Giant sunflowers at attention, Hofstetten, Switzerland

This drowsy month is one of birthdays (Switzerland’s, mine) and the pinnacle of summer here. It can be cool and rainy, but is generally a harmonious season, at times glorious. The country celebrates the Swiss Confederation on August 1st. Markets are piled high with fresh fruit, while bees buzz above out-sized sunflowers in gardens and fields. I happened on these beauties looming over a front lawn in a village just outside Basel.

The Swiss National Day is feted in Basel with fireworks launched from a barge in the Rhine. This year, rainy July days morphed into clear skies on the eve of the August 1st holiday.  Thousands lined the city’s bridges over the Rhine, enjoying street food, and settling in for an evening under a showy sky.

The rolling hillsides in the countryside near Basel showcase calming swaths of gold and green. The hiking trails through the forests are leafy and cool.

The Alps are in turn rainy, even snowy at higher elevations, at other times, sun-kissed. In good weather, the view from the trail between Grϋtschalp and Mϋrren is spectacular.

Switzerland at its summertime best: a season to celebrate!


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