Some Awesome People

Friday, June 27, 2014

In Alpine villages, Hobbits lurk

By Mike MacEacheran


No one will believe you are going to Middle Earth. Most visitors arrive in Zurich ready to shop on Bahnhofstrasse and sightsee in the Niederdorf old town. Or they use the Swiss city as a jumping-off point to explore the resorts of St Moritz, Klosters or Davos.

But head southwest, past the misty mountains and jagged peaks that tower over the city of Lucerne and the lake town of Interlaken, and up the deeply cloven valley that winds from Lake Thun into the heart of the Bernese Oberland region – and with a little imagination you could find yourself staring into the verdant Elvish valley of Rivendell or in the middle of a huffing and puffing Hobbit walking party.

That’s because the steep-sided cliffs, glacial grottoes and fertile dells of forests and wildflowers were the true inspiration for JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth sagas: The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. (...)

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