Travel

Ziplines, skiing and snow action in Switzerland (yep, even for over 60s)

From ziplining and paragliding in Interlaken to hurtling down the alps, Julia Zaetta embraced all the action Switzerland has to offer - and lived to tell the tale.

Former Better Homes and Gardens editor Julia Zaetta travels far and wide to bring Citro her best travel experiences. People kept dropping their jaws when she told them she zip-lined, skied and participated in all the winter wonderland activities that Switzerland has to offer. "All ages can enjoy Switzerland - it's magic," she says. Read on to find out more about what she calls Europe's most spectacular snow sport destination.

Written by Julia Zaetta

If it’s activity and excitement you want on your next holiday – and surrounded with breathtaking scenery everywhere you turn - then Switzerland is your destination.

 You’d be forgiven for thinking of this amazing country as predominantly serene, sophisticated, generous, ordered, creative - and picture postcard - and you’d be right.

But it’s also electric with what it offers you, to get your blood rushing like you can’t imagine – in fact, it makes you feel stronger and more alive than you have for a while. And that’s what I experienced as I trained it across Switzerland testing my agility and ability to make me feel great about myself, at the age of 70!

Julia Zaetta trained, glided, skied, tobogganed and walked her way around Switzerland's winter wonderland. Image: supplied.

Adding to its serene personality, I came face to face with Switzerland being up there as one of the sports capitals of the world. I visited during winter and woo hoo!

So come with me now. You’ll be speeding, hurtling, flying and gliding down slopes, over land and across skies, at speeds like a racing car if you’re a real thrill seeker, and of course, wherever the vista beckons you. And when was the last time we could boast that at our age! 

The skiing – and tobogganing - in Switzerland is legendary.

And apart from choosing all levels of runs, kilometre after kilometre of some of the best slopes and ski regions in the world, you can ski to a neighbouring country for lunch and return to Switzerland for après ski drinks in restaurants and bars you will just love, as did I. I partnered the drinks and antipasto with live music, and you know I was in holiday heaven.

James Bond may have been a fictional spy, but he was half-Swiss and several Bond movies have been filmed in Switzerland.

But intrepid again, when back on the slopes, looking out across one magnificent mountain range after another, I tossed the skis aside and set off on a toboggan, overtaking all those slow goers beside me. Exhilarating? I have to say sitting down and setting off never felt so good!

But when I took to the skies, oooh, that blood rush took on a whole new feeling.

You jog a short distance down a mountain slope safely leaning into the expert company of your paragliding guide, then take off like a bird over beautiful scenery below but seeing the lakes, towns, forests, and grandeur of the alps, just like an eagle.

You share the supreme peace of sailing silently across the blue but with a racing heartbeat knowing where you really are – way, way, way up there! And you feel all of being 25 again!

But when I took to the skies, oooh, that blood rush took on a whole new feeling., writes Julia. Image: supplied.

 

As if that’s not enough! Now this one required me to really, really swallow my aged fear and whizz down the mountain at a rip-roaring rate of 90 kms an hour on a hair-raising zip line, with a few minutes to indulge the magnificent scenery as I went, and to meet a giant spring at the bottom bringing me to a surprisingly gentle stop.

At that point, I was greeted by hand by the handsome assistant (who seemed like he was inviting me to dance – if only!), and kindly escorted me from my harness. Immediately I wanted to hightail it back to the top and do it all again – as will you - fearless this time, and just very excited.

Julia preparing for her ziplining. Image: supplied.

When you want a trip to both fascinate you and bring you alive more than you could imagine, go to Switzerland!

I didn’t believe how much it rejuvenated me as it offered me its beauty at every turn.

It will saturate your senses wherever you are and you’ll be more invigorated than you have been for years. And I must say, I absolutely loved the added benefit of the surprised compliments of doing all that – at my age!

So check out more at … and feel the thrill! Then remember too, yodel lay hee hoo to you!

Julia Zaetta is the longest-serving editor in Australian publishing, spending 30 years editing Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

Citro travel tips

Switzerland is not the cheapest city to visit in Europe, but it does offer majestic views and thrilling activities. Autumn is one of the more affordable times to travel - read more about trips to Switzerland.

 

The Swiss mountain known as Jungfraujoch translates to "maiden saddle" and is accessible via a majestic rail and cableway ride.

Find out about paragliding in Interlaken and read more about the action adventures you can choose in Switzerland.

Read more about winter hiking and snowshoeing in Switzerland.

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