Sion - monuments of magnificence

Sion Travel Blog

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Sion - the view from a monastery.

On Sunday we left Venice for Sion, a small town at the foot of the Swiss Alps. We chose to come here not for any particular reason, other than that we felt like just picking a place at random, we needed to get somewhere we could catch a train to, and Brent has a bit of a thing for mountains. So we only booked to come here the day before we came. Also, we read that Sion had tried and failed not once but twice to win the bid for the winter Olympics. The Australian spirit in us must have drawn us to this underdog town.

It has been spectacular! We didn't know what to expect here, so we were bedazzled to come off the train to see snow-capped mountains towering above us, surrounding the entire town! We have walked around the town, trying to capture the magnifence on our cameras but as we've said before, the digital images always pale in comparison to the real thing!

It's off-peak season here, so it's fairly quiet and we've got to know the town a bit and interacted with the locals.

Sion, with Brent's favourite mountain looming behind.
The language barrier is interesting! This is the French-speaking area of Switzerland, and being a not-too-touristy area, there is not alot of English spoken here! We've had interesting moments where we've had absolutely no idea what people are saying to us, and we've just had to do our best to guess. Or Jill will say the tiny bit of French she knows (probably in an Aussie accent) to tell them that we don't speak French. We've grown so accustomed to no one speaking English here that when we went to a travel agent to book a train ticket to Paris, we spent the first couple of minutes trying in vain to understand what she was saying and get her to understand our broken French, writing things down on bits of paper then showing her, and referring to our French phrasebook.
Sion by sunset - view from a monastery.
Then after a while she asked "do you speak English?". Whoops - we'd forgotten to tell her that.

Being a small town means its cool to stay here, but everything was closed on Sunday - even our hotel! So they emailed us the day before with our codes to enter the building and our room. It seems room keys and even room swipe cards are on the way out. It's computerised all the way!

We spent Monday exploring the town, and spent a couple of hours up on a hill where an old monastery still stands from the 11th century. From there we gazed at mountains, took pictures, Jill sang some Sound of Music songs, and Brent watched airforce jets doing their drills, weaving in and out of the alps at lightning speed, generating quite a sound! We stayed to watch the sunset (and froze some limbs in the process) and marvelled at the wonder of it all. How often do you get to sit next to an 11th century monastery about a kilometre above sea level, staring out at the Swiss Alps, hearing the bells of nearby churches echo throughout the valley?

We've enjoyed Swiss chocolate too, of course.

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Sion - the view from a monastery.
Sion - the view from a monastery.
Sion, with Brents favourite mount…
Sion, with Brent's favourite moun…
Sion by sunset - view from a monas…
Sion by sunset - view from a mona…
Sion.
Sion.
Some of the surrounding Swiss Alps.
Some of the surrounding Swiss Alps.
Sion.
Sion.
Sion
photo by: brentasmith