Our destination was a small town in the heart of the Swiss Alps. But we stopped for a brief visit in Lugano - an Italian speaking city in the south of Switzerland. It lies on Lake Lugano and is known as the "Monte Carlo" of Switzerland.
The funnest part about visiting this city (besides shopping for fancy chocolates) was that we ran into two sister missionaries! It was their Preparation Day and they were traveling by train to see some castles in the area. They were darling and so excited when Brad offered to take their picture and email their parents. We love missionaries!
The day had been mostly cloudy but as we drove along the Susten Pass, the sun started to peek through the clouds we saw the Alpine peaks rising above the mist. And the scenery started to change dramatically.
It was spectacular. It was incredible. It was breathtaking. It was some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen.
It was remarkably green in the valleys and lower foothills and there were many waterfalls tumbling down the mountains.
And in the distance we could see the crags and cliffs of the mountain tops.
The glaciers were massive and vast.
The road ahead of us...
It is the lichen that gives the rocks the sage green color.
See the waterfall cascading over the top of the tunnel.
Living here in the Rockies - we are not strangers to mountains. But I wondered what made the Alps seem so much more majestic and spectacular? Here is the answer. We reside at an altitude of 5,000 feet above sea level, so even though we might be looking at peaks that are 12-13,000 feet - we are only seeing a vertical exposure of about 7,000 feet. The cities and villages dotted along this area of the Alps lie between 1,500 and 3,000 feet above sea level so the vertical exposure that can be viewed is closer to 11,000. And that makes a huge difference!!!