I was excited enough when we finally decided to visit the historical tourist destination in Switzerland – the Interlaken. Yet the more it got interesting when we stopped by these quaint yet equally eye-pleasing Swiss towns as well.
Morning stroll at Avenches
Before we officially left Vaud, we took our morning walk in a dainty, quiet town called Avenches. Formerly called Aventicum, it was the capital of Roman Helvetia founded by Emperor Augustus 2,000 years ago. A significantly-sized Roman amphitheatre in Avenche beams proudly as soon as you get into the town’s proper, thus speaking about the town’s unique heritage from the Roman era.
Seemingly we couldn’t get enough of our quick tour around Neuchatel that a few days after, we decided to visit another Swiss town. Its canton is known as the pre-Alpine region of Switzerland where the best chocolates and cheeses come from. Yet most of all, Fribourg is a small town of incomparable charm – thanks to its well-preserved medieval architectures, its meandering Saane/Sarine river, and its bilingualism where you can find French and German language coexist.
Luckily we found ourselves walking towards the town proper with a vast view of the medieval town. From afar we could already see the bell tower of Fribourg Cathedral standing dominantly atop of the hill. At our side, we could get a glimpse of the medieval town, as well as a few old monasteries and its open-air, public swimming pool (it’s winter time at Bains de la Motta, hence its green color).
It was a beautifully sunny winter day when we decided to visit another Swiss town we had not gone around yet. It’s Neuchatel this time.
Neuchatel is one of the cantons in the French side of Switzerland. Its city is located in the northwestern shore of Lake of Neuchatel and near at the foot of Jura valley. Neuchatel is also renowned for its Swiss watchmaking industry, centered on Le Locle and La Chaux-de-Fonds situated in the Jura mountains, which have been recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Visiting traditional Christmas markets is one of the fascinating things to do in Europe during the Christmas holidays. Compared to the holiday shopping experience back home in the Philippines, here it can be less busy and crazy. Actually expect a bit more of rustic feel, as wooden houses line up beautifully along the streets that are selling unique goodies, which are quite ideal as Christmas gifts. Some even offer fresh and warm, traditional winter delicacies that entice visitors to stay despite the almost freezing temperature outside the streets.
It is hard to deny that the Swiss are proud of their mountains. Why wouldn’t they? More than half of the country is occupied greatly by the Alps, with about a hundred of its mountain peaks reaching to 4,000 meters and higher. Leading the way to such prominence are the likes of Matterhorn and Jungfrau that have never failed to amaze hikers, mountaineers and tourists alike; thus leaving a good impression on how the Swiss treat their mountains, and nature in general. I can assure you, very well indeed.