Where do you want to go this summer?

Nowhere else!Unfortunately, my summer holiday is already over. After all, it had been almost 3 weeks. Two weeks from the holiday account and 4 days of overtime.

Of course, as usual, we hadn’t planned anything.Life could come in between! We had thought that maybe the south of France could become something, but then at the end of June the south of France – and finally even the western Sahara! – came to us, we had the idea to die.

We had 38 degrees in Trimbach – you don’t have to go after the heat!

But the almost cloudless weather, which lasted for more than two weeks, was like spontaneously going into the mountains a little.We had chosen a remote corner of Switzerland, namely the Great St. Bernard Pass. It is almost 2500 meters high, which means that we had 20 degrees less up there than in Trimbach, namely 15 degrees suitable for jacks!High Alpine alps in early summer mean flower splendour, rushing streams filled with greyish meltwater that waste their power in the foam and still a lot of snow remains. The Grosse St Bernhard in July also means an opportunity to take a small mountain tour with the huge dogs from there. The dogs are tread-proof like a skilled mountaineer, despite their 60 kg. You can actually drive from Olten with a few trains and a bus to the St Berrnhard Pass and on the same day back again – the connections actually work. It was, of course, a long day, the days at the beginning of July do not end.

Dog walk at 2500 m above sea level on 4 July.With us in the lowlands we had 35 degrees, up there it was maybe 13 at noon.

The Italian side of the pass.

St. Bernards in their natural environment! This breed was bred up here for the first time – for mountain rescue. These dogs do not become happy in today’s hot lowlands and like a lot of run-out despite their size.

The path is a bit exposed and rough, you should bring real hiking boots and sure-footedness here.

The hospice on the Swiss side

With the alpine flower splendour, of course, the theme for this summer was really launched for my “life accomplice”.

More flowers!

I had never been to the St BernhardPass before and was positively surprised by what I saw, then I could just as well visit the island of Mainau for the first time in my life!

We were there on a Tuesday, before the main holiday season. Of course, my “desert flower” had been like back and forth!She spent most of her life in a stone world, in a place where you hardly ever see a flower.

It is equipped with an extraordinarily fine sense of smell, and revelled there in the full-flowered rose garden in a sea of well-being that I could hardly experience.

I’m not the rose type, although the prickly things seem to like me all the more.I also have one at home, which I will also prepare myself for a solitaire, i.e. as a small tree. Smell supposedly does the same. Also otherwise the summer flower arrangements were a kind of discovery for me, noisy sun-resistant, not dependent on large amounts of water and persistently flowering species, many of them also gladly visited by all kinds of insects. Often the high summer is a somewhat difficult time for garden flowers.

We spent there about 7 listening hours, no time for food, but we went away by boat from the island, straight into the sunset.We really want to go there again, then I can also take a closer look at the enormous sequoias. They have been on the island since about 1850, they are the oldest specimens in Europe. They are supposed to have a real flood of dahlias there.

The Rhododendron forest on the Mainau had unfortunately already bloomed – for this we had seen the alpine roses bloom on the slope at St. Bernhard.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t stop the bus to take pictures, which is why I came up with the idea to visit the high Alpine pass closest to us, the 2270 m high Sustenpass. This leads from Meiringen in the Bernese Oberland to Wassen in the canton of Uri, which lies on the Gotthard line.The pass is spectacular to drive, with countless turns and short tunnels, even tunnels that are designed as a curve. There are many opportunities to stop, and a side road to the Steinglacier. There are also the most lavish alpine rosenfelders, which are easily accessible for non-alpinists like my wife.

We were in a huge glacial kar, meltwater about us plummeted into the valley in long, silver strands, and the noise of the torrents coming from the ice fields filled the vast, otherwise quiet valley.

That’s how I saw it in my younger years.

That’s left of the “eternal ice”.

Stone Glacier in July 2019.

In 1980, after the cold, rainy summers of the 1970s, the glacier was the furthest advanced in the 20th century.

The difference between 2011 and 2019 is also quite big, a large glacier gate has now been formed.

Alpine rose bushes and a few small pastures thrive at about 2000 m above sea level.

Up here, the spring-summer lasts little more than 10 weeks, the alpine season is not even worth it here with sheep. Like the St Bernhard, the Susten Pass is a saddle between two east-west oriented valleys, where enormous amounts of winter snow accumulate. The north-south oriented passes such as the Grimsel and the Gotthard are favored in this respect, the passes are also much lower.

Highly swollen bergbach, the so-called stone water, finally leads the melting snow and the meltwater of the glacier into the Rhine.

Incidentally, the share of the melting of glaciers in the total water flow of the Rhine near Basel is negligible, while the proportion of melting winter snow in the total amount of water is enormously high in early and high summer. Also this year there were enormous amounts of snow in the Alps above half of 1500 m above sea level.

The Sustenpass road is easy to navigate, but still spectacular with many hairpin bends and countless tunnels.

The waterfall is one of many here, formed by spring streams that bring the meltwater from the Titlis into the valley and almost completely dry up in autumn.

Such spontaneous tours can be set up very well at short notice, especially from Olten, you don’t have to book a hotel permanently and then maybe catch a rainy season.We’re not the hotel types anyway, we don’t have it that way with regular meal times after the clock. Could life come in between.

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