While on my first trip to Switzerland this summer, I was driving along the very windy and narrow road between Les Haudères and Grimentz, in the canton of Valais. As I turned a corner, I found myself staring at the most odd and unexpected sight. Among the beautiful and lush alpine background, dotted by quaint Swiss chalets, out of nowhere the landscape was now filled with out-of-this-world stalagmites jetting out of the ground. Even more bizarre, the main road was running right through the middle of them!
After a few days passing through this most unusual setting, I finally had to stop and take a closer look for myself, to figure out what this actually was. Lucky for me, there was both a turn-out and an information sign. Not being a French speaker (the language of the region) I was happy to say the sign was mostly made up of simple pictures with the name of what I was seeing. The name of this phenomenon is the Pyramid of Euseigne or Pyramides d’Euseigne. It happens to be one of the most important geological sights in Switzerland and is a protected monument.
During the last ice age, around 80,000 to 10,000 years ago, ice and debris built up on the surface and then over time, the ice melted, the land eroded and voilà, you have natural pyramids! When the land was eroding, the boulders that were on the surface served as protectors of the land beneath them, which resulted in the land being carved around them, leaving these unique formations that reach up to 49 feet high.
Euseigne is a little bit off the beaten path, but if you are ever in Valais, you won’t be disappointed in this very unique and once in a life time kind of sight.