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The Sea of Fog

November is almost here and fall is slowly but surely giving way to more wintery days. Clocks have been set on winter standard time and the leaves that are still on the trees are more brown than read or yellow already. In addition, it is foggy almost every morning now and the sun doesn't come out till noon if at all.

Fog has been part of Swiss falls and winters for as long as I can remember. Especially in the flat part of Switzerland (the area of St. Gallen-Zurich-Basle) the fog is known to appear almost daily. In general, there are two kinds of fog here: regular fog, that "sits" on the ground and bothers you while driving because you can't see far anymore, and the so-called "high fog" (Hochnebel) that is more a like a solid cloud sitting a few hundred meters above the ground and prevents the sun from shining through it. Obviously, this high fog still lets through some light but it turns a nice day with relatively warm temperatures into a gray picture. Most people here totally dislike this high fog and it received the very appropriate nickname "fog soup" (Nebelsuppe).

Sea of Fog at Mount Rigi - Joujou  / pixelio.de
However, fog can be interesting as well. It can turn forests into mysterious places and a ride across country into an adventure. However, the nicest way to experience fog is from above it. I am sure most of you had the chance to see clouds from an airplane and know how nice and fuzzy they look. Fog is quite similar actually. And here in Switzerland you don't even need an airplane to get above it, you can simply climb a mountain (or take a cable car up a mountain) and from a gray wet day you'll travel into sunny weather. It is quite an experience to start the cable car ride under the fog in the gray city and then move through the fog (which can be quite thick at some points) only to emerge in a sunny world with blue skies and an amazing view: The sea of fog (Nebelmeer) with the mountain tops as islands. :-)

I can only recommend that you take some time off during one of those foggy days and drive to central Switzerland (or any other part of the Alps) and ride the cable car up the Rigi or Pilatus. And don't forget to take your camera!





© 2011 IRENE WYRSCH "A HUMOROUS GUIDE TO SWITZERLAND" ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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