Sion, Valais   101008
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1 Mont Noble, 2673
2 La Maya, 2915
3 Sasseneire, 3254
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5 Dent de Nendaz, 2463
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7 Haut de Cry, 2969
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9 Chateau de Tourbillon
10 Le Chatelard 1272m
11 Bietschhorn, 3934, 41 km
12 Gorwetschgrat 2025m
13 Illhorn, 2716


Location: Sion (596 m)      by: Pedrotti Alberto
Area: Switzerland      Date: 16-08-2022
In Sion I had the program to visit the oldest working organ in the world. I remembered that, according to my "Orgelführer Europa" it stands in a "Valeriakirche", which I always imagined to be an old forgotten church. So, once in place, I hoped to find this Valeriakirche in the Openstreetmap that I had loaded on my phone (first travel not depending only on sheet maps). Unfortunately, the name was unknown to the device but, fortunately, while visiting the cathedral I happened to meet a service wonderfully played and sung. "Those people will surely know where the famous organ is", I thought, and so I waited for the end of the long service. To my surprise, I learnt that the church in question was another very important and antique cathedral, Nôtre Dame de Valère, up on a hill dominating the town, dominated in turn by the hill of the Chateau de Tourbillon. All features that had appeared to me already since Sierre.
So, I found the organ and also a suitable viewpoint for a 360° panorama.
Le me notice that, for the Swiss weather forecast, those should have been days of rain. I was fleeing Switzerland quickly due to this. My original program was entirely different: from the Grimsel I wanted to descend on the northern side in order to go through Grosse Scheidegg, Grindelwald and then Lötschberg tunnel. Namely, I once happened to enjoy the view north from the top of the Jungfrau (reached by skis from Blatten via Finsteraarhorn and Fiescherhorn), but never the converse. So, since long times, a dream of mine is to stand atop some mountain such, say, the Faulhorn (which, according to its name, I also find suited for me). But this time the forecast, together with heavy columns of rains visible over the Oberhasli, while on the Wallis side the weather appeared to more forgiving, kept me away from all this.
At the same time, I was not willing to remain blocked by adverse weather in a country where, currently, 500 g of pasta cost no less than 4 euros (!!) and a kg of apricots 10 euros - seeing everywhere prices like this, I already imagined the caveaux of Swiss banks stocked both with gold and golden apricots... Better, I thought, to remain blocked - if this must happen - in slightly cheaper countries.
To ridiculize, as you see, the ominous forecast, was perhaps the sudden arrival of a strong wind coming from the west, at times with Patagonian strength, which accompanied me through the whole of the Rhône stretch: when, in Martigny, I turned left into the side valley leading to the Great St Bernard, in spite of the 2000 m of ascent awaiting me, I felt quite relieved.

Location: 46.234661 7.367302


I don't know if my father ever had a bicycle, but he did make sure that I knew, even as a child, that the oldest organ is in that church above the town of Sion.
Otherwise... I have no memory of actually visiting Sion.

As a visitor to Switzerland from Canada for the past 15 years I'm also familiar with the painful feeling that my money doesn't buy much .. From an economist's perspective, it's not necessarily (or not only) the actual prices in Switzerland, but the exchange rate.... After I settled in Canada the Swiss Franc (vs C$ exchange rate) increased by more than 50% within 12 months amid the global financial crisis. The Euro's relative decline has been similar over the years....
2022/09/08 18:36 , Augustin Werner
In the turmoil of Facebook posts I also lost an interesting remark about your father teaching you about the northernmost church in Italian style. It must have been somewhere near Tiefencastel. If I were able identify it, I could check whether I have some photos. As you know, churches are my favourite subject together with mountains.
Consider that, while in Switzerland, always due to financial issues, I kept the mobile data carefully turned off, such that when crossing the Gran San Bernardo I was hit by an avalanche of news, which I could process only partially...
2022/09/08 18:50 , Pedrotti Alberto
A classic site in weather unusually good for the site - as usually the rewarding visit of Sion is reserved for days when the mountains are less accessible. I fondly remember the almost southern urban life in the city center of Sion, with lots of people sipping white wine (also priced like gold) in street cafes on a Saturday morning. Cheers, Martin
2022/09/08 19:59 , Martin Kraus
I had exactly the same impression: that of a city of a mild, of course not deep, south. Perugia, Arles or León are some if the associations that come to my mind (well: I realize that I remember them under a similar crystal-clear sky, this of course does a lot...).
I would have lingered more in those attractive streets (needless to say, far away from the idea of sipping wine here... I bet that the wine once sipped atop the Olympus was far cheaper), but I feared the wind, which I expected to get stronger throughout the afternoon, as in the previous day. And my expectation turned out to be correct.
2022/09/08 23:24 , Pedrotti Alberto
Augustin, ich glaube, daß Dein Vater nicht gut beraten war, wenn er glaubte, Dir das vermittelnn zu müssen, denn in Norddeutschland gibt es mehrere so alte Orgeln und südlich der Alpen wohl auch. Meiner Merinung nach liegt Sion auch eher im Süden.
2022/09/09 22:53 , Heinz Höra
"Es gibt noch ältere Schränke und noch ältere Klangbilder, abes dies hir ist das älteste Orgelgehäuse, in dem noch spielbare Pfeifen stehen, von denen immerhin ungefähr die Hälfte original sind."

Karl-Heinz Göttert, Eckhard Isenberg, Orgelführer Europa, Bärenreiter Verlag, Kassel 2000, Seite 210
2022/09/10 10:54 , Pedrotti Alberto
Walliser Trockenrasenstandorte sind immer schön :-)
2022/09/10 20:03 , Christoph Seger
Terrible architecture, but that's not your fault. Your cut is a bit unusual, but otherwise a nice panorama.
10 francs for a kg of apricots is quite cheap. I remember 16 francs for a kg of tomatoes in Lugano. And that 5 years ago. Today they probably cost 20 francs.
2022/09/10 22:51 , Matthias Matthey
@ Matthias 
In Zürich zahlt man für 1 kg Tomaten zwischen 3 und 12 Franken, (Grossverteiler).
VG, Danko
2022/09/10 23:48 , Danko Rihter
@Alberto, ich möcht mich beileibe nicht als Orgelkenner aufspielen, aber ich habe bei meiner Suche im Internet noch zwei gleich alte, intakte Orgeln gefunden, die eine bei Soest und die andere in Holland Von beiden gibt es sogar Klangproben bei youtube, während ich von der Sioner Orgel nichts dergelichen gefunden habe.

Doch vielmehr als die Orgel, derentwegen Du ja wirklich eine aufwändige Reise gemacht hast, hat mich das Panoramabild, das Du gemacht hast, interessiert. Denn Sion mit diesen beiden Festungs-Bergen hatte es uns schon bei unseren ersten Schweiz-Besuchen angetan. Deshalb bin ich auch froh, daß es mir noch 2004 gelungen ist, sie auch auf einem Panorama-Bild zu verewigen Ich hätte zwar auch lieber so eins wie Deines oben zwischen den Burgbergen gemacht, aber als wir dort waren, hatte ich noch nicht die passende Phototechnik.
2022/09/11 15:24 , Heinz Höra

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Pedrotti Alberto

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