Mountains & melting glaciers

Mountains & melting glaciers

With a Swiss rail card, I’ve been able to travel easily on the wide spread and very efficient trains, and much more cheaply than buying individual tickets. I’ve now been through the longest train tunnel in the world.

One day was spent in Lugano and on Mont San Salvatore reached by funicular. Lugano is in the Italian part of Switzerland, I had never realised how different the feeling is in the different parts and had always assumed that the German part was ‘typical Switzerland’. Fun fact; there is now a fourth recognised part of Switzerland where a dialect of Portuguese is spoken and is the official language.

However Lugano has extremely well dressed people carrying tiny dogs, over the top Italian buildings and really good espresso.

The access up Mount San Salvatore was by funicular, to a rather lovely cafe/ restaurant at the top with views over the lakes to Italy.

The next day was a longer trip, to Engelberg and up two cable cars to the top of Mount Titlis. While a spectacular day and really enjoyable, this was a much more sobering experience. The glacier at the top of the mountain, which Christine and Thomas have been visiting for many years has shrunk by say 50% in the last few years. While I have been blessed with great weather, it’s unseasonably warm in both Germany and Switzerland, and I’ve had temperatures in the mid 20C which is record breaking for late October in all the wrong ways.

This is as the UN climate change organisations find there is now no viable pathway to limit global warming to 1.5C.

Climate crisis: UN finds ‘No credible pathway to 1.5C in place’

If anyone wants an emotive reminder of the realities of global warming, watch the episode of ‘Frozen Planet’ about polar bears and Adele penguins. If we don’t all accept the reality of climate change and embrace the need for dramatic change, we will be living in a world without polar bears and Adele penguins.

The experience, and sheer fun, of walking inside a glacier then over a swing suspension bridge over the glacier, was exhilarating.

Freezing soft toys inside ice blocks, why not ?

This was possibly one of the best view I’ve ever had for lunch, with definitely the most expensive soup, bread and coffee of my life !

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