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Aurea Fagel

Author bio

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Aurea Fagel - A keen photographer and former expat who loves to travel, discover food, wine and cultures, does a bit of feng shui & home design and plays Scrabble & Gateball. She has been living in Switzerland since 2000 and would like to share her experiences, photos and perspectives on all of the above! Her blog caters to Swiss locals.

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Text and photos by Aurea Fagel

After a very long Covid spell, I am back kicking and eager to give you again my humble recommendations for local travel! My recent trip was an unexpected destination - dazzling Davos! One you won’t probably put on your list but will certainly tickle your interest especially if you are looking for some quiet respite with nature and a relaxing break. Indeed, it is a famous ski resort destination but here are 8 reasons I can give you to consider Davos on your summer/autumn travel list:

Get on a Rhaetian Railway train! If you are going to Davos, taking the train is a great option, especially with Carte Journalière deals. You will hop on the historic Rhaetian Railway trains passing through the scenic alpine forests and mountains en route to Davos Platz/Klosters. You may even max out your ticket by taking the UNESCO heritage Rhaetian Railway Albula-Bernina route to Filisur or Tiefencastel and pass through 2 historic bridges “Landwasserviadukt” and “Wiesnerviadukt”!

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Take a leisurely visit to Schatzalp, the location for the movie and literary masterpiece “Magic Mountain” by Thomas Mann. It is just a 10-minute funicular ride and you will see right away the Art Nouveau Hotel Schatzalp which was once a luxurious sanatorium in the late 19th century and now also houses over 3,000 varieties of plants and herbs (like at least 5 kinds of rosemary herbs from various countries!) in their botanical garden. The historic hotel has a nice balcony restaurant giving you panoramic mountain views such as the Jakobshorn, Rinerhorn and Piz Ela. Inside the hotel you will find Art Nouveau decors and ambiance especially the dining room and lobby. And of course, walking trails!

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Text and photos by Aurea Fagel

Autumnal blues kicking in after an active eventful summer under the sun? Hmm… what to do next? In Switzerland, that last question is met with a chockful of goody ideas! Of course, TONS of stuff always to do around this beautiful country. And the onset of the cold season does not even hamper the spirit! So allow me to give you my 2-cents on what to explore on a weekend – the day-tripper, overnighter and the long weekender - good itineraries to get your autumn vibes going.

Day Tripper - Easy Hike to Arboretum, Vallon de l’Aubonne

My Scrabble group took a day hike to the famous national park Arboretum in Aubonne last summer and we covered about 3-4 interesting trails for around 3 hours with a picnic lunch. But I bet in autumn, there would be a magical display of colors on the trees and reflections on the lake promising a wonderful walk or hike!
We followed the trail “Parcours Sylviculture” (Forest Discovery trail) on the way up to the main picnic area. Then on the way back, we traversed through the trails “Sentier de la Vaux”, “Séquoias” and “Sentier du Bois-Guyot”, before coming back to the park’s central space. 
Fun Fact: Wild roses bear fruit and they are called rose hip or rose haw (in French it is called cynorrhodon). They are edible and can be made into jams and infusions!

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By Aurea Fagel

As the holiday season is now behind us, we would normally be settling down after a tumultuous time of scrambling for last-minute flights and hotels or returning from a trip somewhere with warmth, snowy peaks, or foreign languages.

Some of you would have been heaving a sigh of relief after family gatherings or friends coming over for dinner and ensuring your home is nicely decorated, wines are aplenty, and the kids presentable.

But probably not this last season. Travel was the last thing on most people’s mind. Or even visiting friends or relatives. You may be planning on where to travel next year when all this Covid-19 madness is over.

But there is one type of journey we can all considering doing. It doesn’t involve money, packing, or preparation. It requires only time, reflection, and maybe action.


By Aurea Fagel, text and photos

Three things come to my mind when autumn is here: the colorful leaves, “la chasse” or game meat and wine tasting!

Autumn Leaves

Where to witness the grandeur of the autumn leaves? Switzerland has definitely a handful of beautiful places if the weather ensures the leaves wither gracefully. Photographers and nature lovers go in search for that perfect spot.

The Arboretum in Aubonne is one such place to see a display and reflection of colorful trees. This national park has been in existence since 1968 and houses a variety of plants, flowers and trees. Being a photographer myself I have been going there many times to shoot autumn. The place has lots of short and long trails for everyone and holds events all-year. This coming Oct 18 and 25, there will be a guided tour of the Japanese forest and the colorful autumn trees respectively! So mark your calendars and allot at least half a day. 

Another great spot is the Ballenberg in Brienz, central Switzerland. It is the largest open-air museum in Switzerland which showcase Swiss traditional homes and handicrafts. Autumn is a good time to visit if only for the colorful leaves. Best to wear your hiking boots or comfy shoes as it will involve a lot of walking!

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By Aurea Fagel, text and photos

Mention The Tulip Festival in Switzerland and everyone imagines Morges, the alluring petite town in the canton of Vaud. This year in late March, The Tulip Festival celebrated its 50th anniversary at the famous venue Parc de l’Independence, albeit with less grandeur. Now the season has passed, one might think there is nothing to see. But I beg to disagree! With Jêune Genevois and Jêune Fédéral this month, this is the perfect season to spend time in this lakeside city.

For one thing, the Parc de l’Independence is a magnificent place for a lazy Sunday or weekend escape. One Sunday while I picnicked I noticed many others doing the same, or reading a book, or taking a nap on the grass, or simply taking a stroll overlooking Lake Geneva with a backdrop of the Mont Blanc. When you stroll past the park towards the port please indulge in the artisanal ice cream stand just beside the port. Their pistachio ice cream is one of the best I have tasted; make it a double and pair it with cassis noir.

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