Monday, 5 May 2014

Beauti of Swiss Vally.



Which one? You might well ask: aren’t there innumerable green valleys on the planet? There are, of course! And beautiful ones too! This one, called Val Verzasca, only about 15 kilometers from Locarno, is one Is one such rare jewel in south Switzerland? 

The Verzasca is one of the Mail Rivers of Canton Ticino, also known as The emerald green river which is ravishingly beautiful – even if really dangerous at times to those lured into its waters. But that’s exactly the secret of its appeal. That’s what draws thousands of sun-hungry adventure lovers looking for a change of clime and scene to it from the flat, colder countries of Europe from April to October.

      But this valley, like its sister valleys of the region, draws not only adventure – holiday seekers bent on the region, draws not only adventure – holiday seekers bent on the adrenalin kicks of extreme sports like mountaineering, scrambling, bouldering, and kayaking  along swiftly flowing white waters, or Para-gliding and bungee jumping and other such daring feats. It is just the thing, too,When your jaded nerves need a break from the stress of spinning ever faster to the twirls and whirls of everyday life.

        Unplug yourself from the rest of the world and hide away in a remote little alpine village. Let your eyes take their fill of the symphony in the varying shades of the green of the cool fresh breeze, sitting as still as the rocks on the shore.

         The best bit is that, though the valley has retained its original wild look and spirit outwardly, the infrastructure of tourist facilities is the most modern even at camping sites just outside it. The range of hotels in Val Varzasca  is wide, though. So you can enjoy any degree of comfort you want.

        Built of stone and exuding the rustic charm typical of the valley, rustics are now fitted out with modern conveniences for holiday lets.Val Verzasca is only about 30 kilometers long, beyond which there are only challenging hiking Routes unsuitable for people unused to hiking in mountainous terrains. We drove right up to the last village, Sonogno,up the narrow mountain road that is steep and full of hairpin bends in the first part and gentler slopes in the second half. For our bearings on the place, we Stopped several times at the few roadside car parks high above the river to decide which spots explore more thoroughly. Beyond Sonogno the valley forks left and right into two high-alpine valleys where motor cars don’t go.The road is used by cyclists and walkers as well, so we had to concentrate on the road despite the Cinematic background. So, having  to keep our eyes onthe winding road instead of the scenery, seemed to us a sheer waste of time.But there’s a postbus service from Locarno right up to Sonogno. In addition to saving you the hassle of driving under totally different conditions and finding a parking space, you get extra  bonus of fully enjoying the scenic beauty of the place.The post bus from Locarno stops at every village on the route. You would get to see different aspects of how people lived in this valley as early as the fifteenth century. 

                                                  PICTURESQUE SIGHTS

      You need strong legs and plenty of stamina for the experience but you’ll be rewarded 
with sights of Picturesque alpine villages, the kind which you’ve never seen before. 

    The views are magnificent,and the insight into a bygone way of life is exhilarating.
Excursionslike these open your mind to other dimensions of life and widen your mental 
horizons. For example, from San Bartolomeo –  a little above Vogorno (where we stayed)
 – you take the cable car to Alpe Bardughe for a spectacular view and see how hay used to 
be harvested from the near vertical slopes and transported down to the pasture-poor valley far 
below to feed cattle. Also, see the wolf traps they laid to fight the wolves threatening their cattle 
about a kilometer outside the villages Of Brione, Alnasca of Ganne.

      Or go on a hike from Frasco, stopping at Torbora to wonder at the old bread-baking oven 
(still Usable!) with its back to a sty to keep the animals warm, the animals warm, the 
picturesque Efra water-Fall cascading down and away as the turbulent mountain stream, Efra, 
or find out in Revoira how theyUsed to store water in monoliths sculpted into stone tubs and 
troughs as the land is generally so rocky and porous that all kthe water just disappeared onto it. 
See code storage cellars of the past built Between boulders with stones. An open –air

                                             VAL- VERZASCA MUSEUM

        At the end of the day, go to a grotto (restaurant) to sit under a leafy pergola, open your 
senses to the sounds and scents and the fading silhouettes of the dying day and enjoy simple
rustic meal at Leisure, with a glass of local wine if you like, to get the real feel of the kind of life 
the Verzasca Ticinesehave always lived in their valley. Go to bed tired out physically but totally 
contented for a night’s sound sleep. 

       As I drifted off into deep slumber, I could see the stars twinkling above the darkness that 
has Swallowed up the mountains and Lake Vogorno just outside our window. But when my 
husband and I awoke nest morning; the sun had just given the tops of the hills a gold wash, 
promising us yet another Brilliant day. 

     Getting there: By train: either from Milan over the Simplon Pass through Domodossola,
Verbania, along the shore of Logo Maggiore to Locarno, or over the Gotthard pass from 
zuerich,Changing in Bellinzona and getting off in Locarno. By post bus  from the coach station 
in Locarno (leaving every one or two hours) to your destination in Val Verzasca

   Recommended duration of stay: From a weekend to a week, depending on your interests.
                            Travel light and enjoy your stay!