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Kantonbern Map

The words "traffic-free village" are almost invariably appended to Wengen's name, but it was not until I actually got there that the significance sank in. It's the sound, or rather the lack of it.

Everywhere I go these days I seem to be followed by the constant low-level drone of traffic noise. Here it was like stepping back into my childhood in the fifties. You could hear the silence.

Yes, there are vehicles. Mostly very odd ones: rotavators pulling trailers with seats bolted on them, odd electric baggage trolleys similarly adapted, golf carts, etc. And again I felt like I was back in the fifties when, out in the country at least, each passing vehicle was a spectacle to be savoured.

When a community like this can survive quite happily being serviced only by rail, I cannot help wondering why we let our obsession with the internal combustion engine ruin both the quality of our lives and environment.