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Vance Roy
  • 82, Male
  • Sachseln
  • Switzerland
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Vance Roy's Destinations

Vance Roy's Discussions

A Fine Destination

Started Feb 1, 2010

Trip to Schliersee

Started Feb 7, 2009

Swiss Political Perks
4 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Vance Roy Dec 19, 2008.


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Gigli's Page of Stuff

Profile Information

What is your favorite place in Europe so far?
Where would you most like to go next?
Tell us about one of your favorite places to stay on an Untour. Do you have a favorite host? Apartment? Village?
Our apartment in CH with Berit and Albert.

SwissHeartland2 Badge
Do you have any special interests or hobbies that you follow when you travel?
Digital photo and video, computers, genealogy
When you upload photos to Untours Cafe, you are also giving Untours permission to use the photos in their promotional material (with credit to you)
Glass door shattering in Zuerich Flughafen (seriously). Read my blog about it.
Which Untours have you already done?
Heartland in CH, Golling in Austria,Castle in Germany,Alsace, Locarno in CH, and Bayeux in Normandy
What advice would you give others considering an Untour?
Just do it!
What is your favorite Untour? (so far)
Golling in Austria and Bayeux in Normandy

Eiger Groupie Confessions

"> For more widgets please visit www.yourminis.com


For more widgets please visit www.yourminis.com

Anyone who knows me well understands that I am an Eiger groupie. The North Face of the Eiger has fascinated me for many years. I first learned of it when a friend gave me a copy of "The White Spider". This account of the many attempts to climb the north side of this mountain was written by one of the men who did it first, Heinrich Harrer. I have read this man's book many times, been to the north face several times (the last time was yesterday, 16 Sep. 2007), and never tire of reading about it, or seeing pictures of it. Below is a telescopic picture that I made of the White Spider landmark.

I found a new and interesting account with photos today at


Walking the Eiger Trail from Eigergletscher to Alpiglen should be on every hiker's to do list. Reading the book first brings it all to you in great clarity.

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Vance Roy's Blog

Above the Soup at Langis

Posted on February 6, 2011 at 9:45am

An Old friend

I'm sure that no one wants the chat or cafe to become an obituary listing. Mike Katen died last night in his 90th year. He and Rose, as well as their daughter and son in law have been long time Idyllers. I first met them here about 25 years ago on their first Idyll trip. They told me it would be nice if a note was put on the chat. I am not sure how or where to let people know. Below two friends, Albert on the left and Mike at right.…


Posted on June 7, 2010 at 8:00am

Gigli Eats a Bit of Crow

Some of you know that I am not much of a

Francophile. I don't know why. I have French ancestors, a French name,

and I have had some great excursions to Province, Grenoble, Lyon, and

Normandy. Regardless of this, I have never had an urge to see Paris. I

have often disparaged the city as sidewalks covered with dog poopage,

surly people, French snobs, etc.

It was a source of conflict for me when two of my grandchildren wanted to…

Posted on April 19, 2010 at 2:06am

An Explosive Experience in the Zurich Airport

31 May 2007

Barbara and I left Zurich for the USA on 30 May this week. As usual, we shipped our luggage to the airport, so we did not have to schlepp the bags from two trains. The baggage is kept at the "to claim" section of the airport's SBB station where one picks up it with claim checks before checking in. No problems as usual. HOWEVER, this year we were told that they would sell us baggage checks for our use when we returned in a couple of months.

As I went in to…

Posted on September 26, 2009 at 1:59am — 1 Comment

A Walk along the Southern Slope

The southern part of the alpine peaks is a different wold from that in the north. The people there speak some French, some German, and a tiny bit of Romanisch. For some years, I have had a friend, Fred Osterholz, from the USA who makes at least one trip a year to CH, frequently with his friend, Julia. Fred and Julia are very unique friends; they are New England Yankees, not a breed that I ordinarily seek out. They seem to put up with me, so I reciprocate, and over the years, I can count them as… Continue

Posted on June 27, 2009 at 10:14am — 7 Comments

Whoa Boy!! Sachseln in the headlines

An Idyller staying Sachseln alerted me to an article in a commuter newspaper about an attempt to put Sachseln even further in the public eye. An outfit called Erotic Planet had asked the town council to allow them to produce a hard core porno film up at Aelggi Alp, a few kilometers from now and site of the geographic middle of CH. The council, in its wisdom, said "no way" to the film company. It felt that Aelggi Alp had enough recognition as it stands. The film folks are now going to ask to… Continue

Posted on June 5, 2009 at 3:34am

Berit is Dead

With these words, the minister in the Protestant church in Sarnen ended her memorial service yesterday. The place was packed with all sorts of people from Europe and the USA, whose lives she had touched in many ways, and I think she would have been very flattered had she been there, other than in our hearts and minds. Her grand daughters spoke her biography, played music, and gave an eulogy. Her ashes will be placed in the Sachseln church cemetery which is ecumenical. A small urn will also… Continue

Posted on June 5, 2009 at 2:51am — 2 Comments

Berit Photos: Norwegian flag at half mast; Urn

Posted on June 1, 2009 at 5:33am — 1 Comment

A Light Has Gone Out In CH

Berit Greutert died this morning about 0430 local time in the Kanton Hospital in Sarnen. She came from Norway, and always loved her homeland as well as CH. She and Albert had been married 52 years and had lived in CH 40 of those years. They had three wonderful children, Jan Erik, Heidi, and Elisabeth. These three gave Berit a host of grandkids, and great grandkids. They in turn gave her love beyond the norm and were with her when The Circle… Continue

Posted on May 28, 2009 at 1:30am — 10 Comments

Swiss Mountain Pass Conditions

You can monitor the conditions on the passes here:


Most in The Heartland remain closed for now. The Gotthard (about 27 May) is a priority, and they have about 200,000 TONS of snow to move there. Next come the Oberalp (about 14 May) and the Klausen (about 5 June). Then they will work on the Furka (5 June), Susten (19 June), and Grimsel.

Posted on May 9, 2009 at 3:26am

Eiger Nordwand Takes Two More

Two more men have died on the North Face of the Eiger. Read about this here:


These two well trained men surely must have reached the summit, but like others, died on the way down. The weather is what caused them to die on what a lot of climbers believe is the most dangerous part of a climb, the descent. That part of the effort is when fatigue is the greatest, and the tendency to become careless is the greatest.

Posted on March 27, 2009 at 7:54am



And some people have asked me why I would ever move to CH??? Well, here is a reasonably good answer. I know that the Swiss are a bit nervous about a decrease in tourism, but this should take care of that. Even with my arthritic bod, I may have to get out and about, but I will wait until summer. I can only imagine how popular this will be with the Idyllers. So much for cross cultural exchange, right?

While on…

Posted on March 22, 2009 at 10:38am

Switzerland: Recession? Depression? Tourism?

Everyone seems to be (or will be) affected by the the economy's chaos right now. No matter what you choose to call it, jobs are lost, much less money spent, and less resources are gathered. The Swiss are well aware that what affects the USA will cross the Atlantic and affect Europe and themselves.

Today's Luzern newspaper has several articles regarding this. One deals with the likely fact the tourism (over 90% of the Swiss GDP is dealing with tourism), especially the number of…

Posted on November 8, 2008 at 7:26am — 2 Comments

A Diiferent Sort of Wanderweg

This is a Spanish Wanderweg that is not a good idea, especially for acrophobes. You will note that most parts have a cable. Hope this file works for you. It is best seen in full… Continue

Posted on May 4, 2008 at 12:30am

Mole Form in English

You can download this to read it also. I think it better to print it, and then got to www.skincheck to fill it in, attach the picture, and send it.

Posted on May 1, 2008 at 2:15am


As of 1 May, there is a website created by the Swiss called www.skincheck.ch

It is in German, French, and Italian as are most things here. What it does do is allow one to make a digital photo of any and all skin lesions, moles, etc. Then you fill out a form in one of the languages and send it to the site. A certified dermatologist will check it and get back to you. If it is suspicious, it is up to you to get to a doctor.

This is a part of "Skin Cancer Awareness" here in…

Posted on April 30, 2008 at 7:07am

Just When You Think......

Just when you think that you have heard it all, here comes another crazy story (no, not about Eliot Spitzer).

The day before yesterday, it seems that four Korean gentleman tourists decided to take the Wanderweg from Alpnachstad and walk up to the top of Pilatus. In summer, that is a somewhat boring four hour hike. In winter, it is covered with deep snow and has no train service by the steepest cog train in the world. Because of areas of avalanche danger, it is also avoided under… Continue

Posted on March 11, 2008 at 4:00am — 1 Comment

So, You Think that Your Taxes are Bad?

At tax time, it might interest some to see what Europe and CH pay.

Belgium--58.2% of income
Kanton Vaud in CH-37.9%
Kanton Bern-34.7%
Basel City-34.0%
Kanton Obwalden-25.0%

Now, don't you feel better?

Posted on March 1, 2008 at 6:15am

Sushi in der Schweiz????

Yep. It is true. Stop by the local 7-11 in Sarnen (ESSO station), and they will fix you up. Sushi has been around for several years in the big cities, but now it has made it to The Heartland. I am still waiting for catfish.

Posted on February 22, 2008 at 11:00am — 2 Comments

Comment Wall (27 comments)

At 11:57am on June 22, 2007, Marilee Taussig said…
ok, NOW it's a party! Welcome -a great opening salvo of photographs!
At 1:13pm on June 22, 2007, Vance Roy said…
The young man in the picture is my Godson, Jonas.
At 2:37pm on June 22, 2007, Bill Kover said…
This is a fabulous new toy for us all!
At 6:48pm on June 22, 2007, Eleanor - 'El' said…
Hi Vance and Barbara,
Normally, I leave the communicating and photo displaying to Bill, but this site is so enticing I had to sign-on. How are the sheep on the hillside? We miss their early morning sounds, and their personal greetings as we return from each day's Swiss jaunt.
Is Barbara still teaching adult classes?
At 5:05pm on June 23, 2007, Pete and Maggie Haggart said…
Love your photographs Vance. Can't wait to get back to the Heartland again - maybe in a couple of years. Meanwhile keep the "rants" and the photographs coming!
At 4:35pm on July 5, 2007, Patti Mollenhauer said…
Hi Vance,
Thanks for your comment! I've "spoken" online to Barbara once or twice, and have greatly enjoyed all that you write via Untours. We love Sachseln, too. The name Mollenhauer is German, and has something to do with the keeping of sheep?-I was told. Don't know more than that. My husband's family changed the spelling after WWII from Moldenhauer. Patti
At 4:43pm on July 5, 2007, Marlene Hench said…
Hi Vance,
Have spoken with you a few times on idyllchat. Have enjoyed your comments over the years and your trip logs.
Just signed in today so am trying out the site. Have been on a Paris Untour for the past 2 weeks.
Marlene Hench
At 5:20pm on July 5, 2007, Marlene Hench said…
It looks great. Kinda like a MySpace for Untourists, huh!
Thanks for the response. Be talking more later.
At 11:55am on July 22, 2007, Joan and Bruce said…
Vols everywhere! Our here om the frontier the Cal sports website shows 41 days, 7 hours, 9 minutes until the much anticipated Cal/Tennessee football game. After the warm hospitality in Knoxville last year, Cal fans are attempting to help traveling Vol fans unravel the mystique of Berkeley. And, wouldn't you know, that weekend the Bay Bridge will be closed for continued retrofit work.
At 8:21am on August 15, 2007, Shirley Thornton said…
I loved the Olympic Air story. Did I tell you that Lance and Chris are doing the Greek Untour in Oct? I am so jealous! That will be preceded with a week in London with Home At First.

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