Switzerland can rightly claim to be the “real Middle Earth” since it was on a 1911 summer trip in the Swiss Alps that 19-year-old JRR Tolkien first discovered the majestic landscapes that become the inspiration for Rivendell, the Misty Mountains, and other sites in the Dwarven realm from Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
In addition to the enduring scenic appeal of the Swiss Alps, there is a new attraction for Tolkien fans in the village of Jenins Switzerland, where the Greisinger Middle Earth Collection, the world’s largest collection of Middle Earth paintings, collectibles, books, and memorabilia will be opening to the public in September 2013.
Following the museum’s opening, a tour, In the Footsteps of Tolkien, retraces the author’s formative journey. Tour participants will visit the iconic mountains and deep-cut glacial valleys that Tolkien sketched as a young man.
Peaks like the Matterhorn and the Eiger left their mark on Tolkien, and the Lauterbrunnen Valley, ringed by 72 plunging waterfalls, provided the author with his vision of Rivendell. Other stops on the tour include Grindelwald, Meiringen, the Grimsel Pass, and Zermatt. The tour concludes at the Greisinger Middle Earth Collection in Jenins.
The tour, offered by Alpenwild, features Tolkien scholar Alex Lewis as the expert guide. Lewis, an Oxford born and educated writer, is a past Chairman of the Tolkien Society and is the author of three books of Tolkien studies.
Day 1 - Arrive Zurich
Day 2 - Lauterbrunnen, Trümmelbach Falls, Mürren
Day 3 - Wengen, Kleine Scheidegg, Jungfraujoch, Grindelwald
Day 4 - Meiringen
Day 5 - Grimselpass to upper Rhone, Zermatt
Day 6 - Zermatt and the Matterhorn
Day 7 - Glacier Express
Day 8 - Greisinger Middle Earth Collection
Day 9 - Depart Zurich