The Ibex is a very old species. It is estimated that during the Pliocene era (7 million years ago), the caprinidae of central Asia arrived in Europe and it was around the Riss glacial stage when the Iberian form of the Capra genus appeared differentiated from the Ibex of central Europe. The most important colony of the Capra Pyrenaica Hispanica, which inhabits the parallel mountain ranges of the Mediterranean peninsula, is in Sierra Nevada.
The males have thick, rough, knotty horns, and are normally in the shape of a semicircle curving backwards. In contrast to deer, they do not shed them annually, but keep them throughout their entire lives. The age of the males can be measured by the rings of annual growth.
Capra Pyrenaica is an animal with great sexual dimorphism. As with the majority of mammals, this means there are ample differences between the morphology of the male goat and the female goat. They tend to divide into groups of sexes which can contain over 30 individuals: the males in one group and the females and young in another.
They move easily around rocky walls of incredible verticality, thanks to the peculiarity of their hooves, whose internal surface is non-slip. Even when they are sedentary, in Winter they carry out prolonged displacements in search of refuge and shelter, climbing down to lower areas.
Sierra Nevada is a mountainous massif belonging to the Baetic mountain range, more specifically the Penibetico range. This can be found in Andalusia, in the central south-east area of the province of Granada and the south-eastern part of the province of Almeria. Due to the great diversity of the landscape and its exclusive natural value, it has received several provisions for protection. Apart from being a Nature Conservation area and National Park, it is also internationally recognised as a Biosphere Reserve. The highest point is the Mulhacén peak, at 3,482m.
This hunt, just like other stalking of this species, begins in the early hours of the morning. It is a mountain hunt in which the hunter and guides search, with the aid of binoculars and monocular, for a suitable trophy according to the clients demands. The stalking should then be carried out in complete silence, with attention being paid to the recommendations of the guide, who will demonstrate his knowledge and know-how in the terrain. This is a species with a very sharp sense of smell, sight and hearing, an adversary which will contribute to the hunt, together with the incomparable landscape common to the area, the necessary ingredients to make the day an unforgettable hunting experience.
The Romans taught Andalusia how to cultivate wheat and vines and used the fish from the seas to produce the best “garum” in the empire. The Arabs taught the people of Andalusia to grow fruit and vegetables. They used irrigation systems and perfected the cultivation of the olive and the production of oil. Furthermore, the Greeks, Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Visigoths left their mark on the art, science, culture and gastronomy of Andalusia. This is quite a legacy and the best way to get to know it better is to sit down to the table.
A Mediterranean based gastronomy which is unique due to the extremely high quality of its ingredients from the sea or vegetable garden, and because of the use of extra virgin olive oil, an indispensable element which gives personality and distinction to these dishes, and is present in the quintessential Andalusian dish: gazpacho.
We’ll meet at 4 p.m. at our hotel in Luzern (Lucerne) for a “Welcome to Switzerland” meeting. Then we’ll take a meandering evening walk through Switzerland’s most charming lakeside town, and get acquainted with one another over dinner together. Sleep in Luzern (2 nights). No bus. Walking: light.
Enjoy an orientation walk of Zurich’s OLD TOWN, Switzerland’s center of banking and commerce. Then, leave Zurich and start your Swiss adventure. You’ll quickly discover that Switzerland isn’t just home to the Alps, but also to some of the most beautiful lakes. First, stop at the foot of the Jura Mountains in the picturesque town of Biel, known as Bienne by French-speaking Swiss, famous for watch-making, and explore the historical center. Next, enjoy a scenic drive to lakeside Neuchâtel, dominated by the medieval cathedral and castle. Time to stroll along the lake promenade before continuing to stunning Geneva, the second-largest city in Switzerland, with its fantastic lakeside location and breathtaking panoramas of the Alps.
Our morning drive takes us from Swiss lakes to Swiss Army. At the once-secret Swiss army bunker at Fortress Fürigen, we’ll see part of the massive defense system designed to keep Switzerland strong and neutral. Afterward, a short drive into the countryside brings us to the charming Alpine village of Engelberg, our picturesque home for the next two days. We’ll settle into our lodge then head out for an orientation walk. Our stroll through the village will end at the Engelberg Abbey, a Benedictine monastery with its own cheese-making operation. You’ll have free time to wander back before dinner together. Sleep in Engelberg (2 nights). Bus: 1 hr. Walking: light.
An unforgettable trip to the high Alpine wonderland of ice and snow is the true highlight of a visit to Switzerland. Globus Local Favorite At an amazing 11,332 feet, the JUNGFRAUJOCH is Europe’s highest railway station. Jungfrau’s 13,642-foot summit was first ascended in 1811 and in 1912 the rack railway was opened. There are lots of things to do here: enjoy the ALPINE SENSATION, THE PANORAMA 360° EXPERIENCE, and the ICE PALACE. Also receive your JUNGFRAU PASSPORT as a souvenir to take home with you. The round trip to the “Top of Europe” by MOUNTAIN TRAIN will take most of the day.
It’s market day in Lausanne! Enjoy browsing and packing a picnic lunch for our 11 a.m. boat cruise on Lake Geneva. A few miles down-shore we’ll dock at Château de Chillon, where we’ll have a guided tour of this delightfully medieval castle on the water. On our way back we’ll take time to peek into the vineyards surrounding Lutry before returning to Lausanne. Boat: 2 hrs. Bus: 1 hr. Walking: moderate.