Gallery: July 3 — Göschenen to Andermatt

The day after arriving in Gersau, we took a trip over to Uri, a substantial one involving both ship and train, to hike from Göschenen up to Andermatt.

I think these are anti-erosion/landslide terraces.

The amount (and proximity) of overhanging rock along the route was occasionally terrifying.

A beautiful (and storied, if I remember right) bridge. Remember the Reuss from the preceding page? This is it again, up near its origin.

These cover a gap over the river between the road and some other structure.

You can see multiple pieces of infrastructure squiggling their way up through the valley: funicular railway to the left, highway to the right; these in addition to the hiking route, all of them compressed together in this tight corridor. The reason for bothering to do this is that Andermatt is a major node that connects Uri to other regions — the Valais, Ticino, and Graubünden — via mountain passes.

There was a tractor rally or some such event down further in the valley, and we saw many a whimsical agricultural vehicle pass by. Our lunch spot, which is where this picture was shot, was high above this stretch of the road.

Lily (I think) in the midst of a verdant patch.

The lunch spot, with the dropoff down to the road beyond the fence.

A mysterious hulk of a structure some distance away. I find that rocky parts of the Alps are one of the few places where monolithic concrete structures like this harmonize well with their context.

At the base of this picture are the ground plants that would entirely fail to prevent you from falling into that pool 100 meters below if you tripped.

A Russian memorial, of all things; I think this must be related to the Russian army's conflict with Napoleon's troops in Switzerland. Quite a grand piece; it reminds me of the Bamyan Buddhas.

This was taken from almost the same vantage point as the previous two shots, which tells you that this is really quite an impressive and curious spot. Overhead is the modern road; the bridge in the distance may be for the railway; and the third bridge is for the road we were on. The two larger bridges are successive versions of what is known as the Teufelsbrücke (the Devil's Bridge).

Which explains this huge Picassoid devil and goat painted on the rock. The legend was that Lucifer himself built the first stone bridge and in return demanded the soul of the first person to cross the bridge, but people tried to make a loophole and sent a goat across the bridge first. (No dice.) Aw dang, there's another tractor too.

"The old way to a new time, 1956."

Near the end of the journey, we had to go through this room and up these spiral stairs to get where we were going. Note how it's built right into the rock.

Once we emerged thence, this view opened up: the canalized upper Reuss and the Andermatt plateau disappearing around the slopes beyond. The plateau, which we proceeded to in order to reach the railway station to take the funicular back down to Göschenen, really feels like the rooftop of Europe, since it connects to so many mountain passes.

I'm not sure what this austere institution was or is, but again, you can see that it is built right into the mountainside.

Rugged stone church.

Back in the station at Göschenen: Minis!