June 7: Lauterbrunnen to Visp

We had planned to get up early and return to Wengen, but when we awoke it was pouring rain. We slept late and didn't hit the road until about 10:30. By then it had cleared off. We had mixed feelings as we left such a lovely campsite.

We drove along the south shore of the Thunersee and then south through Saanen, Gstaad, and over the Col du Pillon. It was very nice all the way but nothing tremendous. We were up to the snowline briefly as we crossed the Col du Pillon, but it was an easy pass.

As we came down off the pass to Aigle the scenery changed drastically. Instead of green pastures and cattle there were vineyards. The architecture changed from the bare wood chalet-type Swiss structures to stucco houses with an Italian look. It was rather hot and a haze covered the mountains, like the Great Smoky Mountains at home. It was like a different country and not nearly so attractive to me as the Interlaken area.

We headed east from Martigny and drove to Visp. As we neared Visp the soil looked rather poor and dry and the area generally appeared less prosperous than the areas previously seen. The area was a bit reminiscent of parts of New Mexico and Texas with white soil and scrubby trees and brush.

We reached the campsite south of Visp about 4:30 PM. There was a view of snowcaps both north and south. Vineyards covered part of the hill to the east of the camp and to the west side ran the Vispa River. It is small, though quite rapid - it is a milky color due to the white soil.

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