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IN PICTURES: 12 photos that will get you excited about autumn in Switzerland

The Swiss summer is slowly drawing to a close but that's no reason to get depressed as these amazing autumnal images make clear.

Autumn leaves seen from below in Lausanne, Switzerland. Photo by Gabriel Garcia Marengo on Unsplash
Autumn leaves seen from below in Lausanne, Switzerland. Photo by Gabriel Garcia Marengo on Unsplash

1. Take a drive through the southwestern canton of Valais, where the orange autumn leaves contrast against the snowcapped mountains.

The Nufenen Pass (CH) in the canton of Valais

The Nufenen Pass (CH) in the canton of Valais. Photo by Joel & Jasmin Førestbird on Unsplash

2. Seventy-two waterfalls, dramatic cliff faces and mountain lakes: the Lauterbrunnen Valley in the canton of Bern is an Alpine classic.

3. Wild and remote, the Brunnital area in the canton of Uri is a great place to get off the beaten track.

4. After the summer swimming season ends, the Drei Weieren (Three Pools) above the city of St Gallen transform into a beautifully, calm oasis.

5. Remote Val Müstair is about as far from anywhere as it is possible to get in Switzerland: Both the Abbey of St. John and the surrounding landscape are Unesco-listed.

6. Medieval Gruyères is about more than just cheese. It is one of the most beautiful towns in Switzerland.

The town of Gruyères, in Switzerland, seen from afar on an autumn day.

The beautiful town of Gruyères, in Switzerland, seen from afar on an autumn day. Photo by Ryan KLAUS on Unsplash

7. The Verzasca Valley in the canton of Ticino is a great place to get a splash of autumn colour.

8. Olten is best known as a commuter town, which serves several larger Swiss cities like Zurich, Basel and Bern. Yes, the town of Olten is a transport hub and a hard-working city, but the charming old town is a bit of a neglected jewel.

Everything you need to know about Olten: Switzerland’s commuter city

The beautiful Swiss town of Olten. Photo by Alin Andersen on Unsplash

The beautiful Swiss town of Olten. Photo by Alin Andersen on Unsplash

9. You don’t need to get out of town to enjoy autumn in Switzerland as this picture of Geneva shows.

10. The Matterhorn stands out behind wooden homes in a Swiss village. 

Switzerland's Matterhorn is one of the most recognisable peaks in the world.

Switzerland’s Matterhorn is one of the most recognisable peaks in the world. Photo by Daniel Cox on Unsplash

11. Switzerland’s blue lagoon (no filters) in the canton of Valais. 

The "Blue Lake" surrounded by larch trees is seen on a warm autumn day on October 20, 2018 above Arolla, western Switzerland.

The “Blue Lake” surrounded by larch trees is seen on a warm autumn day above Arolla, western Switzerland. Image: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

12. You can’t spell Funicular without F-U-N. 

The Niesen Funicular in the canton of Bern, Switzerland.

The Niesen Funicular in the canton of Bern, Switzerland. Photo by Corinna Widmer from Pexels

Read also: In pics – Why autumn is the best time to visit Switzerland

All photos by Swiss Tourism or Instagram.

A version of the article originally appeared in The Local in 2018.

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What’s next after Switzerland’s ‘extremely worrying’ heatwave?

Switzerland hit record high temperatures for June for the first time in 75 years on Sunday but what's the forecast for the coming days and weeks?

What's next after Switzerland's 'extremely worrying' heatwave?

With 36.9C recorded in Beznau, in the canton of Aargau on Sunday, Switzerland equalled the high temperature record held by Basel since 1947.

Other Swiss towns experienced sweltering temperatures as well: In Neuchâtel the mercury rose to 36.5C, in Sion it hit 36.4C and  in Lausanne it was 32.6C, according to MeteoNews.

Temperatures were decidedly more pleasant at high altitudes in the mountains: the temperature of 16.9C was recorded at 2,900 metres in the shade on the Diablerets glacier.

Whilst lower down at the Moléson in Fribourg, which stands at 2,000 metres, a more seasonal 24 degrees was recorded.

Like its neighbours, “Switzerland is not immune to brief and extreme phenomena”, climatologist Martin Beniston, honorary professor at the University of Geneva, said in an interview with Tribune de Genève.

And if high temperatures continue — as they are forecast for next days — “the very dry ground will reinforce the warming, it is a vicious circle”, said Vincent Devantay, meteorologist from MeteoNews.

This means higher risk of fires, especially in the forest. “They have really dried up compared to last year. The lack of rain is becoming extremely worrying”, he pointed out.

Thunderstorms are predicted in parts of Switzerland towards the end of the week but they will not necessarily prevent the drought, Beniston said.

What the soil needs are “gentle showers, repeated, for two to three weeks”, rather than occasional heavy thunderstorms that don’t provide enough moisture for the earth’s deeper layers.

Continued rains are not expected in the immediate future and  forecasts for the summer months predict more intense heatwaves.

READ MORE: How this week’s heatwave will hit Switzerland and how to stay cool

What are the consequences of the heatwave and no rain?

As The Local already reported, Swiss glaciers are now melting faster than usual, partly due to the early heat wave in May.
 
READ MORE: Why Switzerland’s glaciers are melting faster than usual this summer

But there is more.

Hydrologist Massimiliano Zappa, also warns that current very high temperatures and no rain could speed up the drought across Switzerland, especially as Swiss rivers and streams “have a lower flow than the average of previous years”.

Water rationing could become inevitable, he said.

 “In Spain and southern Italy, for example, people know how to get by with little water, because they have been educated to meet their daily needs with less. But this is not part of Swiss mentality”, Zappa said.

The heat wave could also impact railway installations as well as electronic devices, according to Le Temps newspaper.

“Overheated smartphones, expanding rails, and computer fans running at full speed: high temperatures put a strain on infrastructure and our everyday objects, while requiring more energy”, Le Temps said.
 

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