Day 5
Sunday
June 4, 2000

 

We arose at 6:30 AM so we could catch the 8:05 train to Brig. Between Spiez and Brig the train passes through the 9.1 mile long Lötschberg tunnel and climbs to over 7,000 feet with snow covered mountains soaring even higher.

Sion

The train we boarded in Spiez was headed for Italy so at Brig we changed to a train going to Sion. We arrived in Sion about 10:30. Once we got our bearing we wandered through the old part of the Sion and made the very steep climb up to the Castle of Valeria. A Romanesque Gothic church on the castle grounds has a 14th century organ that is believed to be the oldest playable organ in the world. Mass is still celebrated each Sunday at 11 AM.

From the Valeria we had to walk down before we could begin the long steep climb to the Castle Tourbillon. Along the way we were able to buy cold drinks from a little mom & pop stand.

At the castle we chatted with an Asian couple from Texas. On the way back down we met a couple from Kentucky. English speaking tourists are elated when they hear English being spoken and are very willing to stop for a chat. Back in the business section of Sion we stopped to chat with a lady from Maryland who was traveling with her three grown daughters.

From Sion we took the 2 PM train to Montreux and then back to Spiez via Zweisimmen. By the time we got back to Spiez about 6 PM we had spent almost five hours on trains traveling through fantastic landscapes.