Old Feb 21st, 2001, 06:38 PM
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Any info on town of Sargans ,Switzerland will be helpfull .Will be there in september for 2 days.Help. T
Old Feb 21st, 2001, 06:54 PM
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We've passed through on the train and didn't see much of interest.

That's not worth very much ...
although Michelin's green guide (sights) ignores Sargans completely. (That's not a good sign.)

If you can work with a little German you'll find their homepage at You probably don't need a reminder that the AltaVista translation capability is fairly decent ...

Old Feb 22nd, 2001, 12:06 AM
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September is the best time of year for Switzerland. Hiking is the thing to do around Sargans. Sargans is known as the starting point of the Alps Pass Hiking Route across Switzerland (stage 1 the Foopass). If you're into hiking there are several great hiking opportunities in the area.

Chur (easily reached by train-Sargans is on the main Zurich to Chur line) is nearby and is a very nice place to visit. As well as the touristy Heidiland. The cliffs above Walensee are beautiful.

If you have a car, I recommend you drive across the magnificent Klausen Pass to Altdorf (it will take you at least 3/4 day RT). There are also several resort areas nearby that you could consider for hiking or whitewater rafting. Flims/Laax, Davos, Arosa.

Or you could even consider doing a portion of the glacier express for the day (RT Chur-St. Moritz).

Nearby villages of Mels, Elms (where in 1881 the mountainside collapsed and killed 114}, and Linthal are supposed to be more charming. All the pre-1800's buildings in Sargans were wiped out by a fire. Hence, it holds little charm except for the 13th century castle overlooking the town, but do make use of the excellent Swiss transportation system. Nowhere else in the world are 1-way hikes so logistically easy!

Switzerland has so many wonderful little villages in the mountains. I love just going to some random places and taking a cable car up and seeing where I end up. There is so much more to Switzerland then the Berner Oberland. Enjoy.
Old Feb 23rd, 2001, 04:39 PM
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Thanks Christine .I will visit Chur for a day.Travelman
Old Mar 4th, 2001, 03:23 AM
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Travelman if you're still here. I ran across this article this morning from the Seattle Times.

Pristine Heidiland is a fairy-tale getaway

Background, Related Info & Multimedia:

by Clare Nullis
Associated Press

SARGANS, Switzerland -- Its name may conjure images of an amusement arcade with model Heidis, cuckoo clocks and chocolate bars, but in reality Heidiland is an unexpected treasure of Alpine foothills and peaks, deep lakes and lovely villages.

In short, it's scenery that inspired Johanna Spyri's "Heidi," the enduring and endearing children's classic about life in the Swiss Alps. Yet the area in which the novel was set was little known even within Switzerland until it was controversially repackaged under the banner of the nation's heroine.

"We had to stop people driving straight through on the highway and we did that with Heidiland," says Urs Kamber, a former national track star and marketing whiz who introduced the Heidiland concept against considerable opposition in 1997.

"At the start, local people were afraid we were building up a plastic Heidiland for mass tourism," Kamber says. "But now they increasingly realize that we're selling something that has been here for a long time, just with a new wrapping.

"The title is provocative, but it's working," adds Kamber.

Kamber says young families are replacing aging Swiss clientele in the Heidiland area, hotel occupancy rates are rising in an otherwise stagnant market and growing numbers of foreign visitors are making special trips or interrupting their journey between Zurich and established tourist magnets like St. Moritz and Klosters in eastern Switzerland.

Business from Japan has far outstripped anticipations, says Kamber, and tourism officials plan to launch a drive aimed at smaller U.S. tour operators - forcing conservative locals reluctantly to learn English.

"If you love skiing in winter, hiking and biking in summer; if you cherish peace and relaxation; if you are looking for an area which offers something for all seasons; if you like your water from bubbling streams or still mountain lakes; then you've come to the right place," gushes the Heidiland tourist blurb.

Included in Heidiland's embrace are 32 villages in an area of 24 square miles within easy reach of the Swiss city of Zurich, Lake Constance on the German border, and the tiny principality of Liechtenstein.

The best-known resort is Bad Ragaz, an elegant spa village in bucolic surroundings with sumptuous hotels whose thermal waters helped relax and revitalize author Spyri between 1872 and 1887 and still draw the well-heeled from around the world. The five-star Quellenhof boasts its own 18-hole golf course and pampers its visitors with beauty and fitness treatments coupled with gourmet - but healthy - cuisine.

The nearby Tamina Gorge is another attraction. Walensee, said to be one of the cleanest, deepest lakes in Europe, is surrounded by small villages such as Quinten, which is reachable only by boat or on foot.

Flumserberg is a popular ski resort in winter and a base for hiking and biking in summer. It offers high-altitude (6,600 feet) walks accessible to wheelchairs and strollers. Tannenboden, a small village on the mountain, has a traditional Alpine cheesery which invites visitors to make their own cheese and then mails it to them after the requisite three-month maturing period.

Pizol, another popular ski resort, is well known for its sunshine and its 4.7-mile toboggan run, conveniently starting and finishing at a local mountain railway.

Old Mar 4th, 2001, 03:27 AM
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above post continued from the Seattle Times article "Pristine Heidiland...:

The town of Sargans, the administrative "capital" of Heidiland, features a 13th-century castle with a fine museum. It's also a base for excursions for those wanting a peek at the ruling prince's castle in nearby Liechtenstein (population 32,000) and the novelty of a Liechtenstein stamp in their passport.

Although "Heidi" is fiction, the Heidiland area was what Spyri had in mind when she wrote the two-volume novel published in 1880-81. She even used a few real place names.

True "Heidi" addicts head for the "original" Heidi House in "Heidi's village," otherwise known as Maienfeld, a lovely little town which until recently made its living from its fine wines.

"I read the 'Heidi' book as a child and watched the 'Heidi' television series like most other children of my generation," says 31-year-old Nozomi Arai, one of the many Japanese visitors enjoying the stunning views around the village. "The air is so pure here and the mountains so green," she sighs.

The Heidi House was opened in 1998 after local authorities were able to buy it from a private owner. It comes complete with a model Heidi, her goat-herd friend Peter, and a grandfather look-alike, as well as "authentic" trappings like a plate of half-eaten muesli. Its shop sells Heidi T-shirts, umbrellas, videos and - of course - books, as well as small bags of feed for the Heidi hens and Heidi goats nuzzling on Heidi Mountain.

Hans-Juerg Muentener, president of Heidi Village, expects 60,000 visitors this year.

"Heidi is an idol. She symbolizes our yearning for an ideal world of peace and tranquility lost in today's stress and pressure," Muentener says.

It is the image of purity and cleanliness that Heidilanders hope to exploit for all its worth.

With the 100th anniversary of Spyri's death coming up July 7, and a new "Heidi" movie in the making, the "Heidi" hype looks set to heat up.

This is why I wish people would use a real email address!


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