20 January 2015

A Sign of Things Past.


Like Ron, I love signs, though my problem is finding them. Local stores don’t seem to go in for them anymore. I guess that’s because of the rapid changeover, I mean what’s the point of paying for a beautiful sign when a store’s actual existence is in question? However, now that I have a super duper camera, I really should get out more to look for more signs. Oh, if only local stores would get with it!

On my travels I used to see lots of fabulous signs but rarely took a picture – except when in Switzerland, when I found the MOST GORGEOUS sign... made from wood and hand carved. I took a picture, the only sign in my collection of holiday snaps. See it - bottom right. I was so enamoured with the whole place I framed a group of pictures which adorns my kitchen wall to this day. 

I tried to find a clearer picture of the sign on the internet but it seems to have disappeared. There's no 'sign' of it anywhere!!

Two weeks in Switzerland was a wonderful holiday. We stayed in Grindelwald in the Jungfrau region. It was summertime so the only snow was on the mountains. It didn’t matter because it enabled us to travel round a bit. Yes, even up mountains, although at a certain point on Schynige Platte I had to let Joe go on alone because the rarefied air caused breathing problems. I wasn’t the only one suffering, most of the Chinese visitors had the same problem. Isn’t it odd how some are affected and others are not.

Anyway, back to the sign. It was at the entrance to Schynige Platte mountain railway in Interlaken (Bernese Oberland) and the sign told us the height of the mountain was 1,967 metres, that’s 6,454 feet) – pretty high, huh? However, on the picture at the start of this post the height is quoted as 1,983 metres. 

I like the way the artist had the man peering through binoculars at the summit. I doubt I could have bent my head far enough back to see the summit, let alone go up top. The train travelled on a single track with passing loops and you could guess the steepness by the tilt of the seats ... the entire journey uphill was almost like lying on my back. I was sure we travelled in a tunnel the whole time, I can still remember the train stopping at 'viewing places', but modern day photographs seem to suggest an open air route. I guess things change with time, and our visit was way back in June 1988 - anything could have happened during intervening years. Hmm, I wonder if Switzerland is still there!!

It was a shame I couldn’t complete the trip up the mountain because I missed seeing a display of ice statues and a team of husky dogs. I had to put up with coffee in the restaurant while I waited for Joe to return. Imagine that, a fully fitted restaurant three-parts of the way up a steep mountain, though from what I’ve read there is now a fully fledged hotel/restaurant right on the summit. Still, there were other things I could do so I’m not complaining.

Thank you, Ron, for reminding me of a great vacation.


  1. Great holiday that! The train started at the base of the North face of the Eiger and was in the film Eiger Sanction.It ran up inside the mountain to the Jungfrau glacier. Loved it.

  2. Joe, thanks for reminding me of the details of the train. Yes, it was a GREAT holiday.

  3. As I get older I too am bothered by elevations. Flagstaff AZ is very high and I was bothered the whole time I was in Arizona the last few times I drove through. I often forget to take pictures as I travel.

  4. it would be hard for me not to stare at a mountain like is a pretty cool sign....

  5. Looks like a beautiful part of the countryside and a fantastic view!

  6. BC, I didn't realise heights would be a problem as I got older, but I definitely don't do well on ordinary stairs... smiles.

    Brian, both mountain and sign were really lovely - it was a great place to spend a vacation.

    Bethany, as I shared with Brian... it was beautiful there. Switzerland is a great place to visit.

  7. That does look lovely. The only time I have ever had altitude sickness (not to a severe degree but feeling it) was when we went to Santa Fe, New Mexico. I was chatting with a lady who was in town to see her son perform in an opera and she said that some of the opera singers had to have oxygen within easy access as they performed. Never heard of that before either.

  8. I love signs, too. In particular, I love funny signs (especially unintentionally funny signs), nostalgic signs, handmade signs and signs with some object or other near them which support or contradict them. I have a snap of a baby's buggy parked right next to a 'no parking - tow-away zone' in Pisa, which tickled me no end!

    And I'm with you on the not making it to the summit thing, too. On that same trip I got part of the way up the famous tower and waited while my dear OH made it all the way to the top. We do what we can do!

  9. Hi Jay.You have reminded me of the time I saw someone in a wheelchair right by a no parking sign. The funny thing was, the guy looked at the sign then climbed out of the chair and walked across the road. Can you wonder that everyone looked amazed?

  10. Oooh Denise, I feel so sorry for those opera singers. Someone told me Japanese have the right idea, wearing masks enables them to breathe their own 'air'. I did wonder!

  11. MWM has always promised to take me to Switzerland but I'm still waiting. I suppose, as I am the one who books the holidays, I will have to organise it myself. LOL

  12. Hi Val,

    I'll have to send you some humorous signs. ~Pam

  13. Pearl, you should give Switzerland a try... you would love it.

    Hi Pam, good to see you posting again. Some signs would be gratefully received providing I could then blog them.

  14. Valerie, first, forgive me for missing this post but I just sent you an email explaining what happened, hope you got it.

    Faaaaaaabulous sign!!!!!! I especially love vintage-type signs like this one. It's adorable! You don't see signs like this anymore. When visiting Las Vegas, I loved seeing the older vintage casino signs, like the Silver Slipper, which is no longer in existence. But they have a sign museum which displays all the vintage signs from the past. It's awesome!

    " I had to let Joe go on alone because the rarefied air caused breathing problems."

    Yes, it was the same for me while in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Major breathing problems from the attitude. I was there for two months, so I eventually got use to it.

    Thanks so much for sharing this post, dear lady. Thoroughly enjoyed it!

    Have a super day!
    X to you and Joe

  15. Beautiful post. I do look at signs sometimes. Especially when they are funny.

    Greetings from London.

  16. Ron, what I liked about the sign was that it stood proud, not merely a sign stuck on a wall. I wish I could have got a better picture of it, the camera in those days was useless compared with today's models.

  17. Sounds and looks like a great holiday. The pictures of Switzerland are amazing. A very cool place. Thanks for sharing Val.

  18. Holy matter how far up the mountain, you got to see it. How cool that you hold those memories on the wall where you get a chance to remember over and over again.


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