Turquoise perfection: Klöntalersee

It seems there is no end in sight to Switzerland's spell of sweltering weather - and Tim and I have certainly been making the most of it. Yesterday - with reports that temperatures could reach 37 degrees Celsius in some places - we made for the coolest spot we could think of. Situated at more than 800 metres above sea level, the Klöntalersee above Glarus (Canton Glarus) is a turquoise reservoir flanked by the imposing Glärnisch massif. Our hearts sank slightly as we walked through woodland past the lake's campsite, close to which music was blaring from a ghetto blaster. Why does hot weather always bring 'them' out? We continued walking, keen to find a place away from the crowds and were rewarded when we stumbled upon a pebbly stream bed.

The sun was just creeping onto the beach and, where its rays had already kissed the water, we could see tiny fish beneath the surface. The water glowed turquoise and yet was utterly clear - it was not too sharp either. Tim and I entered with ease and then swam enjoying views of the mountains and chiffon-like waterfalls tumbling down them. We were joined for a while by two beautiful Labradors chasing a stick - there is little as cute as dogs swimming!

Drying off on the pebble beach, we were attacked by horse flies yet there was something charming about being removed from the crowds close to the campsite. It was a peaceful spot to eat lunch, with the almost-perfect mountain vista mirrored in the water. In no hurry to leave, we pushed our departure time back and back, leaving only as shade was beginning to envelope the valley. Every so often while walking back through the woodland and licking ice creams we caught tantalising glimpses of the terraced rock faces above us, rising vertically above the leafy canopy, some of them grassy, others still brushed with snow. So close to civilisation and yet so far...
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