June 15th, 2013


On the trail from Isenfluh to Lobhornhutte

Today’s adventure began with a short train ride from Grindelwald to Lauterbrunner. Doris picked me up at the station and we drove to Isenfluh where we left the car. We took the gondola up to Sulweid and began hiking into a gorgeous forest. We were taking a trail predominately frequented by the locals that is not marked on the tourist maps.

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June 14th, 2013


Early morning view of the Wetterhorn

Since Grindelwald is also a ski area in Winter, trains, buses, gondolas and funiculars make access to the most remote areas possible and with delightful Swiss efficiency. Trails are immaculate and well-marked, with benches in the middle of nowhere just when you might want one, and little chalets or restaurants just when you feel like a snack or a meal.

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June 13th, 2013


Lake Thun  on the way to Grindelwald

The Venice Biennale and the Basel Art Fair were so fabulous, and now the magic of the mountains begins!  I first encountered the Lauterbrunnen Valley in the Swiss Alps about 15 years ago. I was totally spellbound by the Jungfrau region and thought the views from the cliffside town of Murren where the closest thing to heaven I had ever seen.

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June 12th, 2013

ART BASEL, DAY 2, June 12

David Smith, installation view, Galerie Gmurzynska, Art Basel

Art Basel now has two VIP days before the public opening tomorrow.  Many people completed their visit in one day so today was less crowded but no less intense. I scoured the booths I missed yesterday and made return visits to others I had already seen. Despite the most thorough viewing, it is not possible to see everything. Reports for business are strong and much activity is still anticipated.

Ethnographic installation (detail), Museum for Culture, Basel

After departing the fair, I was looking forward to two museums visits, the Kunstmuseum and the Museum of Cultures (Museum der Kulturen).  Specializing in ethnographic collections of artifacts from Europe, the South Pacific, Mesoamerica, Tibet and Bali, the Museum of Culture is one of my favorite places in Basel. The current exhibition focuses on material from the Amazon, addressing the relationship between permanent collection holdings and historical events in the Amazon region. The Museum has one of the most comprehensive Amazon collections in Europe, with an emphasis on the period between 1950-2010.

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