord Byron decides to invite several friends to the Villa Diodati, which he has rented, including the young Mary Shelley. One evening, Byron challenges everyone to write a horror story. Mary Shelley gets down to work and writes Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus. The rest, we know. Unfortunately, impossible to enter the villa to soak up the energy of the place. You can, however, do it from outside, through the fence.
7. Visit the birthplace of the internet
What if, after visiting the birthplace of Frankenstein’s creature, we go to see where the web was born? Internet which was born in Geneva, at CERN, where there is a plaque in the key place. Where, one fine day in 1989, the British scientist Tim Berners-Lee created this wonderful tool to allow his colleagues scattered around the world to communicate. Did he suspect that many years later, his invention would be used, among other things, to watch videos of cats and kids wallowing?
8. Take the Hammetschwand
This spectacular lift was inaugurated in 1905, taking its passengers to an altitude of almost 3,000 meters in less than a minute. The elevator doors opening onto a walkway leading to the top of the mountain. It’s beautiful but also a bit scary when you’re dizzy.
9. Stroll through the Hell Grottoes
Welcome to Hell ! Well, not far shall we say. But not hell where it’s hot because here, it’s rather cool and the flashy lights projected on the walls of these superb caves rich in stalactites, make the visit quite funky after all. Caves that can be found in Baar.
10. Cross the Saut de Brot
A magnificent little bridge in the Gorges de l’Areuse, in the canton of Neuchâtel. The kind on which one expects to see Gandalf passing by at any time accompanied by the entire Fellowship of the Ring. The obligatory passage when hiking in the region.