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Tolkien's Journey to Switzerland: Inspiration for Middle-Earth?

Registered User

May 31 2017, 2:08pm

Views: 3840
Tolkien's Journey to Switzerland: Inspiration for Middle-Earth?

“The hobbit's journey from Rivendell to the other side of the Misty Mountains, including the glissade down the slithering stones into the pine woods, is based on my adventures in 1911.”

In 1911, Tolkien undertook a hiking tour of about 10 days in Switzerland, a journey that heavily inspired his later works (if you’re interested, this article might be for you: ... mountains/). The itinerary can be largely reconstructed with the help of his letters.
For my Master’s thesis, I am working on the possibility of developing a long distance walking trail to experience the Swiss Alps in Tolkien’s footsteps. Therefore, it would be of great help to me if you could take a few minutes (it takes less than five, promised!) to answer the following questionnaire – it doesn’t matter whether you have heard of Tolkien’s trip before or not.

Link: (Questionnaire in English despite the URL )

This is a project very dear to my heart and I am excited about any ideas or constructive criticism that goes beyond this questionnaire. Feel free to comment - your help is much appreciated

Forum Admin / Moderator

May 31 2017, 5:12pm

Views: 3783

Und viel Glück with the research! Smile


"I desired dragons with a profound desire"

Registered User

May 31 2017, 9:43pm

Views: 3755
Thanks so much!!

Thank you so much for your help - I'll keep you guys posted!

Aunt Dora Baggins

Jun 1 2017, 8:30pm

Views: 3680
Done! //


GNU Terry Pratchett
"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com


Jun 1 2017, 10:35pm

Views: 3671
Interesting survey. Done. //

Registered User

Jun 3 2017, 9:01am

Views: 3634

Thank you for your support, guys! You have been amazing :)

No One in Particular

Jun 4 2017, 12:51am

Views: 3566

Um, done. Tongue

While you live, shine
Have no grief at all
Life exists only for a short while
And time demands an end.
Seikilos Epitaph


Jun 5 2017, 8:52pm

Views: 3495
Inspiration for the Stairs of Cirith Ungol?

Part of the Bernese Oberland is the Niesen stairs, still the longest stairway in the world with 11,674 steps, built in 1910, the year before Tolkien visited.


And BTW, done.


Once Radagast dreamt he was a moth, a moth flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. He didn't know he was Radagast. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakably Radagast. But he didn't know if he was Radagast who had dreamt he was a moth, or a moth dreaming he was Radagast. Between Radagast and a moth there must be some distinction! But really, there isn't, because he's actually Aiwendil dreaming he's both Radagast *and* a moth!
-From Radagasti: The Moth Dream

(This post was edited by Darkstone on Jun 5 2017, 8:53pm)


Jun 7 2017, 1:20pm

Views: 3440
You're welcome

I hope some form of trip, guide, route...thing can be organized

When the research is done, it would be great if you could post a summary of your findings, or something like that. It's always interesting to find out what became of these questions!

Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here


Jun 7 2017, 6:38pm

Views: 3430
I asked that question a year or so ago

Why 15 companions? In fact, why 13 Dwarves, since 13 is an unlucky number? I was told that it was based on his hiking trip that you referenced. Curious as to what your Master's is in?

I'd say I've entered my second childhood, but I never left the first!

Registered User

Jun 7 2017, 8:12pm

Views: 3422
Keeping you posted!

Thank you for your help!

I'll definitely try to keep you posted and will give you updates about what will (hopefully) happen with this project Smile
I'm doing a Master's in Geography/Tourism/Culture - so this is the perfect crossover project for me!

Different sources state that Tolkien travelled in a group of about a dozen people or "a mixed party of about the same size as the company in The Hobbit".

(This post was edited by UnderStarSheWandered on Jun 7 2017, 8:18pm)

Registered User

Jul 3 2017, 8:27pm

Views: 2761
Thanks so much!!

I am overwhelmed by the amount of people who have participated and left comments and supportive messages. Thank you so much - your help is an essential part of this project’s success! For everyone who would still like to take part, the link is active until Wednesday, July 5th – it’s not too late yet