Saturday, 7 November 2015


I hope that you have some good boots on today because I will take you on one of the many hiking trails in Switzerland. And since hiking is a national sport here, you'd better be prepared. We will start in Uetliberg. To get there, we need to catch the Uetliberg train.

We need to go until the Uetliberg station.

Some of you may know already that "Berg" means mountain in German. And indeed, Uetliberg is a hill in Zurich. The road to the top of the hill is not excessively steep, it is also bike and stroller friendly.

As you may imagine, in the past, the hill had an important strategic significance. It was a fortress already in antique times. It was also a defence line during World War II.

One of the attractions of Felsenegg is the Planeteweg or Path of the Planets. It replicates the Solar system at a scale of one to a billion. First comes the Sun. It is relatively big.

When we arrived to Mercury, it took me some time to realize why they did not show a small planet but just a rock. And then I realized that the planet was there. It was just so much smaller than the Sun.

With Venus I was already prepared.

Earth came with a bonus - the Moon.

Finally, we arrive on the top of the Uetliberg hill. Let's climb up a bit more on the top of the tower.

(c) Markus Bennet, Wikipedia

Be careful not to slip! 

So finally we can admire the panorama of the city of Zurich. Quite densely packed.

And on the right hand side - the Zurich Lake. With all its tiny villages. 

If you look really carefully, somewhere around the place where the lake turns you will spot Horgen, the place where we have bathed in summer. 

The Uetliberg hill houses also the radio tower and a fancy restaurant. 

I propose we get back on the trail again. Here come Mars. Can you spot the flowing water that NASA reported to have found?

One great thing about Swiss hiking trails is that usually every now and then you can find drinking water, typically in some small fountains. 

Jupiter, the biggest planet, is at last well visible.

So is Saturn, easy to recognise thanks to the rings it has around.

The Felsenegg follows the hill along the Zurich Lake. 

If you turn back, you will notice that we have moved already quite far from Uetliberg. 

Look, there is a blue planet on the way. It is Neptune. Now I understand why the ancient Romans thought this is a god of the seas. 

I know that we still have Uranus and Pluto to complete the solar system, but I propose we turn a bit into another direction. 

But before we arrive there, I need to show you another Swiss speciality - the Hofladen are small shops run by farmers. They typically put their crops next to the house, together with a box for money. Full self-service. Very convenient when you are on the road. But requires a lot of trust. 

The reason why we left the Planeteweg is right here. 

The Adliswil-Felsenegg cable car (or gondola lift) will take us safely down to the level of Zurich Lake. 

So off we go!

I hope that you have enjoyed the time we have spent on the Felsenegg. It was altogether a bit more than six kilometers. Pretty short, compared to the total size of the Solar System.

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