Oct 2 – 7, 2022
Europe/Zurich timezone


Half-day excursions on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, afternoon.

For an overview of the program, please see menu item Conference Schedule.

Due to unforeseen maintenance work of the cable car, we need to cancel the excursion to Plaine Morte. Instead, we will visit Aletsch Glacier.

A - Aletsch Glacier

With a length of 20 kilometers, an average width of 1,800 meters, and a surface area of approximately 78.5 square kilometers, the Aletsch Glacier has an impressive 11 billion tons of ice – the largest ice mass in the Alps. The ice mass moves from the northern flanks of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau down into the valley of Valais, and its meltwater flows through the wild Massa Gorge into the Rhone. As a landscape of extraordinary beauty, the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch Region was included in the list of UNESCO World Natural Heritage sites in 2001.

We will travel by bus and cable car to Riederalp/Moosfluh, enjoy the fantastic view, and learn more about the glacier and its surroundings.

Bring good shoes (hiking boots) and appropriate clothing. We will go up to around 2300 m.

The organizer reserves the right to exclude participants with inappropriate equipment. However, by registering for this excursion, the participant fully acknowledges that PSI cannot be held liable for personal injury or property damage in connection with this excursion to the extent permitted by applicable law.

Source: https://jungfraualetsch.ch/

B - Sion old town and basilica of Castle Valeria (Valère)

Sion (in French), called Sitten in German, is the capital of the Canton of Valais. The Old Town, which lies between the castle hills of Valère and Tourbillon, dates back to the Middle Ages and is home to numerous sights and attractions. It exudes a special flair and if you did not know better, you might think you were lost in a city in Italy.

Valère is more a fortified village than a castle. The first buildings probably date from the middle of the XIIth century. The buildings were made of wood and have left no trace. The first stone houses appeared in the XIIIth century and covered the whole site. A short time afterwards they were surrounded by a crenellated outer wall that followed the natural contours of the landscape. Valère thus became a fortified site.

The construction of the church probably began at the end of the XIth century. It progressed rapidly since it was already completed by the middle of the XIIIth century. However, in between, aesthetic tastes changed and the original Roman style finally became Gothic. Around 1900, the building was fully restored from a perspective favouring the Medieval vestiges. In 1987, the church was consecrated a Minor Basilica by Pope John Paul II. The same year, a new restoration campaign began and is still in progress.

The organ is the masterpiece of the basilica and the oldest instrument in the world of this type that is still playable.

We will enjoy a guided tour of the old town and the basilica.

©Musées cantonaux du Valais, Sion. Studio Bonnardot©Musées cantonaux du Valais, Sion. Studio Bonnardot©Musées cantonaux du Valais, Sion. Robert Barradi