Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hiking the Hinter Lauterbrunnen Valley

The upper part of the Lauterbrunnen valley has been turned into a preserve, both natural and cultural, and we decided the next day to hike a bit of it, to see a few of the 72 water falls.
Billboard map of the place

Rustic chalet with solar power

A few of the waterfalls

Bain of alpine hikers; and cows

Although the scenery was beautiful, the trail good, the
wildflowers abundant and gorgeous, this hike turned out
to be more about berries than anything else; here, the
first of the explosively delicious wild strawberries

More waterfalls


Part of the smelter of a late medieval silver mine

But then we ran into one of the largest deposits ever of
blueberries/myrtilles/huckleberries/bilberries, whatever; no
human or ursine competition; end of hike

We bagged enough for dessert, breakfast, and then some;
we never hike without plastic bags

It's a beautiful trail, amply cared by Tourism Stechelberg

And Vicki's knee is holding up well, despite
the weight of the berries


Vicki's new knee has been doing fine in all the city walking we have been doing, but it was time to try it on the trail in a more rough and vertical environment. So we decided to hike from the valley up to Gimmelwald, on the cliffs above, capital of the Rickie Stevie League of Cities, but also the site of pleasant other memories for us.
Vicki on the trail

Heading up the trail

Looking across the valley toward the big

Achtung! Falling stones!

A glacier spilling over from one of the big mountains

Finally we reach the outskirts of Gimmelwald


Looking down to the campground and Stechelberg; not to
over-do it, we took the cable car back down

Back in the valley, looking up

Return to Lauterbrunnen

Our stay in Lauterbrunnen two years ago was marred by a lousy campground, Camping Schutzenbach or somesuch, and we moved on to Grindelwald. But before moving, Vicki had taken a hike to the end of the road and noticed another campground, Camping Rutti, in Stechelberg, which we decided to try this time. It was a good choice.
Our site at Camping Rutti

Valley view

Ditto; not the Staubbach, but pretty good

At the campground, a cruciform tent! Is it facing east?!


We left Basel thus edified and drove to a stellplatz that turned out to be free parking in an RV sales and service center lot down the road toward Bern. The next morning we proceeded on south, and, topping a small hill, beheld
The Berner Alps...Eiger, Monch, Jungfrau, etc. 

Thus the museum phase of our summer trip ends, and the mountain phase begins 

Basel Museum

Basel is one of the $wiss cities we had not previously visited, it was sort of on the way, and we were particularly interested in its museum. The museum has a seriously enforced no fotos policy, but I did snatch a few of the more interesting/compelling items. Its collection of Holbeins, elder and younger and siblings too, is the largest there is. And there is much else, right up to present.
A Cranach Paris' Judgment (same model again)

I wasn't able to "document" all my pix; I
think this is a very different Cranach
madonna and child

As I said, there are dozens of Holbeins; here's Younger's

And a genre piece whose title I don't remember...damn!

And this, Junior's Entombed Christ, unusual if not
completely unique; early 1500s

Another unidentified (by me) but worthy 16th century gory

And another I've got to get the title/artist for
(help me, art fans!)

There was plenty of more recent stuff, a lot of Impressionism
and Post-Impressionism

Including this guy

Quite a few Picassos; story goes the museum wanted to
purchase a major Picasso, the local fiscal conservatives
got it put on the ballot, and the artsies won; Picasso was
sufficiently gratified that he gave the museum another
half dozen of his works

Even a couple Dalis: here his Burning Giraffe

Courtyard of this fine museum, with copy #1,743 of Rodin's

Monday, July 30, 2012

Freiburg Augustiner Museum

I really liked this museum. It is just a city museum, but it is superbly well done. It has collected much of the old regional art, much of it 14th and 15th century, so old that we will never know the artists, apart from "Master of the Upper Rhine," or "Master of Lake Constance," etc. It makes wonderful use of the very old Augustine monastery. And it preserves most of the great and very old art from the Freiburg Cathedral. I could post scores of pix...
Main hall, statues, gargoyles, etc. from the cathedral

A beautiful 14th century Pieta

A Hans Bladung Grien madonna and sleeping child, 1520

Grien's Cupid and Flaming Arrow; early 16th

Martin Schaffner Last Judgement, c. 1500

Cathedral stained glass: "the sorrowful man"was a genre
piece in the later middle ages; here's Mary as the
sorrowful Madonna; ouch!

From the cathedral treasury, a giant silver altarpiece

A marvelous tapestry on the sins of women; Vicki insisted
on individual pix of each sin

Higher view of the hall; the statues various saints and
biblical figures; the gargoyles (later), the seven cardinal
sins, etc.

Old organ

I never miss a circumcision; such a large knife?

A buxom 16th century Eve; interesting how tastes change;
this is about midway between the skinny maidens of the
16th and Rubens' full-figured beauties of the 17th; FWIW;
AND, Vicki asks, how come Adam gets a fig
leaf and Eve doesn't?

French-frying St. Vitus

More cathedral windows preserved now in the museum

And a final view of the hall, with gargoyles