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naomi lubick

Getting There And Getting Around Switzerland

Jungfrau and other peaks in the Bernese Alps are easily accessible by train or bus from Geneva or Zürich. The Swiss train system is excellent, and generally on time. Buses are reliable as well, run by Swiss Post (post office, bank and bus system, all in one, and all three are available from mountaintops to lakeshores, in all kinds of weather). 

12 Nov 2010

Making Jurassic Tracks in the Jura

Just to the north of the Swiss Alps, the gently sloping, lower-elevation Jura Mountains — namesake of the Jurassic — sprawl across the French-Swiss border and into Germany to the east. Composed of limestone and karst deposits, the low-lying mountains harbor caves and eroded cliffs, mountain chalets, Swiss watch factories — and dinosaur tracks. 

12 Nov 2010

Walking with Dinosaur Bones

Although some of the Aathal Dinosaur Museum’s displays feel as though they were built in someone’s garage, the museum covers a wide array of dino-related topics fairly well. The main lure is actually imported: a collection of Jurassic fossils from the Howe Ranch site in Montana, with huge skeletons of sauropods that loom over visitors. Special exhibits include gorgeous fossil assemblages of several-centimeter-long fish and tiny vertebrates, as well as huge half-meter ammonites that are often found in the Jura Mountains, once home to an ocean during the Mesozoic. Across the street, you can buy your own fossils at the museum’s affiliated mineral shop.  

12 Nov 2010

Travels in Geology: To the top of Europe: Jungfrau, Switzerland

Intrepid visitors can take at least two paths to the top of Europe: an excruciating and dangerous ascent up the north face of the Eiger to the top of the nearly 4-kilometer-tall peak, or a comfortable (if steep) train ride through that mountain that allows less-athletic visitors to reach the neighboring Jungfrau. 

12 Nov 2010

Getting There And Getting Around Zürich

Most visitors to Scuol fly into Zürich, and either stay to check out the old yet modern cosmopolitan banking city or grab a train straight to the Lower Engadine Valley. A train ride to Scuol from Zürich’s main station (Hauptbahnhof in German) takes just under three hours, with a transfer at Landquart. The trip provides passengers with amazing views of the Swiss Alps. Check or for fares and schedules. If you plan to continue traveling south by train, into Italy’s dolomites, consider buying a Eurailpass to save some money. Once you’re in Scuol, try the Post Bus for day trips.

11 Aug 2010

Travels in Geology: Lower Engadine Valley, Switzerland

Standing on the dark rocks beneath the small Swiss town of Scuol, you can look up into the surrounding chalk-white mountains and see the view from Europe to Africa. Or rather, you can gaze from the European continental rocks that pave the valley to the mountains above, which are made up of what was once the African Plate, before tectonic forces pushed it up and over the European continent.

11 Aug 2010