A Boat Trip In Switzerland

On my second full day in Switzerland I decided to take a train from Basel into Biel/Bienne. As soon as I arrived I walked straight to the lakeside and caught a boat around the beautiful lake. If you missed my introduction to Basel, check out Basel – A Hidden Gem and then find out about the stunning boat trip I took around Bielsee in this post.

Swiss trains are reliable and timely. They are clean and have plenty of leg room.
This was the boat that hopped from village to village in a round trip.

Taking a train from Basel to Biel/ Bienne was simple to arrange. I booked my ticket through Trainline and enjoyed travelling through the villages, farmland and hills. Just over an hour, the ride was packed with gorgeous views.

I had seen Biel/ Bienne on Instagram and knew that one of its biggest assets was the huge lake. So it was inevitable that I was going to head to the harbour immediately and try to get on a boat. A two and a half hour trip round the lake cost £34.86 per person.

Such thick cut bread on a delicious cheese sandwich.

During the cruise, I decided to get a sandwich and ice cream. With a lovely on board eatery and plenty of deck seating, the boat was comfortable and provided great access to photogenic villages and a stunning horizon.

This church was so quaint, sat beautifully upon the hill at the side of the lake.

Best Bits

For me, this two hours and a half voyage went by quickly. I loved the experience and absorbed the beauty of the surroundings. There was a friendly atmosphere on board and everyone was sober and helpful.

I totally recommend taking a trip round the Bielsee if you are in the area. This was the only day I spent out of Basel and I finished it with a walk around the town of Biel/ Bienne which I have photographed here.

Biel/ Bienne
Biel/ Bienne

Final Thoughts

This lovely Swiss town is thriving with shops and restaurants as well as some beautiful historic buildings. You definitely need to take a ride on a boat if you get the chance and explore the beautiful lake that runs alongside Biel/ Bienne.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article about a boat trip across a Swiss lake. Please consider following my blog for similar future content. Also leave a comment if you can. Have you been to Switzerland? Does Biel/ Bienne appeal to you?

Why Recent Snow Isn’t Enough

Regular readers of my blog will know that I adore snowfall. They will also know how much I worry about global warming and the lack of cold weather in the northern hemisphere. With seasons changing and boiling hot extended summers, there is plenty to worry about. The recent snow in the UK is disruptive but simply isn’t enough.

What’s it all about?

A lot of people are upset that we had a few days of snow this week. It was the only bout of snow this winter in East Anglia and we had nothing more than a sprinkling last year. This random snow event is far from the regular coverings we used to get in England. In fact, the future of ice and snow is under threat, as my poem A World Without Ice illustrates.

Ski resorts in Scotland and the Swiss Alps have been missing out on their annual income due to a milder winter. This is becoming a trend which is having implications for wildlife and humans. With suggestions that the Arctic Circle is heating up seven times faster than everywhere else, I am rightly worried.

Some Interesting Facts

I was born in the late 1970s, when a really heavy snow blizzard smothered most of Britain. According to The Weather Outlook 1977 saw snowfall of 20-25cm every day for several days during one snow event.

In the Svalbard islands, north-west of Norway, the average winter temperatures were -13 to -16 degrees C in the 1960s. They are now between -9 to -12 degrees C, which is significantly cosier. This is according to the article – Svalbard With Greatest Changes In Winter Climate.

Another article expresses the concern that is mentioned in lots of environmental blog posts. EuroNews.green suggests that Polar Bears are waiting for a month longer than previously for the ice to return for winter. This means they are losing weight (potentially 2kg a day during this period).

Why is lack of Snow important?

If we lose our cold winters and our climate continues to warm rapidly, we face major difficulties. Loss of habitat will remove apex predators from ecosystems. This has massive ramifications for delicate ecosystems.

Snow and ice are white. This means they reflect a lot of sunlight and help to maintain cooler temperatures. Melting ice means less reflective surfaces which lead to a further increase in rising temperatures. In effect, melting speeds up climate change and the effect it has in other areas.

Permafrost is also important in all of this. Canada and Greenland are examples of places which have permanent frozen landscapes. Layers of ice, called Permafrost (permanent frost) are associated with Inuit communities and have now become threatened by climate change.

When this ice is depleted it allows carbon to become exposed which will leak back into the atmosphere as CO2 and add to the layer of gases insulating our planet. It is that particular zone of particles which traps warmer air in our atmosphere, thus exacerbating the perils of global warming.

In A Nutshell

In my view, we really have reached a turning point. A point at which destructive things are starting to accelerate. The general lack of snow is a sign of this. Along with longer hot summers and widening of uninhabitable land through a process known as desertification.

So yes, we are having a late winter snow event in the UK. But it doesn’t mean climate change is not happening. It simply illustrates that weather patterns are becoming more difficult to predict. We are experiencing far less snow than in previous decades and it should worry all of us.

David Attenborough famously said,“Real success can only come if there is a change in our societies and in our economics and in our politics.” (source – Newsround Jan 2020)

It is our turn to get this thing on the back foot. We have the power to influence change, politically and personally.

I will leave that there as a point for thought.

It would be wonderful to hear your thoughts on the matter in the comments. Please also consider following my blog for more environmental articles and TV/ book reviews.

Climate Change Collective Article (December)

Our friendly group of bloggers have been busy sharing our thoughts about environmental matters. We set up our Climate Change Collective to discuss the changes brought about by Global Warming and intend to make suggestions of useful ways that we can adapt our lives to be more ecofriendly.

This month the Climate Change Collective has been looking at the subject of how global warming impacts upon animals and nature. In Caroline’s article there are many examples of how animals have had to change their breeding habits and ways of life, with more threats than ever to their very existence. Check out her informative blog post and drop a comment with your own thoughts.

I know that Caroline studies environmental science and has a keen interest in conservation and finding ecofriendly ways to go about our lives.

She mentions the plight of the snowshoe hares who change the colour of their coat to blend in with their snowy landscape. Early snow melts have left them exposed to predators sooner which in turn puts their numbers at risk and impacts upon their particular ecosystems.

Changing sea levels and melting ice caps are creating all sorts of problems for animals which roam colder land masses. Polar bears are struggling to hunt without the frozen areas of water that they depend on.

It is incredibly sad how climate change is hurting our wildlife and we all have to take some responsibility for this habitat destruction. Hopefully we can find new ways to reduce pollution and reverse a lot of the damage that has already been done.

Please check out Caroline’s brilliant article and let us know what you are doing to help us become more ecofriendly. My November article Travel with Climate Change is all about how to reduce pollution caused by transport.