Monday, July 15, 2019

A Dreamy Swiss village-Murten/Morat

The pretty little town Murten/Morat

Seldom does one come across such an abundance of prettiness. Murten is a short train ride of about 40 minutes from Bern, the capital of Switzerland, via Kerzers, another small hamlet. The lush green fields, famous Swiss cows grazing the fields with nonchalance, winding rivulets and clear blue skies greet the approaching visitors. On arriving at the tiny train station of Murten, do not be surprised to see the two names on the hoarding at the station as MURTEN/MORAT. It was a little baffling, but after a bit of research, I learnt that Murten is the German name whereas Morat is the French name. It is one of the municipalities that are predominantly German-speaking  ( 75%) and the rest minor majority speak French. The little place is wedged between Bern and Lausanne. The city has a population of just 4000 odd people and with very little activity.
A replica of the Swiss cow

The place got its name from the Celtic word 'Moriduno' which means 'lakeside fortress'. The freshness of the air and the sparkling greenery all around is overwhelming. The place can be traversed on foot and that is what we precisely did. It is one of the only places in  Switzerland where the entire place can be covered by foot
Multihued flowers everywhere

A short walk from the train station brought us to a short climb with a beautiful facade of multicoloured flowers. As we climbed atop, a magnificent panoramic view of the shimmering silver lake Morat ( also known as lake Murten) awaited us.
Arcaded Houses( A Police Post!)

The tiny houses that surrounded it and distant sailboats added to the beauty. A town wall( Ringmauer) encircles the town protectively, which was built to resist the attackers. Murten also offers plenty of opportunities to trek, sail, row, windsurf, canoe and angling too. There are lovely cycle tracks to explore the adjacent countryside The slopes of nearby Mont Vully are famous for vineyards
The Castle

The little town has cobbled streets crammed with arcaded houses, with a 13th-century castle at one end, and Berntor, City Gate at the other end. There is a German Church dating back to 1399. The streets of the Old town has pretty eating places where one can indulge in coffee, bruschetta topped with spiced herbs and cakes!
The Berntor

At the end of the Berntor, a walk down to the lake just about 500m away is rewarding. The old buildings stand on one side and old women peering out of the windows make it difficult to distinguish who is older of the two!
The Wooden Peacock

By the side of the walk, one can see wooden peacocks carved out of oak. The quiet lapping of the waves from the lake adds to all prevailing calm which is interrupted only with a chirp of birds and swaying of tall trees.
A tiny market

The two main streets the Rathausgasse and Hauptgasse are linked and atop the Rathausgasse is a small garden that overlooks the lake. The small houses lined along the lake appear to have the magical fairyland appearance with multi-hued flowers spreading their fragrance all around.
Lovely flower decoration in a garden at Rathausgasse

After encircling the lake we had covered the entire town and were back at the railway station. A tiny place like Murten was like a small gift-wrapped parcel that we had opened after a long day at Bern exploring its beauty. It was perhaps one of the best birthday gifts trips which had commenced in the early morning at Basel, onwards to Bern and culminating at Murten/ Morat. A post on exploits in Bern would follow.

PS: All pictures are mine.
2. Next week we head to a new destination,Bern