Switzerland pictures

Aug 27th, 2006, 01:49 PM
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Switzerland pictures

Although I rarely post to this board, I read it extensively and have gotten wonderful information in the past. As a way to say thank you, I've posted pictures from my July 2006 trip to Switzerland at http://public.fotki.com/Melissa131/switzerland_2006/
(Obligatory credit: most were taken by my partner, Melissa, who is a terrific photographer).

Our 18-day trip covered the Engadine Valley, from Scuol in the north to Maloja in the south, including side trips into the Swiss National Park, Val Mustair, and the Val Bregaglia (to Soglio); the Oeschinensee above Kandersteg; and the Saastal, especially Saas Fee. En route, we also spent a night in the old part of Chur and an afternoon at the zoo in Bern. We're budget travelers and stayed in some great small inns (in Guarda and Saas Fee) as well in hostels and hostel-equivalents (in Maloja, Il Fuorn in the national park, and Oeschinensee). We did lots of day hikes and rode trains and post buses extensively. I'd be happy to answer questions about any of the places we visited.

Or, just enjoy the photos. The folder categorizations are overly broad (Soglio is in the Upper Engadine folder, for instance), but the name of each photo indicates the location. Sorry for the lack of captions. Sorting through our 900 pictures has been work enough.

What a glorious country!!
ChrisS is offline  
Aug 27th, 2006, 02:04 PM
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Loved the reflections, the flowers, the animals, the scenery! Beautiful pictures! I want to go back
kwren is offline  
Aug 27th, 2006, 03:35 PM
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I don't know which is better--Swiss scenery or Swiss architecture. The buildings are just as beautiful as the mountains. I don't usually take pics of cemetaries, but I took several when I was in Switzerland because even cemetaries are beautiful too. <sigh>

I will join kwren in a good cry. I wanna go back too!!
P_M is online now  
Aug 27th, 2006, 03:39 PM
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cute how we cry in synch!!!
kwren is offline  
Aug 27th, 2006, 03:49 PM
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Thank you for sharing the photos that your Melissa took Chris! Although I have been in Switzerland I have not been to all the places you travelled through.

One touching thing, I have Swiss Cowbells which my late husband attached to a beautiful piece of wood. They are on a narrow wall in my dining area. The first photo of the cow with his cowbell made me smile as I looked at the ones on my wall.
LoveItaly is offline  
Aug 27th, 2006, 03:54 PM
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How very sweet, LoveItaly!!

kwren, please see my reply about your overeating crisis....
P_M is online now  
Aug 27th, 2006, 04:14 PM
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Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures. Melissa is a very talented lady, indeed. In addition, I especially appreciate that you and Melissa took care to spell the visited sites correctly!
waggis is offline  
Aug 27th, 2006, 04:24 PM
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Chris + Melissa - very nice pics. It helps that the subject matter is so photogenic...

We were in the Engadin (hiking) last month too and I have taken a number of similar shots - they're not digital however.
TuckH is offline  
Aug 27th, 2006, 04:29 PM
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Very nice!!!

I have a few questions:
Which lens were you using?
Why were they taken at ISO640?
Why are they shot at 3 different resolutions; 2mgp, 4mgp and 8mgp?

Myer is offline  
Aug 27th, 2006, 04:40 PM
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Very, very nice.
Big_Red is offline  
Aug 27th, 2006, 04:42 PM
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Wonderful photos, Chris and Melissa. Oeschinensee is one of our favorite places too---I love the way you captured the sculpted rocks and the light on the lake. And the cows, of course.

Can you tell me where Photos ## 3 & 4 in the Upper Engadien series were taken? I had one of those "I want to go there!" moments with those in particular, and can't find the location ID for them.
enzian is offline  
Aug 27th, 2006, 05:59 PM
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Great pictures! I plan to be back there in a few weeks, but now I wish I were there right now.

enzian, these are taken at Fuorcla Surlej, only a 30 minutes walk (easy hike) from the middle station of the cable car Silvaplana Surlej - Corvatsch. The photographer stands right in front of the terrace of the mountain hut, in the background Piz Bernina, Piz Scerscen and Piz Roseg. Have taken a number of similar pictures by myself ;-)
Ingo is offline  
Aug 27th, 2006, 06:42 PM
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Thanks to you and Melissa. Amazing photos.

Have a special interest in your Saas Fee photos, as we had two lovely vacations there. Where did you stay?

Looks like you had a marvelous 18 days!
SusanEva is offline  
Aug 27th, 2006, 07:41 PM
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Thank you all for your kind words. Melissa sometimes doubts her skills, so it's nice to have someone besides me telling her she does well.

Enzian: Ingo is indeed right about those shots being taken at Fuorcla Surlej. The awe those pictures convey is the awe you feel upon reaching the summit of the hill and suddenly seeing that previously largely hidden panorama unfold before you. (There's the obligatory small restaurant with a terrace where you can enjoy the view.) I should note that we were continually amused during this trip at how Ingo's view of an "easy hike" differed from ours. That one-mile hike was quite doable for two heavily set women who are not terribly in shape, but the continual uphill plus the altitude meant that we stopped to rest a lot (which we could of course mask by taking photos). As on most Swiss trails, you'll be glad to have a trekking pole or two with you.

SusanEva: In Saas Fee, we stayed at the Hotel Bergheimat (www.bergheimat.ch), which had a wonderfully central location, just down the hill from the tourist office, and was a terrific value. We got a double room with private bath, a south-facing view of the glaciers, a small balcony, and even a TV (love being able to watch in four languages) for just 110 francs/night. That was much cheaper than most of the places advertised on the wall outside the tourist office. Plus, breakfasts were good, and the hotel had a lift! We considered it a great find.

P_M: I was so taken with Swiss people's evident love of flowers, so much that they make even graves into gardens. Such a beautiful and charming practice.

Myer: We were using our new Canon Eos D30 and three Canon lenses: an EF 17-40mm wide angle, occasionally a 50mm prime lens, and an EF 70-300 telephoto lens. A bit heavier than the old film SLR and lenses we'd been using up til now, but the results (and not having to lug around film) were worth it.

Surely they weren't all taken at ISO640, were they? In any event, the reason many were is that we're still getting the hang of digital photography, and what with paying attention to aperture and shutter speed and white balance and focus points and various modes, we often forgot that we could change the ISO so easily. Something to remember next time.

I believe everything was originally shot at 8mpg resolution, but Melissa usually sizes them down before posting them online to spare people with slow connections from having to wait forever to view them. Because we were in a hurry (friends and family were clamoring to see them), we didn't resize everything before posting them.

Ingo: I live in envy of anyone who can say "I plan to be back there in a few weeks." Thanks for helping to convince us that the Engadine was a place well worth exploring. Even in the height of July we felt pretty much off the beaten path: It was four or five days before we saw another American!
ChrisS is offline  
Aug 28th, 2006, 05:24 AM
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Thanks for the reply.

I have a Canon XT and my walkaround lens is a 28-105 II USM 3.5/4.5 that I brought over from my film elan 7e.

Due to the 1.6 crop factor, I find that while my lens is fine for ordinary photos, on trips it just isn't quite wide enough.

Our last trip (June 2006 - Prague, Budapest, Brugge, Amsterdam) was my first going digital.

I found myself shooting many more than with film. While I deleted a few bad ones as I went, most of the culling took place (with great pain) later.

I ran statistics of my trip photos and found that at least 1/3 were taken at the widest (28mm) and less than 1/6 were take above 80mm. This tells me my lens will most likely be replaced for trips by something wider and not quite as long.

I have developed a pattern: Outdoor and daytime at ISO200, Tv mode 1/160 or 1/200 sec.
Indoor or evening at ISO800, Tv mode and shutter speed 1/15 to 1/80 as required.

You can see my photos at:


Select the 2006 trip. The others are cheap scans of 4 x 6 prints and the quality is pretty bad.

Thanks for the great shots and the info!!!
Myer is offline  
Aug 28th, 2006, 08:48 AM
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Thank you for responding, Ingo and Chris. In what village should we stay to be close to the Fuorcla Surlej hike?
enzian is offline  
Aug 28th, 2006, 09:01 AM
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Hey, Chris, great pics! We were there in June...stayed at Piz Buin in Guarda and Palis in Soglio. LOVED it. Engadine is definitely untouristed (except for St Moritz) very quiet and we never saw one American till we got to Sierre. For that matter, it was off seson, but it wasn't what I would called "integrated" in any way by other ethnic or religious groups. Just a statement, but it was just really strange! Totally unlike Geneva or Zurich, etc. Even more so in the Val D'Anniviers (another place you would love) I'm ready to go back, my husband is trying to force me to go somewhere else this summer, lol.
LLindaC is offline  
Aug 28th, 2006, 09:22 AM
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Chris, thanks for sharing! Melissa certainly does take beautiful pictures! Between your pictures and kwren's pictures I am starting to itch for a Switzerland trip!

Okay, now I'm going to start reading your report. Thanks for posting!

tcreath is offline  
Aug 28th, 2006, 01:39 PM
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Enzio: The cable car that takes you to the beginning of the hike to Furcla Surlej leaves from Surlej, which is a kilometer or two outside Silvaplana.

There or indeed anywhere from Maloja (our base), to Sils Maria (Ingo's favorite, I believe), up to St. Moritz would be fine places to stay, as some of the frequent buses that run along the valley take you to Surlej.

For another beautiful viewpoint in that region (one where you can spend the night), take the funicular up to Muottas Muragl. It leaves from a bus stop halfway between Pontresina and St. Moritz (or Pontresina and Samedan, depending on which way you're going). The hotel up there has the most awesome views southwest down the Engadine Valley with its string of turquoise lakes (see photo #12 in the Upper Engadine folder). It was glorious to wake up to the sun rising on that view (seen from the terrace of our room) and be on top of the world.
ChrisS is offline  
Aug 29th, 2006, 02:48 AM
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Hi ChrisS (& Melissa!),

Wow! Man o man what great shots!!

I'm teaching a "Traveling in Switzerland" class locally in September, and I would sure love to include some of your shots in my slideshow. I used my own shots & those from www.webshots.com to set up six slideshows to show the students the best of Switzerland. However, your shots are far, far better (composition & quality) than those I have now.

Would you mind if I used your photos for my class? I am being paid for the class, so I wouldn't mind at all giving you some payment for the use of the photos. If so, I'll give you my e-mail address & we'll figure it out!

Thanks; I love your shots!!

swandav2000 is offline  

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