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Originally from South Africa, Lisa Gibson moved to Switzerland in 2011 with her fiancé and has enjoyed every minute of this adventure. Currently based in Lausanne, she's a freelance and feature writer. She started her personal blog as a means of documenting her travels (both in Switzerland and around the rest of Europe) and as a way to share the expat experience with friends and family back home.
 
Lisa's love for Switzerland goes back to when she first visited as a teenager more than 15 years ago - so living here has been like a childhood dream come true! As an adult, her love affair with Switzerland continues… she loves exploring the region and discovering the lesser-known gems, often not mentioned in the tourism brochures.
 
The saying “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer” could not be more true for her.
 
http://misswissbliss.wordpress.com/
 

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By Lisa Gibson, http://misswissbliss.wordpress.com/

Located in the quaint village of Rossinière, in the canton of Vaud, is the impressive but relatively unknown Swiss heritage site that is Le Grand Chalet (The Grand Chalet).

It is the biggest chalet in Switzerland and one of the largest wooden dwellings in Europe. It is also one of the oldest chalets in Switzerland and as such, is a protected monument.

Built between 1752 and 1756 by Jean David Henchoz, this fine example of traditional Swiss architecture was originally designed as a warehouse and storage cellar for cheese. It later became a hotel, when in 1852, it was converted into a guesthouse, and boasted visitors such as Victor Hugo and Alfred Dreyfuss.

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By Lisa Gibson, http://misswissbliss.wordpress.com/

Calling all thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies: if you are up for the challenge, a visit to Europes’ highest suspension bridge is just for you! Situated on the Titlis glacier in the Engelberg region at an altitude of 3 000 meters above sea level, nothing beats the thrill of crossing the Titlis Cliff Walk!

Constructed 500 meters off the ground, this pedestrian bridge was constructed over a period of only 5 months. Much of the material used in the construction was transported in cable cars, with larger sections being delivered by helicopter. The bridge is designed to withstand winds reaching up to 190 km/h as well as significant snowfall (around 500 tons to be exact), so the bridge is claimed to be 100 percent safe. On a clear day, it’s possible to view the glacier below as well as the Uri Alps and even part of Italy.

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By Lisa Gibson, http://misswissbliss.wordpress.com/

Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful locations in Switzerland, this magnificent turquoise lake, tucked away in a forested area and entirely surrounded by sheer mountain cliffs, makes for an amazing day or weekend trip. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, it’s the perfect place to enjoy the beauty and serenity of the outdoors – both in summer and winter.  The landscape changes with the seasons and can look completely different depending on when you visit –– from pristine alpine greenery to a magical white wonderland.

Situated in Kandersteg, a region of the Berner Oberland, the travel time from Lausanne/Geneva is around 2.5 to 3 hours by either car or train.

During the summer time, Oeschinensee is a hikers paradise, a place to picnic, boat, swim, fish or simply relax and take in the natural beauty. It can be reached via a gondola, which takes you to the upper station. It is also possible to hike up from the lower station (during summer months only), taking around 1 ½ hours with a 400m incline. Once at the upper station, it’s just a 30 minute walk to reach the lake.

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By Lisa Gibson, http://misswissbliss.wordpress.com/

Winter is upon us and it’s that time of the year when we love nothing more than going up into the mountains to enjoy the snow. It’s all about taking full advantage of fun outdoor winter activities such as tobogganing, snow shoe hiking or simply trudging through the thick snow and enjoying the fresh air.

You don’t even need to make a trip to one of the far flung resorts to enjoy these winter past times – in fact, a short 20 minute trip from Montreux is all it takes to reach one of the regions lesser-known gems: the town of Les Avants.

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By Lisa Gibson, http://misswissbliss.wordpress.com/

Did you know that Switzerland has its very own version of Stonehenge situated in Yverdon-les-Bains? Located on the shores of Lake Neuchâtel, in a clearing in the Champ-Pittet nature reserve, is a formation of 45 stones of Neolithic origin, known as the Menhirs de Clendy. (Menhir is the term used for an upright monumental stone of prehistoric origin.)

The level of Lac de Neuchâtel was artificially lowered at the end of the nineteenth century and this led to the discovery of several archaeological finds, most notably, the Stone Age site of Clendy.

Between 1869 and 1883, the level of the lake decreased by 2.7 m following the first correction of the Jura waters. It was in 1878 that these menhirs first appeared on the waters surface. An engineer confirmed that the giant stones had been placed there by a Neolithic people over 6 000 years ago. This was later backed up in 1975 by a scientist who confirmed that the menhirs had in fact, been strategically aligned in an oval formation which permitted “a view from East to West, from rivers to mountains and from the stars to the moon”. At that time, the site was clear of any trees, so the uninterrupted views must have been quite something to behold.