Thursday, 2 June 2016

Sneeze!

Literally speaking, the name 'Niesen' means 'sneeze', although why anyone would name a mountain 'sneeze' is beyond me.
At the summit, we found several patches of Purple Saxifrage (Saxifraga oppositifolia) clinging to the rocks. Common in the high Arctic, it is also found at altitude further south.
Looking up from the low-growing Saxifrage, the distant views of the Alps were stunning.
Lots of snow up on the higher peaks.
The three most prominent peaks in the middle of the above picture are, from left to right, The Eiger, The Mönch and the Jungfrau. looking a little closer, it's difficult not to be impressed by their presence.
All three are much higher than Niesen. The Eiger tops out at 13,020ft, the Mönch (the monk) is 13,474ft and the Jungfrau is the highest at 13,642ft.
Glancing down the mountain, we had some wonderful views of the lake Thunersee and the city of Thun at one end.
We also got a good view of Spiez where we were staying. The Castle was particularly easy to spot overlooking the small harbour.
Zooming in a bit more we could see our hotel.
Not a bad view looking down from 7,749ft up!
Still more tomorrow....
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