Switzerland
Grindelwald

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    • Day 45

      THE SWISS ALPS !

      June 23, 2022 in Switzerland ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

      So I got myself over to the mountains ! I was worried about the trains getting there but I managed pretty well🤞
      The train ride to Grindelwald was like nooo otherrrr. I have decided that this blue is my favourite colour. I sat next to a girl from Vietnam who was travelling with another Vietnamese girl that she had met by talking in Vietnamese on the phone and they had been together for the last 3 days. Her name is Khanh and she was doing uni on exchange in Madrid and we chatted the whole train ride.
      I was trying to ask the lady in the seat opposite me something so I asked if she spoke English and she said no but then started talking to me in English so I was so so confused. When she got off, Khanh proceeded to tell me that I had actually asked her if I she spoke German. Welp 🙊
      Anyway I caught the gondola up to Maennlichen and took a quick selfie because I was the only one in it and it’s not everyday you can get a photo with such ginormous mountains. I hope the gondola camera security people enjoyed watching me hold on when I went over the bumpy bits 🥰
      There were some cute cows with bells that rang when they moved and then quite a big cow as the kids playground.
      I walked from Maennlichen about an hour and a half to Kleine Scheidegg and I saw a group of 3 walkers ( who turned out to be from England and one had a daughter living in Melbourne) trying to take a self timer photo with Mount Eiger (and it was not working for them) so I offered to get one for them. They then snapped this shot of me , so here I am with Mount Eiger !
      Then also the same with these 2 girls when I walked into a cute viewpoint hut at Kleine Scheidegg, so here is me in my blue raincoat and backpack- and then a selfie with my blue bucket hat to match💙 no I did not bring any other clothes as my brain didn’t really register that it was in the mountains, there was snow, and so it would be cold? Very luckily I had a completely funny day until I got onto my train home !
      I have also added some more cows for your enjoyment (make sure to imagine the bells ringing when they move). And then here are some more pics on the train ride down to Lauterbrunnen ;))
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    • Day 7

      Gindelwald to Wengen, walking in clouds!

      August 1, 2023 in Switzerland ⋅ ☁️ 50 °F

      A beautiful hike with a great team today! After an awesome breakfast at the hotel, as well as our normal packing of some extra fruit and treats for later, we took the bus to take the train to Alpinglen, to shorten the long 6 mile climb starting in the city. Yeah, we kind of messed up our bus ride with all of us missing our stop in two groups. We all walked back to the train station then just missed our train because it took too long to buy tickets! Ok, so we finally got to Alpinglen then hiked up about 4 beautiful miles, walking in the shadow of the mighty Eiger mountain. One to the top at Kleine Scheidegg we got lunch at a restaurant then struck out for another couple of miles (hiked 7.1 miles today) to Mannlichen, then onto the Royal Walk which takes you to a crown-shaped viewing area with spectacular views of Grindelwald, the Inter-laken Valley, and the Lauterbrunnen Valley. All three! Super windy at the top! Videos? We will have to dub over the voices! Haha! Then most of us rode the gondola down to Wengen (Kevin Trimm did the punishing 2 hour decent walk!). Today is National Independence Day. All of Switzerland is celebrating!Read more

    • Day 4

      First Cliff Walk by Tissot

      August 31, 2023 in Switzerland ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

      Encore une visite qu'on avait hâte de faire : le First Cliff Walk by Tissot

      C'est une balade à 2 200 mètres d'altitude accessible à tous avec sa passerelle métallique qui longe la paroi de la montagne, à laquelle on accède via le funiculaire de Grindelwald ou en randonnant

      On s'y sent tout petit !
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    • Day 29

      Schynige Platte to Faulhornweg

      September 2, 2022 in Switzerland ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

      So then we started our hike! The morning was gorgeous. Beautiful scenery, lovely paths, and amazing weather. We had amazing blue turquoise waters on one side and snow capped mountains and glaciers on the other. We were weaving our way around mountain peaks and constantly amazed at every corner 😍 this was the stretch of about 10km and about 1000m elevation. Honestly the elevation was very gradual so quick a lovely time❤️Read more

    • Day 27

      Up to Jungfrau and The Ice Palace

      August 2, 2023 in Switzerland ⋅ ⛅ 7 °C

      Our second train trip was 40 minutes and took us up another 7,000 feet to Jungfrau Station. On the way the train stopped at Eismeer station (10,000 ft) where you need to get out and acclimatise to the altitude before heading to Jungfrau which is 11,300 feet above sea level. At Eismeer there is a sample of what you will see at the top (well sort of).

      Once you reach Jungfrau Station you walk through an ice cave before taking the elevator out to the viewing platform, which is story of the next footprint.
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    • Day 6

      Jungfraujoch

      April 4, 2023 in Switzerland ⋅ ☀️ -11 °C

      Am nächsten Tag ist es sehr sonnig und so nutze ich die Gelegenheit und fahre über Lauterbrunnen zum höchsten Bahnhof Europas auf über 3400m. Trotz Interrailticket kostet die Rundreise von Interlaken aus stolze 160 CHF. Das erste Stück über Lauterbrunnen ist sehr schön. Dann kommen wir in die Wolken und das letzte Stück der Strecke sowie der Endbahnhof liegen im Berg.
      Oben gibt es mehrere Restaurants und Souvenirläden.
      Mit einem Aufzug kann man zur Sphinx genannten Aussichtsplattform auf über 3500m fahren. Der höchste Punkt an dem ich bisher war! Es ist ziemlich kalt, aber die Aussicht ist grandios. U.a. sieht man den Aletschgletscher, Mönch und Jungfrau.
      Vom Bahnhof führen Tunnel als Rundweg zu allen Attraktionen. Es gibt ein Eispalast in dem Figuren, Boden, Wand und Decke aus Eis sind. Außerdem ein paar historische Informationen zum Bau der Strecke vor über 100 Jahren und ein weiterer Aussichtspunkt außerhalb der Station.
      Mit der Zeit wird es immer voller, geschätzt sind 3/4 der Gäste Asiaten.
      Ich bleibe insgesamt vier Stunden oben, zum Glück kann man sich die meiste Zeit drinnen aufhalten. Beim Treppensteigen merke ich auch einmal die Höhe.
      Auf dem Rückweg gibts noch ein Stück Schoki für jeden. Nach dem ersten Teilstück wähle ich einen anderen Rückweg. Eine recht neue Seilbahn fährt runter nach Grindelwald, vorbei an der Eiger Nordwand. Die modernen Gondeln haben sogar WiFi für die 15 minütige Fahrt.
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    • Day 7

      Hike Wengen to Lauterbrunnen

      September 17, 2023 in Switzerland ⋅ ☁️ 59 °F

      We’re learning that an”easy” hike in Swiss terms is about as much as we can do!

      Today , we took the gondola to Mannlichen, caught the cable car to Wengen (4,200 feet) and hiked from Wengen to Lauterbrunnen.

      It’s a relatively short, (3k) hike on a very steep downhill trail (15% incline) that’s a challenge for knees, hips, and toes. The elevation drops 535m! Took us 2 hours with stops for water and photos.

      The reward is a beautiful view of the Lauterbrunnen Valley, complete with waterfalls.
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    • Day 29

      29. Grindelwald

      March 4 in Switzerland ⋅ ⛅ 1 °C

      Today we woke up very early to check the sledge report .We were very lucky that they were able to sort the sledge runs after the storm yesterday. The weather was cloudy, but the sledge runs were open ! We took Maddy on a walk and packed our lunch. We then got on the free bus from the campsite which takes you to the train station. Upon arriving we ordered the tickets and nearly had a heart attack when they annouced it was £40 return. Grindelwald was only a 25 minute drive away, but we bought the train tickets anyway as it was easier than going back to the van (and putting it into drive mode) and driving there.

      When we arrived, it felt like we were in Skiing heaven, not much snow on the lower slopes, but there was still a hive of activity of Skiiers and Snowboarders around the area. We rented 2 sledges and then headed to get the bus, enroute we double checked our plan of sledging the 'longest sledge run in Europe' and the lady explained that snow wasn't as much on lower slopes so we could only do 1 run before it got dark, after a quick discussion we came to conclusion this was probably a blessing as we didn't want to hike up a mountain in the clouds anyway.

      Instead we bought a hiking and sledge pass, which gave us unlimited rides up and down on the open sledge runs. We brought the tickets for £55 each and headed up. It took us about 25 mins to reach the top from the bottom and we had some nice views along the way, despite being cloudy. We got to the top and did our first run, it was seriously quick and pretty much uncontrollable, so we knew we had to get some skills to get a clean and fast run without becoming casualties. After 3 runs, we were getting the feel and how to lean into corners to accelerate down.

      This is when it became so much fun, we were drifting corners and blasting through the snow at lighting speed. I am convinced at times we were doing over 30mph, it went really fast. We were able to get over 10-15 runs in during the day and it became clearer as the day went on which was a bonus. It was so much fun.

      We managed to film alot on the Go Pro and the only downside was losing a hat (we think on the gondola). After all the buzz we got the gondola down and had some great views.

      We got back to the van and took Maddy out and then enjoyed a fondue (typically Swiss) and had a lovely chilli. It was funny finding the many bruises from the mad day.

      We were both exhausted so after watching about an hour of the sledge footage we went to bed as we had to be up and out of the campsite by 10.

      What a great day! Highlight of the trip so far!
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    • Day 27

      What Goes Up Must Come Down

      August 2, 2023 in Switzerland ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

      Our descent was a lot quicker than the trip up, but just as breath-taking. After a 20 minute journey on the funicular we reached the cable car station and jumped onto the cable car which took us down to the village of Grindelwald. From here we took a 2 hour coach trip back to Lucerne where our day finished with gelati to refuel us for our walk back to our hotel.Read more

    • Day 6

      Moving Mountains

      September 19, 2023 in Switzerland ⋅ 🌙 16 °C

      I wonder if people who have grown up in this area ever look up and don't see the mountains. They are big, imposing, solid and enduring but maybe eventually the brain just accepts their presence and moves on. It would be a shame if the sense of awe and wonder I feel when confronted by their silent, immense presence were to diminish.

      We are catching the boat to Interlaken this morning which doesn't leave until 10:25 and with breakfast finished before 9, we are sitting on our balcony enjoying some down time before hitting the road. Maybe too much down time, as my mind has turned to toilet signage. I grew up to recognise the symbols for gender specific toilets as a wide legged stance for Gents and a filled-in triangle skirt for Ladies. The Swiss, it seems, take a much more imaginative approach to announcing their facilities and we have negotiated kings and queens, top hats and tiaras, cubism and in one establishment, a bow tie and a pink lacy bow nailed to the respective doors. Enough with the musing, though and back to the trip.

      After a short boat trip from the hotel into the centre of Interlaken and a very pleasant coffee in Interlaken watching paragliders coming into land, we are heading for Grindelwald. The route is once again spectacular, threading up a narrow, winding valley, near vertical in places with trees clinging to the rock face in seeming defiance of gravity. Around the next bend and the wall was replaced by a narrow strip of green sloping meadow, dotted with the wide eaves of typically Swiss wooden chalets. The only animals in sight were goats, presumably of the mountain variety, but every now and then, the sound of cow bells filtered through the open window. And as we climbed slowly upwards, the occasional glimpses of snowy mountain peaks hinted at the spectacle to come.

      Sitting having lunch in the sunshine under the watchful eye of the Eiger it is near impossible to find words to describe the majesty of the vista in front of us and I wish you were here to see it for yourself. Pushed up by the colliding of tectonic plates and ravaged by glaciers, the Alps are a testament to the beauty of our fragile planet. Grindelwald itself is like other Swiss towns we have visited, a picturesque village of ancient wooden buildings, expanded by tourism and concrete. But given the backdrop, it maintains a certain charm.

      There are many webcams set up throughout the region allowing you to double check the cloud cover and potential views before making the trip into a particular area, unless of course you have booked in advance and feel that having paid the ferryman, you have to travel up into the clouds to see what clouds look like from the inside. We had planned to take the cog railway from Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg, which reportedly offers the best view of the Jungfrau mountain range, but the webcam showed the view to be obscured by clouds so we opted instead for a glass of vino and a cold beer in a local bar in Grindelwald. Despite the bustle of the passers by and the delicate sound of thunder echoing across the valley announcing the passing of an airplane or two, the overwhelming emotion was one of contentment and peace. And so there we stayed until the cloud began to roll down the slopes of the mountain and we decided it was time to head back for the train.

      Today there was nothing particularly interesting to report, so instead I have includd the titles of 6 Pink Floyd albums and a nod to Rocky in the narrative. Possibly more for my entertainment than for yours.
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