A trip through Switzerland

Cable car to Mount Pilatus

This project is the result of a 10 day trip through Switzerland around big cities, namely Lugano, Lucerne and Zurich, smaller villages like Chur, and some points of interest along the way, like Walensee, using only a Pentax SP1000 camera and 2 Fuji C100 color films.

From the beauty of the mountain ranges that surround countless cities and villages, brimming with vegetation and peaked by snow, to the bodies of water that mirror those same cities, Switzerland is a country with a rich natural landscape. Anyone that walks around this land can not feel indifferent to the impact of the monumental scale of its natural context and its sheer beauty.

This travel began by heading from Lausanne to Lugano, where Monte San Salvatore overlooked the city and its surroundings, while at the same time being a proof of Man’s accomplishments, through the funicular that connects the base of the mountain to the top, at 912 meters, since 1888.

The next step was to go towards Lucerne, while taking the opportunity to stop in peaceful Chur, in the canton of Graubünden. Notoriously a calmer city in comparison to Lugano, Chur is more traditional in its architecture and functions at a “lower pace”, inviting us to enjoy the town squares and streets. Afterwards, it was time to head for Lucerne, and on the way we passed by Walensee, a large lake in the St. Gallen canton, with its amazing landscape and unusual location of some towns around it, namely Amden.

Upon reaching Lucerne we could find another city of traditional expression, but also showing the desire to integrate new architecture without interfering with the former buildings, slowly and carefully. With Lake Lucerne being such an important part of this region, the town grew around both its banks, and the various bridges reflect that, taking advantage of the lakeside. Being in this area, we could not leave without reaching the top of Mount Pilatus (2132m above sea level), the largest mountain on the outskirts of Lucerne, with breathtaking views over the city and lake, and the snowy mountain range on the other side.

The final section of the trip was Zurich, where the weather was significantly darker and rainy. Nonetheless, it is an interesting city marked by numerous churches, the Limmat river and its stone buildings and dark roofs. Not unlike any other Swiss cities, Zurich is clean, well organised, and filled with historic and cultural/monumental buildings.

As an ending note, this travel was an opportunity to unveil a small part of a rich country, both in landscape and culture. Having had the chance to know cities of different languages and cultural backgrounds, it was possible to understand how much there still is to be discovered in this land, and that it is definitely a place to return.

About the author:
João Henrique Alves was born in 1988. He lives in Portugal and recently got his master in architecture from the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Lisbon. He pursues photography as a hobby.

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