The mystifying trail up the Uetliberg


It was a ludicrously foggy day when I rode the train up the Uetliberg and embarked on the trail to Uto Kulm. The Uetliberg is a Swiss mountain known as the “Top of Zürich,” crowned with a 236 foot tower which you can climb for panoramic views of Zürich and beyond — unless it’s half as foggy as the day I was there.

Uto Kulm, pictured hazily below, is a hotel and restaurant adjacent to the tower. Normally, it offers pretty fabulous views as well, or so I’m told. When I was there, it was so foggy it looked like the blinds were drawn. I had a fine feast of a dinner there; while the main courses were unremarkable, my companions and I were all wowed by the delicious and complex desserts — and certainly satisfied.

Not that I’m complaining about the fog. No. I was still enchanted by the trek due to the unusual and haunting statues by Bruno Weber, a Swiss fantastic realist, which were made all the more mesmerizing by the thick clouds surrounding them. If you go to Zürich, no matter what museums you plan to visit, you have to see these statues.
%Gallery-95687%Uto Kulm through the fog and a Bruno Weber at right
Bewtiching statues like the ones shown above towered over us, leading us up the final steps to Uto Kulm. Never before had I felt so like I was in an ancient land (or perhaps a Tolkien novel), despite the fact that the “sculpture way” was just completed in 2003. The strange creatures and majestic scale tickled my imagination, bringing to mind the ruins of various cities and civilizations past — perhaps this is similar to what those crumbling statues once looked like.

Bruno Weber is a living artist who, among other things, continues to expand and add sculptural elements to his house in his hometown of Dietikon to this day. The house of Bruno Weber is well-known by the Swiss as a magical place to visit. If you go there, you must also head to Skulpturenpark in the same town, which is said to be full of awe-inspiring sights.

His project on the Uetliberg took 12 years to complete. I hope it will be there for archaeologists to explore hundreds of years from now.

My trip to Switzerland was sponsored by Switzerland Tourism, but the ideas and opinions expressed in this article are 100 percent my own.