Destination: Braunwald / Glarnerland
Special guest: Cath
Cool thing: Glarus has one of the funkiest coat of arms of any canton –featuring this cool dude, Saint Fridolin of Säckingen – an Irish missionary who spread the good word (ahem) in the Rhineland during the 6th or 7th century
Happy New Year!
This post kicks off my “26 Cantons in 52 Weeks Challenge” where I’m attempting to visit each canton of Switzerland throughout 2017. I was hoping to go alphabetically or in some sort of logical order (by geographical size, population, altitude or when each canton joined the federation etc) but in none of those lists does Glarus come top. It’s just a nearby canton with a mountain that seemed like a good one to visit right after New Year’s while our friend Cath was in town.
So – Glarus! Conveniently located a 45 minute drive from where we live in Zurich, the Braunwald in Glarnerland is a pretty mountain area just up from Glarus’ capital city, also called Glarus. The city of Glarus looked very attractive as we drove through it, but sadly we didn’t have time to stop.
The Braunwald was a new mountain for us (hence the appeal). It contained the usual assortment of cable cars, Bergrestaurants and stunning vistas. Unfortunately there was almost no snow! Up until this point, it has been a rather disappointing winter for skiiers and snow bunnies. We saw quite a number of people making the best of it, gritting their teeth and playing games of cards on the terrasses of their chalets while there. We did feel a bit sorry for them – you would have expected guaranteed snow in the first week of January in Switzerland at over 1,000 meters above sea level! I bet they were relieved when it started snowing the next day and there’s been plenty more snowfall pretty much ever since.
Anyway, it was good for us, as we had snow-free roads to get there, non-slippery paths to walk and even some nice green grass. We arrived at Glarus Nord and parked near the station (from here up it’s all car-free) so we caught a cable car up to the Braunwald (1256m above sea level). Then another cable car to Grotzenbüel (1559m) where we ate our lunch. We were kicking ourselves though, because if we’d spotted the path to walk five minutes further along, we could have gone all the way up to Gumen at 1901m! You start to become an altitude snob on these trips.
Anyway, it was lovely. Taking people up mountains is probably one of our favourite things to do with visitors, so I imagine we’ll have a fair few of these sort of trips in the year’s challenge. I also like the idea of having a special guest on some/all occasions! In this case, Cath got a respectable dose of the Swiss alpine experience, we had some lovely sunshine and all got a very decent “mountain high”.
One canton down, 25 to go!
You now need to write a chanson for each canton, while eating wonton.
What a great project, Claire!
I am a native Swiss, but Glarus is not an area I know very well. I do have an item on my bucket list, though, in case you are going back soon, check out the “Hand”: http://www.beat-huber.ch/werk.html
Have fun on your Tour de Suisse, I’m looking forward to showing you a piece of Argovia!
I think I saw that Hand as we passed by! Could ot be… maybe i am imagining things
Are you visiting all 26 Cantons personally in the year??
I plan to!
Such a cool project! I can think of four Aussies who may like to join you for a canton at some point… do we all need to head to Geneva to renew passports at some point, or anything? 🙂
Groan… don’t remind me! I hope to tour CERN on our Geneva visit!
You’re off to a good start! Did you know that Glarus is where Switzerland’s last ‘witch’ (was executed? There’s a museum dedicated to her now. A truly horribly story of injustice. http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/anna-goldi-museum
Fascinating! One of my mates works for Atlas Obscura so she’d be pleased to see this come up. 🙂 I have a feeling this is going to be theme of my year though – I find out loads of cool stuff about each canton after the fact… Next up is Bellinzona so hit me!
The photos are amazing! And I love being the special guest!
Sent from my iPad
Wow, what a challenge! Looking forward to next sequel!
This is really cool! I’m going to read all these post so I can get to know the country better!
We should do one together! :p
What a cool challenge! Can’t wait to hear how it all goes for you this year. And hey, snow free roads. Excellent benefit!
What a fun project! Glarus is my favorite canton at the moment.
What’s your favourite thing in Glarus so far(us) Tanya? I feel like I’ll need to revisit half these places next year with all the recommendations! Love it 🙂 Will definitely be following your Mattahorn tips at some point…
Really great idea! We are saving up some money for a big trip in 3 years and Thailand for two month is our “last” trip before the big one. SO, visiting all the canton in Switzerland seems to be the only option we have. Anyhow Tessin is my favorit canton so far.
Unfortunately you still spend a fair amount just travelling around Switzerland! But i hear you. What are your top tips for Tessin? 🙂
One of my favorite is Valle de Verzasca!😘 I will write a blog post about it when I can.