Saturday, 24 June 2017

Swiss Alps - fantastically flowery

OUR Summer holiday this year was a week or so in the Swiss alps to walk and see the wonderful alpine meadows and WOW we were not disappointed.



We had mixed weather at the start, but the richness of the flora and the amazing views of the Jungfrau, Monch and the Eiger when the cloud lifted were spectacular.  One particularly special area was the Schynigge Platte which we visited twice, reaching it on a little alpine train.  We stayed in Interlaken and Murren enjoying the rich Swiss cuisine.

We had timed our visit carefully - almost all of the snows had gone and where the slopes faced north the early flowers were still out, such as the masses of crocuses and the alpine snowbell.


In other places the niches were characterised by damp, gently sloping ground, dry rocky screes and everything in between, and the dominant flowers reflected the conditions.  

Animals were few but marmots, ring ouzels and black redstarts were occasionally seen.

moonwort fern

prolific globe flower - found spread over huge ares where the ground was a bit damper
bilberry and juniper where grazing was less intense

pasque flowers

alpine gentian



Lilly of the valley

alpine chough




A magnificent walk heavily reviewed on Tripadvisor was one near Murren called the Blumental Panorama Trail - this was quite out of this world - there were breath taking panoramas filled with alpine flowers and many butterflies such as swallowtails zipping by.  This was the only place I found edelweiss after a long search.





There was often the evocative sound of clanking cows bells in the lower meadows.


the old was of cutting

Whilst traveling through France we passed a field of hay being cut and 30 attendant kites wheeled around to swoop on any small mammal caught out and exposed - they then fought in an aerial battle for the find.